Five Common Bathroom Hazards for Your Countertops

Your bathroom, along with your kitchen, is one of the most lived-in rooms in your home. It’s the place where a lot of activity happens—from cleaning, to showering, to getting ready for the day—and all that activity takes a certain amount of supplies.

Bathroom countertops are made of pretty hardy materials, but there are a few substances that they’re vulnerable to. In order to make sure that your bathroom countertop lasts as a mainstay in your home for years to come, here’s a list of five common bathroom hazards that you should avoid coming into contact with your countertop.

1. Harsh Chemicals

Everyone knows that bathrooms are places that require deep cleaning. But before you load up your shopping cart with products, it’s important to be mindful. Natural stones are sensitive to harsh chemicals, so we recommend having a good idea of what is safe and what’s not to scrub down your countertop with.

Here’s a list of what you should NOT use on your natural stone countertops:

Windex

This contains ingredients that can permanently damage stone—the most common damage being that the shine is dulled. It can also strip the sealant, making your granite vulnerable to more damage. Windex Multi-Surface Vinegar should also be avoided because vinegar is another substance that can dull your countertop.

Bleach

Bleach is yet another chemical that’s extremely hard on sealers, and it can also lead to staining.

Lysol Lemon All-Purpose Cleaner

This type of cleaner contains ammonia and lemon, which are two acidic compounds that are known to be harmful to natural stone, break down its sealant, and cause scratching. Any cleaning products that use citrus compounds should not be used with natural stone.

2. Hairspray

The excessive use of hairspray in the bathroom can leave natural stone countertops—especially marble—dry, dull, and rough to the touch. This is because the acids within hairspray cause corroding and etching in a countertop, and that etching eats away at the marble and destroys the polish. It can sometimes even cause discoloration spots.

3. Anything Acidic

There are plenty of household items that are acidic—some of which you might not even realize. These acidic materials can etch the surface of your countertops and damage the seal, which then causes them to stain more easily.

Common acidic household items include the following:

  • Vinegar
  • Citrus
  • Perfume
  • Lotions
  • Nail Polish
  • Soaps

It’s a good idea to keep materials like these in a cabinet or basket with a secure base so they won’t leak onto your countertop in case of a spill. Don’t panic — none of these items will immediately damage your countertops. They will only cause damage if spills are left to sit for a while.

4. Heating Products

Many countertops can handle up to a certain degree of heat, but—like many things—they have their limits. You should not make it a practice to set down powered-on heating products directly onto your countertop.

A curling iron can heat up to 410 degrees Fahrenheit, which might not cause damage the first couple times that you set it down on your countertop. That luck won’t last for long, though, as it will result in discoloration of the countertop if you do it consistently.

5. Makeup

Makeup is an extremely common item that’s found in bathrooms, but all types can be a danger for countertops. To follow are certain types of makeup and the damage they can cause:

Powdered Makeup Residue

Most makeups are greasy—even face powders—and they can stain your countertops if they aren’t cleaned up immediately. They stain by being pushed or smudged into the pores of the natural stone. You can remove this stain by wiping it with acetone using a dry cloth, then applying a mixture of baking soda and acetone for twenty-four hours before rinsing with water.

Cream Makeup

The cream itself in this makeup won’t stain the surface of your countertop, but it’s possible that the pigments might. If your countertop’s sealant is strong, you’ll be able to wipe the makeup right off. If it results in a stain, you can follow the procedure listed above.

Lipstick

Lipstick stains can also be removed with the above method. Never try to scrub lipstick out using pressure because that will make the stain worse.

Protect Your Bathroom Countertop

Bathrooms are rooms that are meant to be lived in—but it’s still important to know the right precautions to take when living in the vicinity of a natural stone countertop. Our goal at Marble Granite World is for you to enjoy your countertop and enjoy your life at the same time so you can get the best experience all around.