With the proper care, your new granite or marble countertop will stay new-looking for years. Stone is one of the easiest surfaces to maintain. And granite, being a 7 on the Mohs Hardness scale of 1 to 10, is virtually un-scratchable.
Even though all new granite and marble tops are sealed upon installation, it is important that you immediately clean up spills so that they don’t penetrate the surface.
Your new surfaces can be cleaned with any neutral cleaning solution or mild dish washing liquid mixed with warm water. Rinse surface and dry with a clean, soft cloth. This will maintain the shine of a polished top. Do not use any products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on marble or limestone. Also, do not use any abrasive cleaners including dry cleansers, soft cleansers or scouring powders as these will mar the surface polish. Strong detergents or corrosive liquids can also dull the surface.
Stain removal is dependent upon the type of stain you have. Most stains can be removed by mixing a solution of 1 cup of ordinary four, 1-2 teaspoons of dish washing liquid and warm water into a thick paste. Cover the stain with the paste, cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight. In the morning, remove paste with a wooden utensil and rinse clean.
If the stain is oil based, such as milk, grease or oil, substitute hydrogen peroxide in place of dish washing liquid.
For organic stains such as coffee, tea or fruit, try mixing a solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide with a couple of drops of ammonia.
On dark granite, lacquer thinner or acetone will clean ink or marker. On lighter stones, hydrogen peroxide will clean these stains. These methods will also work on wine stains.
Stones should be resealed every 1 to 2 years as regular maintenance. However, when you have had to remove a stain, the area that was treated should be resealed immediately.
Scratches and stubborn stains should be taken care of by a professional to avoid permanent damage to your surface.
Coasters should be used under all glasses, especially those containing citrus juices or alcohol. Many common foods contain acids that can dull or etch your surface. Hot items should always have something underneath them to protect your surfaces.
Honed Granite and Marble Care
Granite is an extremely popular material to use for countertops, especially in kitchens. It is an extremely durable material that is very appealing to the eye as well. It has been around for centuries but it is only recently (the past few decades) that it has been popularly used in homes and buildings.
Although most of us are very familiar with polished granite surfaces, honed granite is becoming increasingly popular as well. Honed granite is simply granite that has a matte-like finish rather than a shiny polished finish.
Aside from the finish, there are very few differences between the polished granite surfaces that you might be used to and granite with a honed surface. They are equally durable although honed granite has the reputation of showing stains easier.
When it comes to making a decision about the finish of your granite countertop, it really will be a matter of personal preference. Some people will simply like a polished surface while others will prefer a honed granite surface.
One thing to note about honed granite is that it does tend to show stains and fingerprints much easier than a polished granite surface and there are differing opinions on how to deal with this. You can protect and clean your honed granite countertops with sealers and treatments and these are usually sufficient to do the job. Still, we recommend that you be quite diligent about cleaning up spills quickly, especially when oily substances have been spilled on the honed surface.
Choosing granite with a honed surface also affects the way that the color is reflected. Honed granite does not shine like polished granite. The same granite with honed reflects light in a slightly different way and so tends not to be quite so bright. You could say that the mood of honed granite is very different.
Care of your honed granite
Like other types of granite, honed granite is very durable and will last a long time in your kitchen. Previously, you would have been more likely to find a honed granite finish on marble floors than on kitchen countertops as honing reduces the slipperiness of marble. Recently, we are seeing more and more countertops decorated with this finish.
Once your honed granite countertop has been fitted and installed, be consistent about maintaining its look. Find a way to give it a thorough clean every so often so as to preserve its look. Also use a sealer to protect it and to ward off stains. People offer varying solutions to deal with the seemingly inevitable stains that honed granite suffers from, the simplest being to use Dawn dish washing liquid with a soft sponge and plenty of elbow grease.