Limescale and Stone Worktops- What You Need to Know

cleaning kitchen worktops

The kitchen has traditionally been a place of function. A standard layout of storage, prep space, cooking equipment and sink would be commonly found in most homes until the introduction of the Frankfurt Kitchen in the late 1920s. It was a very basic fitted kitchen, designed for efficiency and space that would be the forerunner of modern kitchen designs and the concept would be implemented throughout the world.

In the post-war years, the kitchen became integrated with the rest of the home as the ‘open concept’ was introduced, which made people want a more aesthetically pleasing area than before. The kitchen island first came to prominence around this time as a focal point and a natural division between living areas and the functioning kitchen. Due to wartime rationing, it was likely to have been covered with worktops made from tiles, wood or linoleum. Many of us can remember our grandparent’s kitchens from our childhood.

Time moves on and everything evolves including the kitchen, with advancements in materials, appliances and a whole industry based around innovative, personal and eye-catching design, the kitchen has become a showpiece in the home – and nothing says style like Bellagio Marble Ideas’ breathtaking worktops of granite, marble or quartz.

Keeping Your Kitchen Looking New

As you can tell from the title of this article, it is not about the history of the kitchen but more so the future. Well, the future of your kitchen and the maintenance and upkeep that helps it live a long and beautiful life. Water is regularly used in cleaning all areas, including kitchen worktops but this comes with a gradual problem – the build-up of limescale. Limescale is a chalky, hard residue primarily made up of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) that is separated from hard water minerals when water is heated. So, how can we remove limescale from granite, marble and quartz kitchen worktops?

How to Remove Limescale From Marble

The interesting thing about marble is it is a calcareous stone which means its primary composition is calcium carbonate, just like limescale. For this reason, it is vital you never use acidic substances when removing limescale from marble as it will likely damage the marble surface. A safe removal approach would simply involve water.

Soak a Cloth

Soak a soft cloth or sponge with distilled water. If the limescale appears stubborn you can add a pH-neutral soap to your water.

Application

Lay the damp cloth over the limescale and leave it overnight. This should soften the limescale and make it easier to remove.

Scrub Gently

Once the limescale has softened, gently scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush, like a toothbrush, carefully avoiding scratching the marble from too vigorous scrubbing.

Rinse and Dry

Rinse the area thoroughly with distilled water to remove any soap residue before drying with a soft cloth.

Resealing

It is advisable to reseal the area after limescale removal to protect it from future liquid deposits and staining. Always use a sealer specifically designed for marble.

cleaning quartz worktop

How to Remove Limescale From Granite

Granite is a durable material but, being a natural stone is also porous and must be sealed to protect it from liquid penetration. Due to this sealing, it’s essential to be gentle when removing limescale from granite to prevent scratching or etching to the surface and removing the seal completely. See our blog on caring for granite worktops for further details.

Prepare a Mild Solution

You can use acetone on granite but for a home remedy, mix distilled white vinegar and water in equal parts as the acid in the vinegar will help dissolve the limescale and the water reduces its potency preventing damage to the granite.

Test on an Inconspicuous Area

It is advisable to test your solution on a small, hidden area of the granite worktop to ensure it doesn’t damage or cause discolouration.

Apply the Solution

Using a spray bottle, apply the solution directly to the affected area of limescale on the granite and allow it to sit for a few minutes as the vinegar softens the build-up.

Scrub gently

Scrub the affected area in a circular motion with a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid using any abrasive pads or brushes as these can scratch the surface of the granite.

Rinse Thoroughly

Rinse the area with clean water to ensure the removal of all vinegar residue as prolonged contact with the acidic substance could damage the sealer and the granite.

Reseal if Necessary

If you notice water no longer beads up on the surface of your granite after cleaning then you will need to reseal your worktops with a suitable water or solvent-based stone sealer.

How to Remove Limescale From Quartz

Quartz is a manmade stone engineered by combining natural quartz crystals with resins and pigments. They are known for their durability but still require proper care and consideration when it comes to their maintenance. Much like all surfaces, it’s essential to avoid abrasive materials and follow the correct procedure when removing limescale from quartz. See our blog on caring for your quartz worktops for more details.

Warm Soapy Water

Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water, dampen a soft cloth with the solution and gently wipe the deposit. This is often enough to remove light or recent limescale deposits.

pH-Neutral Limescale Removers

If the build-up of limescale is stubborn, try a commercial limescale remover, labelled safe for quartz. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test on an inconspicuous area first. If you need to scrub the area then be gentle, using a soft cloth in a circular motion.

Rinse and Dry

Once the limescale has been removed from the quartz worktops, rinse the surface with fresh water to remove any residue of the cleaning solution, then dry thoroughly with a soft cloth to prevent water spots and streaks.

Avoid Acidic Cleaners

Never use acidic cleaners or home remedies like vinegar or lemon juice on quartz worktops as they can damage the resin binder and discolour the surface.

It is commonly said that prevention is the best cure and that couldn’t be a more apt saying than when referring to kitchen worktop maintenance and preventing a build-up of limescale on granite, marble and quartz. It is strongly advised to dry wet areas immediately, use softened water whenever possible and regularly reseal your worktops. Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you are using the correct solutions in the proper manner.

Your perfect kitchen worktops

At Bellagio Marble Ideas, we are passionate about beautiful worktops that bring your kitchen to life. With nearly 20 years of experience, our dedicated team are expert in helping our customers get their ideal kitchen and keep it that way. Visit our stunning showroom in Warwick to see our showcase of exquisite worktops and be inspired, or get in touch and let us help you truly discover your dream kitchen.  

FAQs- Limescale and Kitchen Worktops

What Causes Limescale Buildup on Worktops?

Limescale is a hard, chalky deposit primarily made of calcium carbonate which is a residue of hard water. Hard water is rich in minerals and as it heats calcium separates and over time accumulates resulting in a build-up of limescale. Spillages and splashes can cause the build-up around sinks if not wiped up quickly.

Will White Wine Vinegar Get Rid of Limescale?

White wine vinegar can remove limescale, but it must be equally mixed with water to protect your worktops and is not suitable for all materials, especially quartz and marble. There are various limescale remedies around the house including lemon juice, baking soda, citric acid, Coca-Cola and toothpaste. Always ensure the solution is suitable for your worktop material and test on a small inconspicuous area first.

Can Limescale Removal Damage my Worktops?

Yes. If the wrong method or solution is used for your material, it can damage your worktops. It is advised to avoid using abrasive scrubbers and cleaners and acidic products when possible. Use pH-Neutral cleaners and soft cloths and always check the manufacturer’s instructions or research further information on your precise worktop material.

How Can I Prevent Limescale From Forming on my Worktops?

Preventing limescale buildup is easier than removing it and the following solutions will help you to prevent any limescale to accumulate and have no need to removal.

  • A water softener is one of the most effective solutions, which replaces magnesium ions with sodium ions making the water soft.
  • A limescale inhibitor is a device you add to your water system which alters the structure of minerals in your water.
  • Prevention tablets are designed for appliances like dishwashers and can be added in a cycle to prevent any buildup.
  • A filter system under your sink can reduce the hardness of the water from your tap.
  • Regularly maintain all surfaces by rinsing them with clean water and drying them with a soft cloth to prevent any minerals from being left behind on the surface.

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