How to Disinfect Your Home’s Stone Countertops
Especially with the onset of COVID-19, keeping your stone countertops clean and disinfected is incredibly important. However, stone can be a sensitive material when it comes to harsh cleaners and rough scrubbing. Learn how to properly disinfect your countertops without damaging the surface!
Stone Doesn’t Support Bacteria
Homeowners of stone can have peace of mind knowing that natural stone doesn’t harbor bacteria much at all — a fact backed by the Center for Disease Control. Many stone materials are naturally resistant to bacteria, mold, mildew, and similar simply because of their physical composition. In fact, well-sealed countertops are generally impervious to any bacteria at all with the exception of surface-level bacteria that can’t sink into stone’s porous holes. However, if kept moist and covered with food debris for too long, of course bacteria could grow — especially if it’s been a while since you sealed or resealed it.
Daily Disinfecting of Stone Countertops
While doing a deep clean is necessary every once in a while, you can rely on household items for daily disinfection. Simply mix hot water and antibacterial dish soap and apply it to the surface of your countertops. You can even keep it in a spray bottle for easy use.
Steps for Cleaning With Disinfectant
If there’s a need for really disinfecting, you can use isopropyl alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol is already diluted when you purchase it, and most effective between 60 and 90 percent, so don’t dilute the alcohol you use. Here are the steps for cleaning your stone counters with this disinfectant.
Step One: Prepare
To prepare for cleaning your counters, first grab a bucket or wash bin and fill it with warm water and mild dish soap. Then wet a clean dish cloth.
Step Two: Wipe and Wash
Next, wipe away any spills or crumbs using the dish cloth. Don’t use scrubbers, steel wool, or anything scratchy. Dish cloths are used because of their softness. Anything rough can cause microscopic etches and scratches which can harbor germs and ultimately weaken your natural stone.
Step Three: Dry
Once washed, use a microfiber cloth to dry and buff the stone. This will help prevent any streaking from the soapy mixture. While a microfiber cloth isn’t a must, it is ideal due to its softness. If you don’t have one, choose a terry cloth or something similar that’s gentle for buffing and drying.
Step Four: Disinfect
The last step is to disinfect. Disinfecting ensures there’s no bacteria left behind, nor any soap residue. It will also help restore shine. Spritz and spray 70% isopropyl alcohol on your counters. Allow it to sit for between 3 and 5 minutes; this allows the alcohol to work effectively and kill any germs. After the time has passed, rinse with water and then dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
Each stone has many cleaning agents specific to its material composition. Some all-purpose cleaners will also specify or note that they’re suitable for granite, marble, limestone, and similar materials. Always avoid vinegar, citrus, chlorine bleach, window cleaners, cleaners made with hydrofluoric acid, or other acidic ingredients that are abrasive to your countertops. Of course, you can always make a cleaning mix of your own using the same ingredients above.
Combine 4 tablespoons of isopropyl alcohol with 4 drops of dishwashing soap in a 1 liter spray bottle (or scale the recipe up or down). Fill to the top with warm water and shake gently — not too much or it won’t spray effectively due to suds. You can spray this on your countertops, allow it to sit for a minute or so, and then wipe. You shouldn’t need to rinse with water in this instance, but you can anyway just to be extra cautious of soap streaking if you so please.
Preventing Bacteria With Impression
Impression is always happy to offer advice for caring for your home’s natural stone countertops, and that includes providing information on how to disinfect them. Some additional tips include discourages the growth of bacteria by disinfecting periodically throughout the day if you cook often, cleaning up messes when they occur, and not allowing moisture to accumulate on your countertops. Also avoid preparing food directly on the countertop when possible. Happy disinfecting, and get in touch with Impression today for further information on our stone materials!