Natural stone has a beauty that can't be replicated in a factory. From crystals that shine within the stone to gorgeous veining, there is a reason that granite, limestone, and soapstone continue to be popular choices for homeowners. However, natural stone is also porous, which can create problems. Here are three ways to keep the natural stone in your kitchen pristine and beautiful.
1. Use An Impregnator Sealer
Impregnator sealers are designed to sink within the stone and plug the tiny pores in the rock, which prevents staining and water damage. While many people are nervous about what it will be like to use an impregnator sealer, these liquids are very, very easy to apply and dry quickly. Clean countertops carefully before you apply the sealer, and make sure the sealer covers all surfaces that anyone could touch or spill onto. Apply the impregnator sealer exactly as specified on the bottle instructions, and make sure to give the area enough time to dry.
2. Avoid Etching Your Counters
Abrasive or acidic cleaners can scratch your countertops quickly, which can make staining more of a problem later. When the counters are etched, stains and pigments can make their way into the stone, where they can take hold.
Whenever you clean your countertops, make sure to be as gentle as possible. Only use cleaners and other products designed for natural stone, and read on the bottle to see if the types of acceptable stone are listed. Stay away from products with abrasives like baking soda or pumice, so you don't scratch your counters. You should also avoid metal scrubbers, which can scratch softer varieties of natural stone, such as honed marble.
3. Keep Pigmented Foods and Drinks Away from Counters
Keep heavily pigmented foods, such as tomato sauce, red wine, dark gravy, and jam away from your countertops. If you are cooking with these ingredients, protect the counters where you are working with a plastic cutting board or a kitchen towel. Although it may seem a little inconvenient, making these simple changes could keep sudden spills from damaging your counters. If you do spill something onto a bare counter, wipe it up immediately.
If you do notice damage on your stone counters, talk with a professional about what to do about the damage. Countertop professionals may be able to polish out problems in the stone, reseal the surface, and create a polished or honed surface that looks as good as new.