How to Clean Quartzite Countertops in 4 Easy Steps (Plus One Common Mistake to Avoid)
Quartzite not only features a wide range of colors and eye-catching patterns like its marble and granite counterparts, but it’s also a more durable option than other natural stone varieties, ranking at a 7 on the MOHs hardness scale. Bits of quartz crystals embedded into these stone slabs add natural sparkle and shine. In addition to its beauty and durability, quartzite is also extremely versatile and works well in both interior and exterior designs.
When you find a quartzite color that you love for your kitchen, bathroom, or other countertop surfaces in the home, you’ll not only add incredible visual appeal, but you’ll also increase the value of your property in the process. In order to preserve that value, however, it’s essential to properly clean and maintain your natural stone surfaces.
Here are four important steps for keeping your quartzite countertops looking spectacular for years to come.
Don’t Confuse Quartzite with Quartz
Technically, this is more of a “what not to do” than a cleaning tip, but it’s not uncommon for homeowners to confuse quartzite with quartz. However, this could prove to be a major snafu when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your countertops, as quartzite is a porous natural stone, while quartz is a non-porous, engineered stone surface that consists primarily of crushed quartz stone that has been bonded with resins and polymers. In other words, avoid using cleaning tips that are intended for quartz countertops!
Step #1: Make a Plan for Regular Sealing
The best way to protect your quartzite and keep it looking clean and attractive is to prevent stains from food, beverages, chemicals, and other household items that could penetrate and stain the porous stone surface. While your quartzite will likely be sealed before installation, the sealant can wear over time, resulting in thin spots where staining agents eventually get through.
In a general sense, a sealant could potentially last for years, but the areas that get the most use (like around sinks, eating areas, and cooktops) are likely to wear out much faster. For this reason, it’s wise to seal quartzite countertops at least once a year (depending on use) to prevent common forms of damage like staining and preserve its natural color and luster.
Step #2: Soap and Water Get the Job Done
Can you purchase stone cleaners that are especially designed to protect your natural stone countertops? Yes. Are there better ways to clean? There are certainly other options that will cost less! For example, most people find that the simple combination of warm water and mild soap (like dish soap) works just fine. The caveat is that you have to use the right tools and do the job properly.
What does this mean? For starters, it’s best to use a microfiber cloth that won’t create tiny scratches in the finish, as abrasive cleaning cloths can dull the shine of the countertop and open the door to further damage. If you’re going to use soap, you should also make sure to rinse the countertop thoroughly with clean water in order to prevent a filmy build-up that can cloud the surface over time.
In truth, you could use any non-abrasive, non-acidic cleanser with a low pH. The only real reason to consider a stone cleaner is the convenience it provides. You simply spray and wipe and it helps to preserve the shine of the sealant.
Do not use natural cleansers with vinegar or lemon juice, as the acids in these substances can damage the sealant.
Step #3: Don’t Let Liquids Linger
Even if you keep up with sealing your stone regularly and you clean frequently, you don’t want to tempt fate by allowing staining agents to linger on the surface. When you spill wine, pasta sauce, or acidic substances on the countertops, wipe them up immediately. If they are allowed to sit or dry on the surface, they not only become more difficult to clean, but they have the opportunity to eat away at the finish, exposing the porous stone beneath to stains.
Step #4: Soak Up Stains with a Poultice
Despite your best efforts, there’s always a chance that staining could occur. The good news is that there are suitable steps that you can take to combat stains that reach the stone. The primary means of removing a stain is with a poultice.
You can purchase a pre-made poultice, but it’s so easy to make your own that it’s probably more convenient than going out to buy one. The easiest poultice is made from a simple mixture of water and baking soda, with just enough water in to create a thick (not runny) paste.
You’ll apply the poultice directly to the stain, cover it with plastic wrap, tape down the edges with painter’s tape, and leave it in place for 24 hours. Next, take off the wrap and allow the poultice to dry before removing it and wiping the area clean with water. If any stain remains, repeat the process. Once the stain is gone, re-seal the area (or perhaps the entire counter surface, if you’re due) to prevent further staining.
The best way to keep counters clean is to avoid potential damage in the first place through simple preventative measures like coasters and trivets. For long-lasting, durable countertops that stay looking their best, proper cleaning and maintenance will be critical.
We’re here to help
Choosing the right countertops for your kitchen or bath can be overwhelming without the right assistance. Academy Marble & Granite’s team is ready to help. Visit one of our locations, or contact us today to set up a consultation.