How to Clean Stone Backsplash


A stone backsplash can be a beautiful addition to any kitchen, providing an elegant and durable surface that is easy to clean. However, over time, grease, food splatters, fingerprints, and water spots can build up and dull the shine of your backsplash. Knowing how to properly care for your stone backsplash will help keep it looking as good as new. In this comprehensive guide, we provide tips and recommendations for effective stone backsplash cleaning and maintenance.

Supplies Needed

Cleaning a stone backsplash doesn’t require any special products. Some basic supplies are all you need:

  • Mild dish soap or stone cleaner
  • Soft sponge or cloth
  • Clean bucket or spray bottle
  • Squeegee (optional)
  • Microfiber or terrycloth towels
  • Gentle scrub brush or pad

Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach, acidic cleaners, or abrasive pads as these can etch or dull the surface of the stone.

Routine Cleaning

For routine backsplash cleaning:

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of mild dish soap or stone cleaner. Alternatively, you can fill a spray bottle with the cleaning solution.
  2. Dip a soft sponge or cloth into the water and wring out excess liquid.
  3. Gently wipe down the entire backsplash surface using circular motions. Apply more cleaning solution as needed.
  4. Rinse the sponge frequently as you clean. Wipe away any soap residue with a clean damp cloth.
  5. Use a squeegee to remove excess water. This helps prevent spotting and drying streaks.
  6. Let the backsplash air dry or buff dry with a microfiber towel.

For best results, make stone backsplash cleaning part of your regular kitchen cleaning routine. Quick daily or weekly wipe downs prevent buildup and keep the stone looking its best.

Removing Stubborn Stains and Grime

Over time, oil splatters, food debris, hard water stains, soap scum, and mineral deposits can build up on stone. For heavy-duty cleaning:

  1. Make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply the paste to stained or dirty areas using a soft bristle brush or cleaning pad.
  2. Let the paste sit for 5-10 minutes. This gives the baking soda time to break down grime.
  3. Scrub gently in a circular motion. Take care not to press too hard or use an abrasive pad as this can damage the stone surface.
  4. Rinse the backsplash thoroughly with clean water to remove all paste residue.
  5. For extra stubborn stains, repeat the process using undiluted white vinegar instead of baking soda paste.
  6. Buff dry with a microfiber cloth.

Baking soda and vinegar effectively tackle soap scum, grease, hard water deposits, and other grime on natural stone surfaces like granite, marble, travertine, and slate backsplashes.

Sanitizing and Disinfecting

To sanitize and disinfect a stone backsplash:

  1. Make a cleaning solution of 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of warm water. Alternatively, you can use an antimicrobial stone cleaner.
  2. Apply the sanitizing solution to the backsplash using a sponge or spray bottle.
  3. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with clean water. This contact time allows the bleach to kill germs.
  4. Always test sanitizing cleaners on a small inconspicuous area first to ensure they don’t discolor the stone.

Regular disinfecting of high-touch areas helps keep kitchen surfaces hygienic.

Preventing Damage

There are a few simple habits that can prevent damage and help maintain your stone backsplash:

  • Wipe up spills quickly to prevent staining.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.
  • Use cutting boards and trivets to protect the surface from knives, pots, and heat.
  • Seal the stone every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer to guard against stains.
  • Check for signs of damage like etching or pits and reseal these areas.

FAQs about Cleaning Stone Backsplashes

How often should I clean my stone backsplash?

Aim to clean a stone backsplash 1-2 times per week for routine maintenance. Daily wiping removes surface dust and debris before it builds up. Clean more frequently around cooking zones.

What’s the best way to clean tougher oil stains?

For oil splatters or greasy residues, spray with a degreasing cleaner and let sit for 5 minutes. Use a gentle scrub brush and rinse thoroughly. Repeat if needed. Avoid abrasive scouring powders.

Is it safe to use bleach on my backsplash?

Yes, diluted bleach is generally safe for occasional use on natural stone surfaces. Always test first and rinse thoroughly after disinfecting. Limit bleach cleaning to once a month.

How do I get rid of hard water stains?

Hard water deposits can be tricky to remove. Make a poultice with baking soda and water and apply to stains. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 24 hours before scrubbing and rinsing.

What’s the best way to polish and shine the stone?

Use a stone-safe polishing compound designed for your specific stone. Apply with a soft cloth and buff in circular motions. Avoid wax-based polishes. This refreshes the natural luster.


Regular light cleaning is the key to maintaining the beauty of a stone backsplash. With the proper supplies and techniques, it’s easy to keep your stone clean, sanitized, and looking like new. Take care when handling harsh cleaners and scrubbing to avoid damaging porous natural stone. Follow these tips and your lovely backsplash will stay sparkling for many years.