DFW GRANITE'S Granite Countertop [Natural Stone] Care
No matter how careful you are, spills are going to happen. A quick response and the right solutions can keep spills from damaging your stone or the sealer. We recommend you only use the cleaning products recommended in this care guide.
Etch Marks - Substances that are highly acidic, such as orange juice, coffee, vinegar, wine, tomato products, mustard and many soft drinks, will "etch" most marble, limestone and travertine - whether the stone is sealed or unsealed. Although sealing allows you time to wipe up a spill, it cannot stop the chemical reaction that may leave a dull area or etch mark in the stone.
In addition, cleaners not specifically designed for natural stone are not recommended. These may etch away the polish, discolor the surface, scratch the stone or degrade the sealer. That's why selecting the correct cleaning products is so important to the lifetime beauty of your natural stone.
Professional refinishing is the best way to permanently remove etch marks and restore your natural stone's even finish.
Food Spills - Scoop up the food with a plastic spoon. Blot with dry, white cloth. Spray the area with Revitalizer. Wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Liquid Spills - Blot away the excess with a clean, dry white cloth; turning the cloth frequently. Spray the area with Revitalizer. Wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Mud - Let the mud stain dry completely. Remove dried mud with a soft plastic or nylon brush. Spray affected area with Revitalizer. Wipe dry with a clean cloth. If the stain remains, contact a professional cleaner.
Oily Stains - If you identify the stain as having an oil base (from foods like salad and cooking oils, butter, or some cosmetics) you may be able to remove the stain using a poultice. We recommend StoneTech
Professional Extract Oil Stain Removal Paste. This easy-to-use poultice is designed to slowly remove oily stains from natural stone surfaces. Follow the directions on the label.
DOS AND DONT'S
- Do use coasters under glasses, especially if they contain alcohol or citrus juices.
- Do use trivets or mats under hot dishes or cookware.
- Do use place mats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that may scratch your stone's surface.
- Do place a small rug or mat at entryways to trap dirt and sand from normal foot traffic.
- Do dust countertops, islands, vanities and floors frequently.
- Do blot up spills immediately to minimize permanent damage to the stone.
- Do clean surfaces by wiping with clean water or spraying with StoneTech Professional Revitalizer cleaner, then wiping dry with a clean cloth.
- Don't use vinegar, bleach, ammonia or other general-purpose cleaners.
- Don't use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub and tile cleaners.
- Don't use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
- Don't use alkaline cleaners, not specifically formulated for natural stone.
Overall, just use common sense. Keep in mind Sealers give you extra time to get a spill cleaned up and less time for the spill to possibly stain the granite, marble, quartz or natural type stone. This is not meant to scare you into thinking that granite would be hard to maintain, in fact, it's quite the opposite. Use this care guide as an example to follow. The best advise to keep in mind is against using any harsh or abrasive cleaners for clean up because it will break down your sealer over a period of time alot faster than if you had not used. We advise our customers to just use a soft cloth and water it's that simple to clean.
Bad Advice You May Have Heard
Unfortunately, if you search around the web you'll find lots of conflicting and plain wrong information about the characteristics of countertop surfaces and the correct procedures for granite counter top care.
I've seen Windex recommended for cleaning granite. True, it will clean it and your countertop will look nice and shiny. But as noted above, when used consistently over time, Windex and all other generic cleaners may damage the surface or granite sealer. You won't see it right away.
And don't forget when cleaning your mirrors in the bathrooms to spray the glass cleaner away from the countertop and onto the paper towel or cloth FIRST then wipe the mirror. Don't spray it onto the mirror because guess were the over spray goes?
Dishsoap is also commonly recommended for stone and granite counter top care as a daily cleaner because it will not damage your stone or sealant if it's a mild, plain soap like Ivory.
However, soap scum will build up over time, dulling the surface and requiring a thorough cleaning with special products to restore the original luster.
So, while using a soapy sponge or cloth for quick clean-up while you're cooking, etc. is certainly fine, cleaning your countertops with soap is not the best or easiest method for granite counter top care.
The one all-purpose cleaning product that doesn't have damaging chemicals AND has a relatively neutral pH is Simple Green. They're even coming out with a product specially for granite counter top care (cleaning not sealing).
I would recommend this as a general cleaner over soap, but ONLY on granite, quartz or solid-surface (not on marble, travertine or limestone) and it isn't needed more than once a day. If using Simple Green, regular cleaning with a specially formulated stone cleaner/sealer should also be performed on weekly basis.
Daily: Truthfully, hot water and a sponge is sufficient to wipe up spills and debris and keep your countertops clean and tidy throughout the day. At the end of the day, a quick spray and wipe of the most heavily used areas with a stone cleaner will adequately clean, disinfect and protect your countertops.
Weekly: Use the stone cleaner over the entire surface.
Quarterly: Polishes, revitalizers and color-ehancers can also be used periodically for the ultimate in natural stone and granite counter top maintenance.
Yearly: Annual re-sealing is a good idea although the frequency for proper granite counter top care really depends on the type of stone (porous or dense) and the quality of the sealant. It's a very easy job and unless you have a stone that really shouldn't be sealed (i.e. some black granites), then re-sealing every year will only ensure that your countertops are well protected against staining. It's a must for marble, travertine and limestone.
For a company who sells granite and other natural stone cleaners see http://www.stonecare.com/ or for more tips on granite counter top care http://www.countertopcare.com/