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Natural stone countertops are a beautiful complement to any room – and if properly taken care of, they’ll be one of the longest lasting features in your home. But like any classic beauty, they do need a little bit of TLC. Here’s how to clean, protect and maintain these elegant surfaces.

Granite

Beautiful mottling and unique colour patterns make every granite countertop one-of-a-kind. A hard stone, it stands up well to splashes, knife nicks and heat, but granite isn’t indestructible.

Daily Cleaning

Clean your granite countertop regularly with warm water and a gentle cloth. Frequent cleanings will help avoid scratches caused by leftover particles, and negate the need for heavy-duty cleaners, which could damage the finish on the stone.

Sealing

Granite countertops will resist stains if they are sealed. There are different types of sealers you can use, and you should always consult manufacturer directions for proper use of a specific product. Sealants nowadays have very long lifespans.  Even sealing once a year may be overkill, depending on the product.  The best way to figure out if your granite needs to be re-sealed, is to test it yourself.  Simply wet your hands or a towel with water, and allow some droplets to fall on your counter.  If these droplets stay beaded, no re-sealing is required yet.  However if the droplets appear to somewhat soak into the granite, it may be time to consider re-sealing.

Avoid:

  • Lemon, vinegar and wine
  • Cooking oil
  • Excessive cutting or chopping

Marble

Let’s face it: marble just looks and feels glamorous. Known for its sheer elegance and ability to remain perennially cool, it is a popular choice that none the less requires some extra care.

Daily Cleaning

Marble is naturally porous; generic chemicals or abrasive products can damage this soft stone. To clean, gently wipe with a microfiber cloth and warm water. Don’t leave pools of water on the countertops after cleaning; instead, use a soft rag to dry the surface.

Protection from Scratches

Marble can be easily scratched. To mitigate the risk, don’t set sharp-edged objects directly on marble. Use coasters and mats under your appliances; cutting boards when you use knives; and refrain from dragging anything across the surface.

Avoid:

  • Cooking oil
  • Mustard, turmeric, or other bright, staining substances
  • Hot pots and pans
  • Sharp objects

Quartz

Made of synthetic polymer and quartz blends, these counters are a popular choice because they never requires polishing. To make sure your quartz counter maintains its luster, follow these tips.

Daily Cleaning

For every-day cleanup, simply wipe your quartz countertops with a damp cloth and household detergent. Though quartz is relatively resistant to stains, be safe by cleaning up spills as soon as possible.

Stain Removal

For dried-up or heavy stains, use a glass surface cleaner and a non-abrasive sponge – the sort you’d use on a non-stick frying pan. For tough stains, spray your cleaner and allow to soak for ten minutes before wiping.

Avoid:

  • Excessive heat
  • Quick temperature changes
  • Acidic or alkaline cleaners
  • Pressure or force