Care & Maintenance

Granite Countertops Care and Maintenance

Granite countertops are durable and easy to maintain. However, taking the right precautions can prevent damage to them.

Proper care and maintenance will ensure your granite countertops’ lasting beauty. With some minor daily, weekly and annual attention your granite will retain and maintain its shine.

Blot up spills immediately

Spilling anything other than water or mild soaps, especially acidic substances must be avoided on these countertops. Substances like wine, tomato sauce, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, coffee and soft drinks won’t necessarily etch the granite like they do with marble, but they can stain the surface if neglected. Moreover, cooking oils can also leave their stains, if not wiped up immediately.

Sponge or soft cloth for cleaning

For regular cleaning as well as blotting up spilled liquids, paper towels, sponge or soft cloth must be used. Damp rags can be used to remove sticky residue from the countertop. Use warm water and mild soap to clean the granite. However, excessive and repeated use of soap can cause the surface to become dull. Steel wool or other cleaning products should not be used to clean the surface.

Avoid harsh cleaning products

Many common household cleaners, such as bleach, kitchen degreasers and glass cleaners contain acids, alkalis and other chemicals. These harsh cleaners can degrade the sealer, thereby making the granite susceptible to staining. Bathroom, grout, tile or tub cleaners must be strictly avoided. Moreover, ammonia, vinegar, orange or lemon must also not be used as cleaners.

Avoid adding weight to countertop edges

It is important to avoid putting unnecessary weight on the edges of the countertops. Increased pressure and weight can lead to damage of the edges. Activities such as using the countertop to climb up and clean something or reach a shelf, grabbing on to the countertop for balance, etc. must be avoided. All this can cause the attractiveness of the granite to diminish.

Use cutting boards

Granite is scratch resistant, however, this does not imply that one can use the countertop in place of a cutting board. Cutting boards must be used and all possibilities of causing scratches must be avoided. Moreover, cutting on granite will not only dull the stone, but will also damage the knives’ edges.

Use hot pads or trivets

Granite countertops can withstand heat very well, unlike other surfaces. Granite is a hard stone and can take tons of abuse, without getting damaged. However, the granite surface comprises some soft, thin strips of granite. These thin strips lack enough surface area to absorb all the heat from the piping hot pots and pans, thereby resulting into chipping and scratching of the lustrous surface. Generally scratches are not formed so easily, however, it is advisable to use trivets or hot pads.

Granite countertops are elegant, unique, durable and enhance the beauty of the your kitchen and bathrooms. Using these tips in your daily routine will keep your granite countertop surfaces sparkling for years to come.

Do’s & Do Not’s

Do’s

  • Do clean surfaces with mild soap, mild detergent or stone soap.
  • Do thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing.
  • Do blot up spills immediately.
  • Do protect countertop surfaces with coasters, trivets or placemats.

Do Not’s

  • Do Not use ammonia, vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids on granite, marble, limestone, travertine or onyx surfaces The acid in high concentration etches the surface.
  • Do Not use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub & tile cleaners.
  • Do Not use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.

Care and Cleaning Tips

  1. Wipe up spills immediately. Spills have a tendency to soak into the surface, so to avoid deep staining wipe up spills immediately.
  2. Use mild soap and warm water. It’s safe to use a neutral cleaner such as stone soap or mild dishwashing liquid and warm water. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. After using the soap solution, the surface should be rinsed properly. Finish off by drying with a soft, clean cloth.
  3. Different methods for stain removal. If you do happen to stain the surface, removal depends on the type of stain. a. First, try removing it with this paste: mix together a cup of flour, 1-2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid, and water. Place the paste over the stain, cover in plastic wrap, and leave overnight. In the morning, use a wooden utensil to scrape away the paste and give it a rinse. This should work except for stains made from grease, oil, or milk. (this method is not for honed surfaces). b. For organic stains resulting from coffee, tea, or fruit, a mixture of 12% hydrogen peroxide and water should work wonders. c. Ink, marker and wine stains on darker stone require pure acetone for removal. Hydrogen peroxide works well on light-colored granite also. d. Another method to remove wine, ink, or any other non-oil stain is to mix molding plaster and pure bleach into a paste. Apply for 30 minutes, remove, and rinse. (this method is not for honed surfaces). e. For oil-based or fat-based stains, create a paste of molding plaster and water. Keep it on the stain for 3 hours and then remove and rinse. (this method is not for honed surfaces).
  4. Reseal annually (semi annually if heavily used). Of course, on surfaces that will be used for food preparation, use a non-toxic sealer.
  5. Disinfectant cleaners. New disinfectant cleaners on the market now come in formulas designed for granite countertops. Purchase this type of product if you prefer disinfectant cleaners to other cleaning options.
  6. Use coasters. Especially for alcoholic and citrus beverages, as the acid in these drinks can dull granite’s surface.
  7. Keep hot items off the surface. In the kitchen extremely hot pans should not be kept on granite surfaces since it quickly absorbs and distributes heat.
  8. Test cleaning methods. Always test these cleaning methods on small discreet area for color fastness or granite damage.

Marble Care and Maintenance

Normal routine maintenance for marble surfaces involves only periodic washing with clean, potable water and mildly alkaline cleaners. Soap-less cleaners are preferred because they minimize streaking and filming. However, mild, phosphate-free biodegradable liquid dish soaps, soap flakes or powders are acceptable if rinsing is thorough.

Begin by applying clean, hot water (not boiling) on the surface. Next, using the cleaning solution (following the manufacturers directions) wash in small, overlapping sweeps. Rinse thoroughly with clean, potable water to remove all traces of soap or cleaner solution. Change the water in the rinse pail frequently. Dry with a soft cloth or cotton-flannel, and allow to thoroughly air-dry before applying top-dressings. Chamois skin may be used in lieu of cotton cloth in this process.

Marble is a natural stone and should receive careful attention to prevent damage. It is common policy to use rubber-bottom coasters under all glasses. Placemats or color-fast felt bottoms should be used under anything placed on the polished surface to prevent scratching.

Many common foods and beverages contain acids which could etch or stain the surface. Spills of any type should be immediately wiped up and the area should be washed. Washing should be done with clean, soft cloths and lukewarm water and occasionally a mild detergent.

Food and Beverages that can etch or stain marble: Alcoholic beverages, fruit juices, vinegar, tomato products, mustard, carbonated beverages, ink, salad dressings, oil, tea, milk, coffee, butter, peanut butter, cosmetics, and any oil based caulks or adhesives.

Quartz Care and Maintenance

Hard water marks (glass and cup rings, etc)

Sprinkle a solution of hydrochloric acid over the surface of the worktop and leave it to work for 1 minute. Rinse with clean water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommended uses of hydrochloric acid solutions. Do not apply to other products (taps, sink, etc.) as the product could damage their finish.

Silicone stains

Use a blade and a small amount of solvent (which does not contain dichloromethane, dichloromethylene, dichloramine). Rinse with clean water.

Do not use Silestone for exteriors or in locations with UV lamps. Over time sunlight can affect the color and tone of Silestone.

Do not use water-repellents or sealants to polish the surface. At the time of installation Silestone has a natural sheen. Sealants and water-repellents create an artificial and temporary sheen.

Keep Silestone away from heat sources (deep fat fryers, etc.). Although it can withstand temperatures of up to 170º C, exposing the product to continuous contact with a heat source or placing hot saucepans, frying pans and deep fat fryers on its surface is not recommended. Use placemats / trivets underneath hot objects.

Do not use paint strippers or caustic soda.

Do not use chlorine-based products.

Stain resistant. High density quartz is stain resistant.

Do not use grease removers.