Granite is one of the easiest surfaces to maintain. By following these suggestions for use, your countertops will last a lifetime while maintaining a brand new appearance.
Choosing Your Countertop & Backsplash Materials
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1. Your granite work surfaces were most likely sealed after installation by your installer. This helps prevent the absorption of any compound that can stain your tops but is not foolproof.
2. Resealing depends greatly on the type of stone you have and how much use your work surface gets. Sealant may need to be reapplied anywhere from 1 - 4 years, or never.
3. To test if the sealer is working, place a few drops of water on your work surface. If the water soaks in quickly, then it is time to reseal. If it beads up, it is protected.
4. You can purchase sealer at a home improvement store or higher a professional to do it for you. It may not be necessary to reseal your entire countertop. Concentrate only on your trouble areas when needed.
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Scratches, Chips, Repairs
1. Rated a 7 on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness of 1-10, granite, made primarily of quartz and feldspar, is virtually un-scratchable.
2. It can be scratched by quartz or anything harder.
3. Removing diamond jewelry is recommended. Diamonds will scratch granite.
4. Certain stoneware dishes contain rough silica sand and pose a risk of scratching. This includes some pizza stones when spun around while cutting the pizza.
5. Use trivets or mats under dishes that could scratch the surface.
6. If you use a marble cutting board, make sure the rubber or plastic feet remain secure.
7. Chips in granite are not a common occurrence. When they do occur, they are most often caused by banging something into the edge of the countertop.
8. If a chip does occur and you can find the piece that chipped out, save it.
9. Granite is very restorable. Most of the time, chips can be epoxied back into place.
10. Small chips can be filled with household Super Glue by applying the glue and shaving off the dried product with a razor blade.
Daily Care and Use
1. Clean your countertop daily with a soft cloth and a neutral, non-abrasive cleanser for best results. Mild dish soap and water work best.
2. Using household cleaners such as, Windex, Lysol Disinfectant and 409, can be used but may leave a film. Using these products on occasion, is fine. Keep in mind, the harsher the product, the quicker it will break down your sealer. Your safest bet? Warm water and a sponge!
3. A solution of vinegar and water works great to remove streaking, smudges, and body oil.
4. Avoid products that contain lemon, vinegar, or other acids on marble, limestone, or Black Absolute granite. They are susceptible to acid etching.
5. An occasional application of furniture polish can keep fingerprints off dark colored granite and will give the countertops a nice feel.
6. High and low temperatures will not harm your granite in any way. You can take a pan off the stove or a dish out of the oven and set it right on your countertop without damage.
7. If you have a seam in your countertop, it is best to avoid setting hot materials on this area. The epoxy in the seam can melt if exposed to heat for an extended period.
8. Cutting foods directly on your countertops will not harm your granite but is not recommended. Your knives will dull very quickly.
Stains, Lime Build Up, Stuck on food
1. No sealer is perfect. The best way to avoid a stain is to wipe up any spills immediately.
2. While stains are rare, they are caused most frequently by cooking.
3. Do not store bottles of cooking oil directly on your granite. Do not store rusty pots, pans, or cans on your countertops as the rust can stain the granite.
4. Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices.
5. If your granite darkens when it is wet, do not be alarmed. It will return to its original color when the water evaporates. This is an indication that resealing is necessary.
6. If lime builds up occurs around your faucet, do not use Lime products. Gently scraping the lime off with a straight razor is the best solution.
7. Use the flat side of a straight razor blade for removing stuck on tape, residue, dried paint, glue, dried food, etc.
8. If a stain occurs, follow these steps for removal: Mix a paste made of diatemacious earth (pool filter powder found at any pool supply or Big Box store) and ten percent Hydrogen Peroxide (found at beauty salons and is stronger than that sold at a drug store). Form the mixture into a pancake and cover the stain completely. Use clear plastic wrap to cover the pancake and tape around the edges. Leave overnight. The mixture will act like a poultice to pull the stain from your granite countertop. If only some of the stain has been removed, repeat as necessary. For more stubborn stains, follow the same steps above using diatemacious earth and acetone (nail polish remover).