Granite Care and Maintenance

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Granite Care and Maintenance For Your KC Home

 

A Few Things to Remember:

  1. If a spill should occur, clean up before the stain has a chance to penetrate the surface. Granite is somewhat absorbent, and can absorb stains if spills are left any length of time.
  2. Granite is most prone to staining by oil and acid.
  3. Removing diamond rings before cooking is recommended.
  4. Generally, you can clean your granite countertop with a neutral cleaner and a soft clean cloth. Consider using a disinfectant cleaner made specifically for granite. With the growing popularity of granite countertops, these should be easy to find.
  5. Using regular cleaning chemicals on your countertop will strip the seal and leave the porous surface of the granite exposed.
  6. Don’t be afraid to call your stone dealer for suggestions on maintenance, care, and cleaning.

 

If stains and scratches do occur, there are many things you can do on your own to remove them. Here are a couple of examples.

 

Oil-based Stains (e.g. grease, oil, milk) 

Mix a cup of flour, 1-2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide with water to make a thick paste. Smear the paste on the stain, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it over night. Scrape away the mixture with a wooden utensil and rinse. You can also remove oil-based stains with acetone, mineral spirits, or bleach or ammonia diluted in water. (NEVER mix ammonia and bleach together!).

 

Organic Stains (e.g. coffee, tea, fruit)

Food stains like coffee, tea, or fruit juices can usually be removed with hydrogen peroxide, combined with a few drops of ammonia. 
Rinse after washing with the solution and dry with a soft, clean cloth. 

 

Non-Oil Stains (e.g. ink, markets, wine)

Use a lacquer thinner or acetone to remove ink or marker stains from darker stone. On light-colored granite, use hydrogen peroxide to these stains. This also works for wine stains. Or, mix molding plaster and pure bleach into a paste and spread over a wine, ink or other non-oil stain. Leave on for 30 minutes, then remove and rinse.

 

Most people make the mistake of never re-sealing their granite countertops. This needs to be done every year or so in order to ensure a non-porous surface, which will protect the naturally porous granite and help prevent stains and damage. The frequency of applications will depend on the sealer, and the type of stone you have and the extent of your granite countertop use.  

 

Don’t let the fear of maintenance for natural stone scare you into avoiding it. There is no substitute for natural stone when it comes to beauty, practicality, and value.  

 

 

Sealing Your Granite Countertops  

Granite is a beautiful and popular choice for your countertops, but knowing how to protect it from damage is important for maintaining its shine and durability. Granite can be rather pricey, so you should make sure to protect your investment. Like all stone, granite is porous. This makes it very susceptible to stains because they can sink into its surface. Also, some granite varieties have small cracks due to natural stresses on the stone during formation.   
Without being sealed, granite’s porous surface will easily stain and become dull. While resealing granite annually is ideal, it is recommended that you reseal it at least every three years. Sealers act as a guard that prevents liquids and other harmful products from seeping into granite’s surface in the first place. Sealing and resealing your granite countertops is not hard to do, and is well worth the work.   

It is important to reseal granite before its sealing has expired, but if needed, there is a simple way to check if it needs new sealer. You can take a few drops of water and drip them onto the countertop. If they absorb into the surface, you need to reseal it. If the water beads up, then your sealer is working.
When resealing granite, make sure the countertop surface is clean. You can use soapy water or nonabrasive cleaners to ensure its cleanliness. You should make sure to get rid of all dust as well. There are many sealants on the market, so check with your installer for recommendations.   

Although sealing your granite countertop is necessary and can protect it from many harmful products, it will not protect it from everything. Liquids should still be cleaned up promptly, especially oil products. In the case of stubborn stains, it is recommended that you call a professional to help remove it. As always with home repairs, if you have any doubts or questions about sealing and/or resealing your granite countertops, contact your installer for help.

For additional information about granite countertops contact Express Countertops. Call or use the estimate button above to request your free estimate!