Some people don’t include concrete in the “stone countertop” category, but it is exactly where it should belong because it is generally made of finely-crushed stone. Sealant application is a crucial process for the protection of the concrete countertop. But the care shouldn’t stop there.
Use trivets for hot containers. Never place hot pots and pans on the counter because excessive heat can cause the material to crack. Trivets are designed to hold hot objects while allowing airflow around their surfaces.
Avoid putting too much weight on the countertop because small fissures can turn into huge cracks. This means you will have to grab a stepstool instead of standing or sitting over the counter.
Respond to spills right away, particularly if it is an acidic substance such as vinegar, orange juice, wine, ketchup and salad dressings, because stone reacts to acid. Harsh chemicals such as chlorine bleach and ammonia can harm even sealed stone countertops.
Never slice or chop directly on the counter to avoid grazes. Grabbing a cutting board always pays.
Take note that a sealant won’t last for eternity. It will thin out over time, making your stone countertop more and more vulnerable to damage. The type and quality of your countertop will have to be considered when resealing. Consult an experienced handyman about it.
Daily Cleaning Tips
Acid is harmful to concrete countertops so avoid acidic or abrasive cleaners. Stick to neutral cleaners when cleaning concrete surfaces. Ordinary dish detergents are usually enough.
For daily cleaning, dilute 1 teaspoon of dish detergent in a spray bottle filled with 4 cups of water. Wipe your stone counter with this solution after food preparation or cooking. You may also use a commercially-prepared stone countertop cleaning product or just hire a local home cleaners.
Check the quality of your water supply because it can affect concrete surfaces. Hard water can be fixed by installing a water softening system.
Stains can form when acidic substances are spilled on the concrete. Acid dissolves cement and leaves carbonate residues, which you see as white spots. Scrubbing, polishing or resealing are not enough to remove the damaged surface. Hire a professional for proper patching.
Coffee can discolor concreate surfaces. Thankfully, stains can be fixed easily by soaking the spot with chlorine bleach.
Get a paper towel. Soak it with bleach and apply directly to the affected spot. Put a heavy object over the towel and give the solution 5-10 minutes to work. Rinse with cool water. Make sure not the bleach doesn’t stand on the surface for too long because it can etch the sealant.
Oil absorption can also lead to stains. For this problem, you will need a solvent and an oil absorber.
Start by mixing acetone and baking soda until a thick paste is formed (aim for peanut butter consistency). Spread the paste over the spot. Make sure it is at least ¼ inch thick before covering it with plastic wrap. Hold the covering in place by taping around the edges.
Leave it like that for at least 24 hours.
Remove the covering and check if the paste is totally dry. Wipe it away with a wet rug. Repeat as needed. Reseal to protect the concrete surface.
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