Stone and tile kitchen and bath countertops will last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Different surfaces require different cleaning approaches.  Here are a few tips for both everyday and heavy-duty cleaning of your stone or tile countertops.

Note: Always check labels on the cleaning product you are thinking of using and test an inconspicuous area first to see what effects, if any, your cleaning process will have.  Both stone and tile can be damaged by poor choices in cleaning products.


Immediately wipe up spills!  Some more porous stone products can stain if spills are not removed quickly.

Use pH balanced cleaners and soap for daily cleaning. Mild dishwashing liquid can work well on stone surfaces.  Avoid acidic cleaners that can etch or remove polished surfaces on marble, travertine and sandstone.

Wipe surfaces with a dry towel to remove streaks.

On honed (smooth but not polished) or slate (rough) finish stones, a good scrubbing is required more often.  The texture of the product holds dirt and food particles more securely to the surface.


Immediately wipe up spills. Tile grout can stain quickly.

Prior to deep cleaning tile grout, wipe the tiles and grout with a rag to remove any surface debris or moisture.

Spray grout cleaner or all-purpose cleaner with bleach on the grout. Allow the cleaner to sit for several minutes. Then scrub the grout with a grout brush or very stiff scrub brush.

For stubborn stains, apply a solution of ¼-cup bleach and 1 quart warm water. Allow the solution to sit for 10 minutes, and then scrub with a grout brush.  Be sure to open your windows for ventilation.

After the grout has been successfully cleaned, use a spray bottle full of warm water to rinse off any lingering traces of your cleaning solution. Dry with a washcloth or paper towel. Be as thorough as possible – remaining moisture can lead to mold and/or mildew.

Regular care can keep your countertops looking great for years.  With the right cleaners, regular cleaning can be easy and gentle on your kitchen and bathroom surfaces.