Cleaning Tips for 6 Types of Stone Countertops

Taking proper care of your stone countertops is key to keeping them looking beautiful for years to come. Different types of natural stone require slightly different cleaning methods, so follow these tips to clean and maintain 6 of the most popular stone countertop materials.

Granite Countertop Cleaning Tips

Granite is one of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops due to its beauty, durability, and variety of colors and patterns. Keep your granite in top shape by following these tips:

  • Clean frequently with a gentle soap and water. Avoid harsh cleaners or abrasives.
  • Seal granite every 1-2 years with a stone sealer to prevent stains.
  • For stubborn stains, use a poultice made with household items like flour, hydrogen peroxide, and mineral spirits.
  • Avoid placing hot pans directly on the granite to prevent burns. Use trivets and hot pads.

Top Granite Cleaning Tip: Prevent stains by wiping up spills immediately with a soft cloth. Acidic substances like wine or fruit juice can etch the granite if left too long.

Marble Countertop Cleaning Tips

Marble is an elegant and luxurious natural stone perfect for bathrooms and kitchens. Protect its delicate beauty with these care tips:

  • Clean regularly with mild dish soap and warm water.
  • Rinse thoroughly after cleaning and dry with a soft cloth.
  • Re-seal marble annually with a stone sealer product.
  • Avoid vinegar, lemon juice, wine, and harsh cleaners that can etch marble.
  • Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains.

Top Marble Cleaning Tip: Prevent scratches by avoiding abrasive pads or powders. Use soft cloths only when cleaning marble.

Quartz Countertop Cleaning Tips

As an engineered stone, quartz countertops are low-maintenance and resistant to stains and scratches. Keep them looking fresh with these tips:

  • For regular cleaning, use a mild soap and water.
  • Disinfect monthly using a 50/50 vinegar and water solution.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners or pads that could dull the surface.
  • Reseal quartz every 2-5 years with a stone sealer.
  • Prevent damage by using trivets and cutting boards.

Top Quartz Cleaning Tip: While quartz resists stains, wipe up spills quickly to keep the surface pristine. An ounce of prevention!

Soapstone Countertop Cleaning Tips

Soapstone has a soft, gentle appeal that works well in both rustic and modern kitchens. Maintain its natural beauty with these tips:

  • Clean regularly with mineral oil to condition and protect the stone.
  • Use mild dish soap and water for periodic deep cleaning.
  • Avoid leaving acidic substances like lemon juice on the surface.
  • Reapply mineral oil after cleaning to keep soapstone conditioned.
  • Prevent stains by promptly wiping up kitchen spills as they occur.

Top Soapstone Cleaning Tip: Frequently re-oil your soapstone countertops, especially after cleaning, to keep them looking their best.

Travertine Countertop Cleaning Tips

Travertine is a natural limestone with earthy colors and a textured surface. Keep it looking great with these cleaning recommendations:

  • For routine cleaning, use a soft cloth with mild dish soap and warm water.
  • Reseal travertine every 1-2 years with a stone sealer product.
  • Avoid acidic or abrasive cleaners that can pit and etch travertine.
  • Use a damp mop for spills to prevent liquids from seeping into holes.
  • Wipe up kitchen messes promptly to prevent staining.

Top Travertine Cleaning Tip: The porous nature of travertine makes sealing especially important. Re-seal as directed to prevent stains.

Slate Countertop Cleaning Tips

Slate is naturally bacteria-resistant and adds wonderful texture. Maintain its beauty with these cleaning tips:

  • Clean regularly with mild dish soap and warm water.
  • Disinfect periodically using a 50/50 vinegar and water solution.
  • Reseal slate annually using a stone sealer product.
  • Avoid abrasive powders or scouring pads that could scratch slate.
  • Blot up spills immediately as slate can be prone to staining.

Top Slate Cleaning Tip: Resealing slate helps prevent stains and bacteria growth in the natural pores and texture.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Stone Countertops

How often should I clean my stone countertops?

It’s best to clean stone countertops like granite, marble, and quartz at least once a week using a gentle soap and water. Wipe up spills as they occur to prevent stains.

What should I avoid using to clean stone counters?

Avoid harsh cleaners like bleach, alkaline cleaners, or abrasive powders. Don’t use vinegar or lemon juice on marble, travertine, or limestone which can etch those delicate stones. Avoid Scotch-brite pads.

What is the best way to sanitize stone counters?

Make a disinfecting solution of 50% water and 50% white vinegar. Spray or wipe on the counter and let sit briefly before rinsing away. This can effectively kill bacteria without damaging most stone surfaces.

How often should I reseal my stone countertops?

Sealing frequency depends on the stone type and usage, but annually is a good rule of thumb. Marble, travertine, slate and soapstone benefit from annual resealing. Granite and quartz may only need sealing every 2-5 years.

What damage can occur from hot pans on stone counters?

Placing hot pots or pans directly on stone can potentially burn or crack the surface. Always set hot cookware on trivets or pads. Avoid exposing stone to extreme temperature changes.

How can I remove or lighten stains on my stone counters?

For light stains, try a poultice made with household items like flour, hydrogen peroxide, or mineral spirits. For tougher stains, call a professional stone restoration company. Avoid abrasive scrubs or acids.


Cleaning and caring for your natural stone or engineered quartz countertops doesn’t require complicated products or tools. Just remember to use mild dish soap and water for routine cleaning. Seal surfaces annually to prevent stains. And most importantly – wipe up spills promptly! Following these simple, stone-specific cleaning tips will keep your counters looking like new for many years. Be sure to avoid harsh cleaners or acids, and use trivets for hot items. With proper care, your stone counters can stay beautiful and durable in your home.