PSA: This Common Ingredient Can Ruin Your Countertops

Read this before your next big clean.

<p>Dotdash Meredith / Janet Maples</p>

Dotdash Meredith / Janet Maples

Natural stone countertops such as quartz, granite, and marble elevate a kitchen or bathroom appearance. They’re beautiful and have the advantage of being super easy to clean. They’re also incredibly durable. With proper care, they can last decades. And while they’re difficult to stain, it's definitely not impossible.

When they do need a cleaning, there’s something you should be aware of. One magical, natural cleaning ingredient many of us use on a variety of surfaces in our homes is actually one that should never be used on natural stone countertops or other natural stone surfaces—lemon.

How Lemon Juice Can Damage Stone Countertops

Lemons are acid bombs. It’s the acid in their juice that makes them sour and allows the juice to brighten up a drink, a sauce, or a salad dressing. When used as a cleaning ingredient, lemon juice is antibacterial, works as a natural bleach, and leaves things smelling lemony fresh.

But that same acid can cause damage by eating through the sealant on the stone, if there is one, and then damage the stone itself. If there is no sealant, the damage can happen more quickly as the acidic liquid sinks into the porous stone, leaving stains. Any acidic product can do the same so vinegar and harsh bathtub cleaners should be avoided, too, according to The Stone Collection, a large stone countertop retailer.

Tyrel Stendahl/Dotdash Meredith
Tyrel Stendahl/Dotdash Meredith

Avoid placing acidic foods on countertops, too, even when not using them as a cleaning ingredient. A little splash of lemon juice or a high-acid wine, when wiped up immediately, shouldn’t do any harm, but it’s good to avoid placing cut lemons or limes directly on the counter.

There are products on the market specifically formulated for cleaning natural stone surfaces, and they are your best bet to ensure you don’t damage your beautiful surfaces. Other cleaning products you may have under the sink that work excellently for other jobs—such as Dawn Powerwash which is a wonder at cutting through grease—may contain acidic ingredients that you’re unaware of.

When it comes to cleaning natural stone, it’s also a good idea to skip the DIY cleaning mixtures in case they contain an acidic ingredient you might have missed. Instead, purchase a product specifically made for natural stone to clean and protect the beauty of your countertops.

Read the original article on All Recipes.