Granite is the most durable, long lasting, natural material suitable for kitchen countertops due to its hardness, heat and scratch resistances, and minimal absorption which will provide you with many years of use with very little aging in the appearance and feel of your countertops. Under normal use such as general cutting in food preparation, granite resists scratching better than any other surface. You may also place hot dishes directly out of the oven onto the countertops without the fear of damaging your granite countertops.
Natural stones have the characteristic of being porous which simply means it can be penetrated by water, oils, and chemicals; therefore granite should be sealed in order to minimize staining. Resealing your countertops is a quick and simple process and should be done annually. After the countertops are clean and dry, wipe the sealer on the surface with a cloth, allow the sealer to dry for at least 30 minutes, and you are done.
Care and maintenance of your natural stone countertops is very simple and will enhance and lengthen the life of your countertops. In addition to dusting, you should clean natural stone on a regular basis with warm water and a mild cleanser. Abrasive cleaners should not be used under any circumstances. Avoid using cleaners with ammonia, bleach, acids, or other all-purpose cleaners. Any cleaning solution made specifically for natural stone should be used. These cleansers are mild and do not contain harsh chemicals which can be damaging to natural stone over time.
The build-up of dust, dirt, and sand are abrasive to natural stone. Regularly dusting and/or mopping your natural stone areas will help prevent scratching from dirt. Placing mats at entryways will also help trap dirt and sand in high traffic areas.
It is important to clean all spills and avoid leaving unwrapped foods on granite surfaces. Using coasters under glasses, especially if they contain citrus juices or alcohol will also help with the prevention of staining. Use a paper towel to blot up spills as quickly as possible, and avoid wiping a spill since it will spread the spill. Use a soft cloth to dry the area completely. If a stain remains, it is important to determine the type of stain since different types of stains have various removal processes. The most common types of stains are organic (coffee, tea, food, cosmetics), biological (mold, fungus, mildew), metal (rust), ink (pens, magic markers), and oil (grease, cooking oil). Poultice powders can be used for the safe removal of specific stains. Poultice powders are designed to re-absorb a stain out of a stone that cannot be removed with a liquid cleaner. Follow the directions on the labels of the products you purchase for the correct usage of these cleaners. You can find these cleaning products at most home improvement stores.
Stain Removal for Natural Stones
Stain Removal can be a dicey and complicated situation when it comes to Natural Stones. It’s not as simple as just scrubbing it away with any ordinary household cleaner. Stains come in many variations: from the everyday kitchen spill to ink splatters from your children’s art projects. This article is intended to give you a few simple ways of removing some of the most common household stains.
The first step is to always BLOT the spill with a paper towel immediately, do not wipe. Wiping will only spread the stain even more. Once the excess liquid is removed, flush the area with water several times. If the stain persists, refer to the following mechanisms for stain removal.
Oil Based Stains: Grease, Tar, Cooking Oil, Cosmetics
- These stains can be cleaned using a paper towel and any of the following: ammonia, mineral spirits, acetone or a liquid cleanser containing bleach.
Metal Stains: Rust, Iron, Cooper
- This type of stain requires more complicated removal agents such as: sodium citrate and glycerene, oxalic acid, or ammonium oxalate.
Organic Stains: Coffee, Fruit, Tea, Tobacco, Paper
- A combination of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia will do the trick for this stain. Use 12% hydrogen peroxide (hair bleaching strength) and a few drops of ammonia; this combination will cause the liquids to bubble. Once the bubbling stops use a paper towel to blot up the liquid.
Ink Stains: Pen, Magic Marker, Liquid Ink
- Light Colored Stones: Use bleach or hydrogen peroxide
- Dark Colored Stones: Use lacquer thinner or acetone
Biological Stains: Mildew, Lichens, Fungi, Algae, Moss
- Dilute a ½ cup of either bleach OR ammonia OR hydrogen peroxide in a gallon of water. Pour mixture, a little at a time, over the stain and blot with a paper towel.
All previous methods should be repeated as necessary
We hope that we have provided you with an adequate reference guide to stain removal for your Natural Stone. However, different circumstances may arise and you may need a more detailed method of stain removal. When in doubt, always contact your Fabricator, they will be able to give you a more comprehensive plan of action.
Please feel free to contact us with any additional concerns you may have with the care of your natural stone countertops.