(ARA) - With unlimited color and texture options, stone countertops have become a leading choice in the kitchen for homeowners who want a modern yet elegant appearance. But you, like many others, might be wondering how you keep the unique stone surface clean and shiny?
When you first get your countertops, the stone surfaces are sealed in order to keep stains out of the naturally porous material. But this is just one line of defense in protecting the beauty and integrity of the stone. A little tender loving care will help protect your investment and keep it looking like new. The key is to use the right cleaners on the surface so you don't cause any unnecessary damage.
"Using harsh household cleaners over a period of time will break down the seal and eventually causes the surface to look dull," says Jim Gray of Rock Doctor, maker of a variety of products that clean granite, marble and other natural stone. "We recommend using a specific product designed for cleaning stone that will insure that the seal is protected and the stone will continue to look like new."
In the kitchen, stone countertops are exposed to acidic foods, oils and many other items that can damage the finish. Using a non-abrasive cleaner will keep the surface free of damaging stains and will not harm the seal that is applied to the countertop.
To restore the luster on your stone countertop you may also use a polish in conjunction with the cleaner. Your countertops will be protected and might actually look better than when you first got them.
To help properly maintain your stone it is also advised to clean up spills -- especially acidic juices and cola -- as soon as possible. Use coasters under glasses to prevent glass rings from forming and use clean towels or rags to avoid scratching the surface when buffing.
Here are some additional do's and don'ts when caring for stone countertops:
* Do clean surfaces with a mild detergent or cleaner.
* Do thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing.
* Do blot up spills immediately.
* Do protect countertop surfaces with coasters, trivets or place mats.
* Don't use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids on marble, limestone, travertine or onyx surfaces.
* Don't use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub and tile cleaners
* Don't use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
With just a little time and investment, your stone countertops will be the envy of the neighborhood and will look like new for years to come. Courtesy of ARAcontent