Natural stone work surfaces represent a high value investment for most people, therefore it is important to look after them. Following a few simple guidelines will ensure that your work surfaces give you years of pleasure and outstanding value.
Granite and Marble being entirely natural are, to varying degrees, porous and will therefore absorb anything left on the surface for a period of time. Anything spilt on the surface should be removed as soon possible to minimise the risk of staining. Quartz surfaces such as Silestone are a little more durable and stain resistant but it is still advisable to clean immediately after use and always after spillages. A simple wipe over with a damp sponge or soft cloth after use will in the main ensure your surfaces stay clean.
Clean water is the best medium to use on a frequent basis, always with a sponge or soft cloth, never use abrasive or metallic scourers (Scotch-Brite scourers are fine) or soap filled cleaning pads, stone can be scratched. If there is a build up of dirt, grease or a stubborn stain that does not disappear with just water, we recommend Cif Cream as an excellent cleaner for stone. It should be applied in moderation to a damp sponge or cloth and used in a circular motion over the affected areas. Following this process rinse the surface with a clean damp cloth to remove any dirt and cleaner.
Cosentino, the manufacturer of Silestone Quartz recommend the use of either Q-Force or Q-Action in the same way as detailed above for cleaning Silestone if wiping with a damp cloth does not do the job. If this does not clear the staining, apply Q-Force or Q-Action to the affected area and leave for a few minutes before cleaning away as above. These cleaners are available through Stone System of London but Cosentino also approve Cif Cream for use on Silestone.
If stains or cleaning problems persist, contact Stone System of London or Cosentino direct in the case of Silestone. The following should be avoided, frequent cleaning with washing up detergent as this can leave a greasy film which builds over time, Bleach and other aggressive cleaners such as oven cleaners.
Lime scale (mainly magnesium and calcium salts) is a problem in any Hard Water area and on any surface. It can be removed using a proprietary product such as Viakal or a weak solution of Hydrochloric Acid and some vigorous scrubbing with Scotch-Brite type scourer. Always rinse well afterwards. Unfortunately Lime Scale will return over time so expect to have to repeat this exercise periodically.
It is a myth that stone is indestructible or that it is heat & scratch proof. However it is just about the most durable surface if maintained properly. Cutting and chopping directly on to stone will achieve two things firstly it is quite possible it will scratch your surfaces and secondly it will definitely blunt your knives. Invest in a wood or acrylic chopping board to avoid risk of scratching.
Stone is incredibly strong and tough but it is susceptible to impact damage from items dropped on or knocked against the surface. The edges are generally the weakest areas especially around an under mounted sink so watch those pots and pans. It is possible to repair some damage but this entirely depends on the extent of the damage.
Hot pans should never be placed directly from the heat on to a stone work surface, thermal shock caused by the abrupt change in temperature of the stone may occur, resulting in cracking. At the very least you are likely to scorch the stone. In most instances this is not repairable. Even Silestone and other brands of Quartz advise the use of trivets or heat proof mats for pots and pans.