Care For Granite Countertops
Stone surfaces are some of the easiest to maintain and with proper care, your granite countertop will stay looking new for many years.
A Few Things to Remember:
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.
Granite is most prone to staining by oil and acid.
Removing diamond rings before cooking is recommended.
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.
Using regular cleaning chemicals on your countertop will strip the seal and leave the porous surface of the granite exposed.
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 granite countertops 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.