Testing Stone For Kitchen Countertop Usability -The Lemon Juice and Oil Test
The lemon juice test is a simple but effective way to test a stone for porosity and acid sensitivity. For example, you may be considering a certain granite for your kitchen counters. The kitchen is not where you want to have a porous and acid sensitive surface!
This test will help you determine before you buy if your stone choice is going to work well for the environment it is in. Take a piece of the scrap "granite" you wish to test and spill a few drops of lemon juice onto it. If you see that under the drops of lemon it develops very quickly dark spots, it means that it's a very absorbent stone and I would advise you (and anybody else, for that matter) against it. If it takes, say, a minute or so to be absorbed, then you're dealing with a degree of absorbency that's easily manageable with the application of a good-quality impregnator-type sealer. If it doesn't absorb at all, then you have a winner right there!
Why lemon juice and not simply water?
Because lemon juice is highly acidic, and, if for any chance, the "granite" you're considering is a mixed stone (with some calcite in it), it would etch. That is, it would have a permanent dull spot where the lemon was sitting, after you clean it up. If that's the case, you do NOT want that stone in your kitchen.
This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Stone and Tile PRO Partners.