CLEANING OF GRANITE COUNTER TOPS
Granite is extremely durable and easy to maintain. It will look beautiful for many years to come, as long as some simple guidelines are followed. Caring for a granite counter top is easy and includes a little knowledge along with good judgment. "The demand for granite counter tops is far ahead of the knowledge as how to take care or maintain the granite counter top." Many people I have spoken to that have spent $5000 - $6000 dollars on new granite counter tops, only to find after that no one ever explained to them of how to take care of this major investment.
Please take time to read the information below and print a copy for reference and remember,
Never WINDEX !
ROUTINE CARE AND MAINTENANCE
The safest way to clean your granite countertops is to use a 50%-50% mix of rubbing alcohol and water. Or products designed specifically for stone. Cleaners and disinfectants of this type are neutral on the acid scale so they pose no risk of hurting the polish. Avoid anything that contains Ammonia like Windex or any cleaners that have grit or abrasives in them. If you want to avoid water streaking while cleaning, wipe with clean, soft cotton-terry cloth until totally dry. If lime build up occurs around your faucet, do not use lime removal products. Gently scraping the lime off, using a straight razor, is the best solution. And follow up with alcohol and water.
*Everyday cleaning can be done by using denatured alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and clean water mixed at a ratio of 50/50 in a spray bottle. Simple spray this mixture on the top and wipe dry with a soft 100% cotton terry cloth towel. (such as a small wash cloth or hand towel). This will take off any soap build up and eliminate streaking.
In general, the granite slab materials used in creating counter tops are polished to reveal a deep high gloss finish. This gloss finish is NOT something that is "applied" like a spray compound. It is buffed over and over again to reveal a shiny surface. So, most products will not remove this original shine. Granite that we installed 5-6 years ago still looks as good as it did when we first installed it.
The bad news is: The shine can be diminished due to improper care or harsh cleaning products.
The good news is: Granite can be buffed and polished again to make it look as nice as it did when it was first installed...even after years of extreme abuse. We also install outdoor kitchens which are exposed to many more elements than are inside your home.
High and low temperatures will generally not harm granite. You can take a pan off the stove or a dish out of the oven and set it on your counter top. While damage from this kind of treatment is extremely rare, it can occur. To provide the most security, pot mats or trivets should be used. If you have a seam in your counter top , it is best to avoid setting hot materials on top of it. The seam material is heat resistant but can damaged if exposed to heat for an extended period of time.
(Such as spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, or other dried food stains)
Most surface spots can be removed by first scraping the area with a single edged razor blade. Don't be afraid to use the razor blade, we use it during installation to get rid of glue remnants and adhesives. If necessary, you can use a dry steel wool (grade 0000), Always follow up with your 50/50 rubbing alcohol and water mixture.
SEALING OF COUNTER TOPS (FOR ALL GRANITE COUNTER TOPS)
Each countertop that Bay Area Stone & Tile, installs are sealed with a quality impregnating sealer, which leaves nothing on the surface to contaminate food. The natural characteristics, which make granite beautiful, also make it somewhat vulnerable to certain substances and treatments. Granite countertops must be sealed with a quality stone sealer.
While no traditional sealer is perfect, adequate protection from the effects of certain penetrating liquids can be achieved when following the manufacturer‘s recommendations. The best way to avoid a stain is to quickly wipe off the compound in question. There is nothing inherent in your stone that will cause stains. Stains are always from exterior causes and usually are organic, oil or rust related. Surface stains can often be removed by cleaning with an appropriate cleaning product. Look for color, shape and environmental factors that could be causing the staining. For stains which cannot be removed by normal cleaning processes, call a professional. While stains are rare, they are caused most frequently by cooking oil.
Do not use bottles of cooking oil directly on your granite. When cooking with oil, wipe clean any of the counter tops that came into contact with the oil when you are finished. Do not store metal pots and pans on your counter tops either, as rust can stain the granite. The sealer is not a waterproofing agent. If your granite darkens when it is wet, do not be alarmed. It will return to its original color when the water evaporates. Your granite counter tops are sealed with an impregnating sealer. It is recommended that the counter tops be resealed every year with a penetrating sealer. It is a simple process that one can apply themselves.