Maintaining and Cleaning Granite Surfaces
Your new countertops are one of your home’s biggest investments and can transform the whole look and feel of your kitchen. Keeping your countertops clean and looking beautiful for years to come is surprisingly easy. We’ve compiled a list of items for you to reference in order for you to learn the ins and outs of cleaning granite countertops.
Basic Stone Care DO’S and DON’TS
- DO use coasters under glasses, especially if they contain alcohol or citrus juices.
- DO use trivets or mats under hot dishes or cookware. Note: Although granite is very durable and will not be damaged by heat, we do not recommend placing hot items directly on the countertops. When the hot item is removed, that area will retain the heat and can pose a danger to someone accidentally touching the heated area.
- DO use place mats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that may scratch your stone’s surface. Note: granite surfaces are extremely durable, however, the finish of the granite (often a resin used to bring out natural polish and color) may show slight etching over time.
- DO dust countertops, islands and vanities frequently.
- DO blot up spills and food substances immediately to minimize permanent damage to the stone.
- DO clean surfaces regularly with neutral cleaners designed for stone.
- DON’T use vinegar, bleach, ammonia, other general purpose cleaners, bathroom 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 stone.
- DON’T use products containing citrus.
Cleaning Stone Surfaces
Clean granite surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap (available at hardware stores or from your stone dealer) or a mild liquid dish washing detergent and warm water. Use a clean rag or a soft cloth for best results. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on your stone countertops. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth. Change the rinse water frequently. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.
Spills and Stains
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 degrading the sealer.
Highly acidic substances such as orange juice, coffee, vinegar, wine, tomato products, mustard and many soft drinks will “etch” most marble, limestone and travertine. Sealing allows you time to wipe up a spill, but it cannot stop the chemical reaction that may leave a dull mark.
General 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. Professional refinishing is the best way to permanently remove etch marks and restore your natural stone’s even finish.
Scoop up the food with a plastic spoon. Blot with dry, white cloth. Spray the area with a neutral stone cleaner and wipe off excess with a clean cloth.
Blot away the excess with a clean, dry, white cloth while turning the cloth frequently. Spray the area with a neutral stone cleaner and wipe off excess with a clean cloth.
Let the mud stain dry completely. Remove dried mud with a soft plastic or nylon brush. Spray affected area with a neutral stone cleaner. Wipe dry with a clean cloth. If the stain remains, contact a professional cleaner.
If you identify the stain as having an oil base (from foods like salad dressings, ketchup, cooking oils, butter or some cosmetics) you may be able to remove the stain using a poultice. A poultice will wick up the stain from deep within the stone.
Natural Stone Care and Cleaning. (2012). In Marble Institute of America, Consumer Resouces. External Link http://www.marble-institute.com/consumers/care.cfm
Stone Care Essentials. (2012) In Dupont, Stone Care Essentials. External Link http://www2.dupont.com/Stone_Tech_Professional/en_US/Consumers/consumers.html