Cleaning Guide for Natural Stone and Quartz Countertops

Quartz and natural stone countertops are ideal for use in the kitchen and bathroom because they are functional and attractive, and add to the market value of any home. Stone countertops are usually very durable, and typically low maintenance, so that is good news for busy homeowners. That said, even stone needs some type of care and maintenance.

Below is a general guide for cleaning all types of stone for kitchen countertops, as well as specific instructions for keeping certain types of kitchen countertops in good condition.

Keep your kitchen countertops as dry as possible. Wipe up spills, rinse off any remaining traces of the liquid if it is not water, and dry it with a soft, clean rag.

Quartz countertops are inherently resistant to stains. They do not require sealers as they are not porous.

You can cut directly on quartz and granite countertops without causing damage. That said, it is more hygienic and practical to use a chopping board for food prep, as it is easier to clean a small area like a chopping board than a full expanse of countertop.

Use trivets and heat pads to avoid direct heat on all types of kitchen countertops. Some stones like marble and granite are heat resistant, but the sealers are not, so direct heat can burn them off. Many pots and pans may also have traces of oil that can stain granite and marble.

Do not sit or set heavy loads on kitchen countertops, particularly along the edges. These tend to be vulnerable to breaking and cracking because it has less support than central portions of the countertops.

You should check the integrity of the seal of your natural stones countertops occasionally. A simple way to do this is to drop some water on the surface. If it beads, the seal is good. If it spreads, you need to reapply a sealer. Light colored stones tend to need more frequent resealing than dark colored ones for some reason.

Granite countertops

cleaning a granite countertop

Granite countertops are still very popular, mostly due to the range of attractive colors and patterns in which they come. They are also scratch-resistant and very durable. Additionally, no two granite countertops are identical, so you can be sure your kitchen is unique. In general, granite countertops are safe for food preparation, and sealing it makes it stain resistant.

Cleaning granite countertops is simple. You need to wash it down daily with warm water and dry it thoroughly. You might also use a diluted solution of water and dish detergent to make sure they are clean. Do not use anything harsh or abrasive on granite countertops to keep from dulling the finish.

If stains appear on your granite countertops that you cannot remove with regular cleaning, you may have to use a poultice, which is a fancy word for as absorbent paste. You can buy a commercial poultice, or just make your own as described below. You will typically be able to use this paste to remove stains from other stone surfaces as well.

DIY poultice

Making the poultice requires mixing a quantity of baking soda with hydrogen peroxide to make a thick paste with the consistency of peanut butter. Spread a thick layer of the paste over the stain and leave it to dry and lift the stain off. When it is completely dry, gently scrape off the paste and rinse the area with clean water. If there are still signs of the stain, repeat the process until it is all gone. Once all the stay is gone, clean and dry the area before applying a sealer.

Marble countertops

cleaning marble countertops

Marble countertops are also popular among homeowners, although more for bathrooms than kitchens. This is because marble is not as durable as granite, and significantly more porous. It also scratches and etches quite easily, so it requires a bit more effort to keep it looking pristine.

Cleaning marble countertops are about the same as granite countertops. Mild detergent, clean water, and soft rags are about all you need. The main difference is you have to avoid anything that has ammonia or acid in the mix, as these will cause etching in marble.

Since it stains more easily than granite, you will probably need to use the DIY poultice described above more frequently with marble countertops. You also have to check if the sealer is intact more regularly.

That said, it is much easier to repair any surface damage to marble than with granite, precisely because it is softer. In most cases, readily available marble polishing powder is enough to take care of scratches and etches. Make sure you follow instructions carefully for best results.

Quartz Countertops

cleaning quartz countertops

Quartz countertops are the top choices for homeowners today, and for good reasons. It is available in almost any color and design you can think of, and they have a consistency of design that make it easy to have a seamless look for larger and longer countertops. Quartz countertops are also very durable, stain-resistant, and scratch proof, and they do not need sealing. Quartz countertops are also generally food safe.

Quartz countertops do have drawbacks, however. They are more expensive than marble and granite. They are also not heat resistant, and not appropriate for outdoor use. Other than that, quartz countertops are definitely a good choice for kitchen countertops.

Cleaning quartz countertops is even easier than marble or granite countertops. You can use any kind of cleaner, including those that contain ammonia, citrus acid, and bleach without causing any adverse effects to quartz countertops. However, it is best to avoid abrasive powders and cleaning tools to avoid dulling the finish.

Deep-seated stains are virtually non-existent with quartz countertops, as they are not porous. However, surface stains from nail polish or paint can still happen. If it does, you can scrape it away using a plastic card or scraper. However, you cannot do the same for ink from permanent markers. These are almost impossible to remove. You best move is to keep permanent markers away from your quartz countertops.


Cleaning natural stones and quartz countertops is a cinch, so choosing one or the other for your kitchen countertops is one of the most practical decisions you can make. You just need to make sure you get a reliable countertop specialist to help you with that.

Silver Marble Granite is your best bet in the areas of Washington D.C., Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax, Chantilly, Herndon, Centreville, among others. We are your ONE-STOP SHOP for home improvement, and we specialize in the best kitchen countertops in Northern Virginia.

We work only with the best brands in the business, and can offer better prices and faster turnarounds than big box stores. We carry top brands in engineered quartz, including Silestone, MSI, Cambria, and Caesarstone as well as granite and marble slabs. You can visit our showroom in Sterling, VA to see the products before you buy.

Check out our website for some of the best deals in kitchen countertops and other products to make your home a better place. We offer free quotes for the asking. You will be amazed at the deals we can offer you!