How to Maintain Onyx Countertops

Onyx is a translucent stone with broad bands of warm colors running through it. It functions well as an ornamental stone in areas with little use, especially when strategically lit or backlit. However, as it is a calcite stone, acids from kitchen materials such as tomatoes and strong cleaners etch the stone easily. Maintenance in areas with high use such as countertops is therefore somewhat more intensive than with other, harder stones.

Onyx countertops catch and reflect light.
  1. Seal the onyx countertop with an impenetrable food-safe countertop seal. According to Bob Vila, Miracle Sealant and Aqua Mix are two trusted companies with high quality seals. Follow the directions on the package and re-apply the seal when water no longer beads on the surface. This will help prevent acids from etching the surface.
  2. Use a cutting board while preparing foods. This will provide a layer of protection between the countertop and any foods that may etch and ruin the surface of the onyx.
  3. Blot any spills immediately from the surface of the countertop. Do not wipe the spill or the size of potential harm will widen. Leaving spills, will, again, cause harm to the onyx surface, especially if they are acidic in nature.
  4. Clean the countertops thoroughly with a safe cleaner and a soft cloth. Many cleaners are too acidic for onyx. Often "green" products offer a balanced pH for cleaning. Look for a "stone safe" marking on the cleaning product to be sure.

Things You Will Need

  • Food-safe countertop seal
  • Cutting board
  • Soft cloth
  • Mild stone-safe cleaning product

About the Author

Sarah Morse has been a writer since 2009, covering environmental topics, gardening and technology. She holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature, a master's degree in English and a master's degree in information science.

Photo Credits

  • Marble texture image by Viacheslav Anyakin from Fotolia.com