Care & Maintenance of Your Concrete Countertops

Taking care of your concrete countertops does not take a lot of effort, but does require you to understand the kind of things that could cause problems.

Concrete naturally is a porous material — when substances enter these pores and become trapped, your concrete becomes stained.

To defend against this porosity, we apply a sealer to our countertops.

How Your Sealer Works & Best Care Practices

A good sealer will prevent staining agents from penetrating into the pores of the concrete, neutralize or resist acids, and provide a nice, even finish on your concrete countertop.

Sealers for concrete countertops have come a long way in the last 10 years or so, but they still haven’t discovered the perfect sealer. We are continuously testing new sealers, and will only use sealers with a high level of performance.

When we talk about caring for your countertops, we’re really talking about caring for your sealer.

Take Care With Strong Acids

You need to take extra care with any product or food item that contains a strong acid — these can heavily damage your sealer.

Vinegar and lemon juice are the two biggest offenders in a kitchen.

This is not to say that you can’t use them, but to be aware that leaving them without clean up may result in a white spot in your sealer.

If this occurs you can give us a call, and we will come out to apply a fresh coat of sealer.

Avoid Heat Damage and Damage From Cutting Implements

Always use cutting boards with your concrete countertop — Don’t cut directly on your countertop if you can avoid it!

If you cut up food products directly on your countertop, you will cut through the sealer, leaving a path for staining or etching agents to get to the bare concrete.

Also, use hot mats for hot pans as you can burn through the sealer.

Make sure to avoid using any chemical solvents on your countertop, such as acetone, (fingernail polish remover) as it will dissolve your sealer.

Preventing Water Damage

The sealer we currently use is water permeable, so given enough time water can penetrate the sealer.

If this occurs and you are left with a dark spot where water once sat, give it a few hours, and the water should evaporate out of the concrete.

Avoid trapping water or other staining agents by setting something on top of it and not allowing it to evaporate as this may cause your sealer to blister and delaminate.

You should also take care not to leave clay or terracotta pots on your countertop — This type of pottery holds moisture, and the moisture can permeate the sealer (along with minerals from the pot).

This can leave a permanent ring on your countertop.


Cleaning Your Countertops

The best thing to clean your countertops with is mild dish soap and water.

You can use ammonia-based cleaners, such as 409, but ensure that you wipe them until dry.

Avoid using any cleaners that contain acetic acid (vinegar) or citric acid — Any acid-based cleaner will slowly neutralize your sealer, causing it to be ineffective.

Also, avoid using “Environmentally Friendly” cleaners on your countertop, as we have found that most of these products are acid based.