Learn to Care for Your Granite Countertop

Stone is a material that is made of natural minerals that may react to chemicals that are not intended for stone care use. Stone is a common term that classifies: marble, granite, slate, limestone, terra cotta, and pavers. Understand that marble is made from calcium, just like your teeth and it needs to be cared for properly. Most mineral surfaces are porous and act like a sponged in the presence of moisture and fluids. Since most natural stones are by no means impervious to staining, a penetrating sealer should be applied for protection. However, even when sealed, some natural stones are still susceptible to staining. It is vital to maintain natural stone in accordance to stone care recommendations.

STEP 1 – Blot up spills immediately, before they penetrate the surface.
STEP 2 – Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap (available in hardware stores or from a stone dealer), or mild dishwashing liquid and warm water.
STEP 3 – Use a soft, clean cloth to clean the granite. Rinse after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft, clean cloth.
STEP 4 – Remove a stain on granite, basing the method on the type of stain. Mix a cup of flour, 1-2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid with water to make a thick paste. Put it on the stain, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit overnight.
STEP 5 – Scrape away the mixture with a wooden utensil and rinse.
STEP 6 – Try a mixture of 12 percent hydrogen peroxide mixed with a couple drops of ammonia for an organic stain (e.g. coffee, tea, fruit).
STEP 7 – 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.
STEP 8 – 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.
STEP 9 – Paste a mix of molding plaster and water over an oil-based or fat-based stain. Mold it into a bird’s-nest shape and allow to stand for 3 hours. Remove and rinse.
STEP 10 – Reseal the countertop every year or two years. Check with the installer for recommendations. Use a non-toxic sealer on food preparation areas.
STEP 11 – Consider using a new disinfectant cleaner made specifically for granite.
STEP 12 – Call your professional stone supplier, installer, or restoration specialist for problems that appear too difficult to treat.