I saw a news item that said most cleaning products are a waste of money. I’m just wondering about stone bench tops. Do they need a specific type of cleaner or is there an alternative? Thanks.
You are right, many cleaning products that are worse than water.
We had a stone bench top in our last home. The trick is to clean any spills straight away. We either used a damp cloth, or one that had a little dish washing liquid on it to remove oily/greasy marks. To get it sparkling, I sprayed on some metho and wiped it off with a dry cloth.
Do you know which brand and or type of material the stone bench top is made from? The most common are ‘engineered stone’ made from a composite of fine silica (quartz) and stone chips. They are held together with a resin binder.
The supplier should have provided care instructions with the product when purchased/installed as well as the product warranty details. The less common and expensive natural stone alternatives such as granite or marble should also have been supplied with warranty, care and cleaning instructions. Important considering the long life expected and warranties.
If you do not know the product brand in your kitchen the Engineered Stone products use similar materials.
EG - the recommendations for two common products.
Note: for reference the Cesar Stone spray cleaner is a dilute ethyl alcohol solution.
We’ve found for stains or other that will not wipe off readily dabbing the stain with undiluted dish washing liquid and leaving it for a few minutes before wiping with damp paper towel is effective.
For reference - Choice tested a range of kitchen bench top materials. https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/household/everyday-items/buying-guides/kitchen-benchtops
Edit - added note: what not to use as a cleaner is also important.
‘What Chemicals Should Not Be Used on Quartz Countertops | Marble.com
Thanks for your reply. I believe we have Caesar Stone bench tops. I’ve been using a specific cleaner for this type of bench top but sometimes I us Windex surface and glass cleaner. I’ve not noticed any issues with the last product. I immediately attend to any spills including red wine which the Windex is amazing for. So, I suppose I’m asking do I need to spend the money on the specific cleaner or just use the Windex.
You don’t need to use a special cleaner. The Australian Casear Stone website gives cleaning instructions, namely…
Everyday Cleaning Caesarstone®
surfaces require very little maintenance to keep them looking like new. For everyday, routine cleaning of Caesarstone® we recommend wiping the surface with warm soapy water (a mild detergent) and a clean damp cloth, or use our convenient Caesarstone® Spray Cleaner. Do not use the cloth you use to wash the dishes, as it may transfer oils and other contaminants to the Caesarstone® surface.
As Caesarstone® is virtually non-porous, it will never require polishing or sealing. Never attempt to polish the surface and avoid prolonged rubbing in one spot when cleaning.
You can clean it with warm soapy water (a mild detergent) rather than a specific cleaner or Windex. It will also be significantly cheaper and possibly clean better.
Windex and other common spray surface cleaners typically contain ammonia. It has a pH of 10.7.
Caution advised to ensure your chosen cleaning agents do not have a high pH, bleach or ammonia. Damage may only be noticeable after prolonged use. Wisdom would be to wipe over with a mild detergent solution after using other than a neutral cleaning product.
Our bench tops are 8 years old and have shown no signs of damage or aging. We’ve not needed to use any of the common bench top spray cleaners. As per @phb mild dish washing liquid has been all we have needed. (Not the one you can soak your fingers in! )
As an aside:
One of the large suppliers of resins used to bind the stone chips in Engineered Stone products notes the resins typically used are not UV stable. They offer a different type of resin for products intended for outdoor installation.
Thank you so much for this information. I will definitely be using warm water and with save myself some money.
This is very interesting. I have Caesarstone bench tops and splash back in my kitchen. Not long after it was installed, maybe 6 months. I had a light brown staining around the sink, which is under a south facing window. Caesarstone sent a rep out to investigate. He said the staining was caused by a chemical reaction from water and UV light coming through the window. I would like to add that no actual sun comes through that window. He demonstrated how to clean it with a mixture of bleach and their cream cleanser. It did fade the stain but it was still there. He also told me to clean the whole bench with the same mixture every 6 months. Fast forward 6 years and most of my bench is now yellowed. I’m told there is nothing I can do about it except to replace the bench. I wouldn’t have caesarstone again.
It’s an unusual recommendation to clean using a bleach as strong chemicals are one cause of yellowing. Prolonged exposure to UV can also cause yellowing of the resin used to bind the stone in the bench top.
The brown staining originally noticed around the sink area is likely a different issue. It may be something related to how the sink is used or cleaned considering it was a localised observation. The UV+water explanation needs a more detailed understanding of what’s in your tap water and the quality of the finished stone product. Staining from dissolved minerals in water does not require UV?
Note that UV is a component of all natural light. For a south facing window the light entering the room will still have a UV component, although much less than direct sunlight. Note also the sun in summer rises south of east and sets south of west hence a south facing window may take in stronger direct sunlight for those parts of a day. Our stone bench tops (Qld Sunshine) have a large light tube directly overhead. We’ve noticed no yellowing 8 years young, or issues around the SS sink area.
Is there a possibility of an issue with a batch of resin used for the product you were supplied?
Caesar Stone Australia list 1300 119 119 as a support number, or on line. FAQ | Caesarstone Australia.
When I say around the sink area it isn’t just immediately around the sink it spreads out quite a bit but it is the bench the sink is in. I have contacted them before they are no help. As far as the bleach goes, I was surprised also but it’s what he told me to use and demonstrated how to do it.
Maybe. Or maybe the sink was under the window and it is the sunlight, hard to say without more data.
[quote=“mark_m, post:9, topic:30118”]
Is there a possibility of an issue with a batch of resin used for the product you were supplied
Possibly but how would I know? He did check that it was genuine caesarstone.
Hmm. Caesarstone may not have much of a future if the following is true.
We have a “leather look” white granite benchtop - i.e. it’s a solid piece of granite, has a matt finish and the various grains through it are raised.
At the time of installation we were told to “retreat” it every 6 months. I have contacted the supplier but they haven’t been helpful.
Any ideas how to retreat it?
As for cleaning - with this benchtop, if you wipe it up immediately it’s OK. Areas that get a lot of use can get grubby, so we use a chopping board (or similar) to cover the bench in those areas. Around the sink isn’t a problem.
Welcome to the community, @BarbA
If you can provide the name of the bench top supplier and or the brand/producer of the raw granite others may be able to share their experiences. Natural stone bench tops are most commonly treated with a sealing compound. There are various recommendations for renewal of the sealing compound every few years.
“Leather Look” - assume you mean “leathered granite” which describes a matt finishing process rather than honing. It’s intended to be more spill and stain resistant.
Hi @mark_m. Yes, “leathered granite” is what we have.
It was Bianco Forte Honed Granite from Parthenon Marble in Fairfield, Melbourne.
Our stone benchtop installer told us that while he could sell us the “branded” treatments, a more effective and much cheaper solution was to wash with a mild commercial product such as Windex and then to apply a good quality car wax such as Turtlewax. Far cheaper and this has proven very effective for us.
Welcome to the community @sangfrid
An interesting recommendation for sealing the surface with a readily available product. The proprietary sealing products typically promote the ability to penetrate the surface of the granite bench top and or enhance the appearance. There’s an assumption the advice by your installer considered compatibility with the sealing product applied by the factory or supplier on installation.
I’ve been to their website and am not sure what to make of them. If your supplier is not interested, there are proprietary sealing products. It appears you may need to select the product to match the finish on your bench top? Hopefully the Aussie suppliers can offer sound advice on when or how often to reseal, product compatibility and which product to use.
Two examples from a quick on line search for granite sealing compounds Australia, not recommendations.
I’ve several old washbasin stands and slabs (Marble), waiting for a project. There’s no shortage of online advice - and alternate recommendations. Amongst the businesses selling stone bench tops, some offer relatively comprehensive guidance on selection and care, while others lean heavily on the product appearance and glitzy installation shots. Common to most granite is promoted as one of the more stain resistant surfaces.