Slate Countertops: Care and Maintenance

Slate countertops can provide you with a beautiful surface in your kitchen. This look is highly desired in many high-end homes as many love the look that it provides. If you want to keep this beautiful look, you need to make sure that you give the slate proper maintenance. Here are a few things to keep in mind when maintaining your slate countertops.

Avoid Acid

Throughout the process of caring for your slate countertops, you need to make sure that you do not use anything that has acid in it on the countertops. For example, there are several household cleaners that have small amounts of acid in them. There are also many foods that are acidic as well. Acid can etch slate in certain cases, and it will be impossible to repair with permanent discoloration. You should also avoid cleaning your countertop with vinegar as this can also etch, too.

Use Caution

Slate is one of the most brittle types of natural stone that you can purchase. Because of this, you need to be very careful when you are working around it. While countertops of this material can withstand a lot of general wear and tear, they can be damaged if you drop something heavy on it, even a cast iron skillet on it. When you crack the slate countertop, there is really no way to repair it unless you can replace it.


When it comes to regular cleaning, you will want to remove the dust that accumulates on top of the slate as often as possible, once a week or more frequently. Dust with a microfiber cloth that doesn't have any abrasive fibers in it that could scratch the slate. 


If you need to use a cleaner on the slate surface, you need to make sure that the formula has a neutral pH. There are several types of commercial cleaning products that you can buy for this application. If you visit a stone or tile store, they should have a cleaner that is specifically designed for slate and other natural stones. This type of cleaner is ideal, but you could also simply clean it with hot water instead. 


To ensure that it lasts many years, you must periodically seal your slate countertop. This is a porous stone, so you need a penetrating sealer to make sure that nothing gets in. If you spill water on the surface and it does not bead up immediately, you need to apply more sealer.