Care & Maintenance – Granite User
Granite floors are wonderful floors that are natural and look great. They can be tough and delicate all at the same time. They are a hard surface and that is a plus but a granite floor can scratch easy and it can also soak in stains. Granite floors need to be taken care of to keep them looking great and to keep them from getting scratched.
You need to keep sand and dirt off of a granite floor to prevent the granite from getting scratched. You should probable take your shoes off before you walk across the granite floor. Large mats or area rugs would be a good idea to have on granite floors in places where there might be a chance that dirt could be dragged in on the granite floor.
Use a dust mop frequently on a granite floor to keep the floor clean and free of dirt and sand particles. Make sure the mop you use is a soft mop. You can also vacuum a granite floor but only with a attachment to prevent scratching the granite floor.
When you need to wash a granite floor use a mild detergent and hot water. As you wash the granite floor make sure you get all the dirt so that it does not soak into the granite floor. Any remaining dirt that is left on a granite floor will soak into the granite.
When something spills on a granite floor wipe it up as soon as you can so it does not soak into the granite. Granite is porous and it will soak in stains especially oil. If oil does spill on the granite floor try to soak the oil up immediately with a soft absorbent cloth. If you can't get all the oil up by soaking it you can try to put some dishwashing liquid on the granite and then rinse it off with clear hot water until the soap is rinsed off of the granite.
A granite floor is a very nice floor when it is taken proper care of. A granite floor can last for years when it is kept clean. Always keep dirt and sand off of a granite floor and the granite floor will last a long time. When a spill does happen, on a granite floor, clean the spill up right away to minimize the damage to the granite floor. Never let your granite floor freeze since a freeze could crack the granite.
Daily granite countertop care is as easy as cleaning with a gentle cleanser like Oil Soap or mild dishwashing liquid. If needed you can use a synthetic scrubbing pad to clean your granite counter. With the proper maintenance, granite countertops stay new-looking for a long time. Here are easy steps to follow:
- Wipe up spills immediately
- Use mild soap and water
- Use soft cloth to dry
Unfortunately, a lived-in kitchen will eventually experience a stain or two even on your granite counter. How to remove the stain will depend on what caused the stain. Use the suggestions found on the following chart:
Resealing Granite Countertops:
Before you reseal your granite countertops, check with the manufacturer or installer to be sure it is necessary. Most granite counters do need to be re-sealed on an annual basis, but not all of them require this.
However, for those that do require sealing to retain the color and clarity of the granite counter top, it is necessary to reseal the counter every six months to two years. Check with your installer to find what they recommend. How much you use your kitchen will play a part in how often it needs to be re-sealed. When you do re-seal, be sure to choose a non-toxic sealer, since counters are used for food preparation.
Two Types of Sealers
Two types of sealers can be found on the market. A penetrating sealer penetrates into the stone. The second, a topical sealer, does not penetrate but instead coats the top of the counter's surface.
Penetrating sealers: Protecting the structure of natural stone, a penetrating sealer absorbs into the granite for three or four minutes. When almost dry, add a little more sealer to the counter and rub with a soft, dry rag. Apply to a section at a time. Wait two hours and apply a second coat. When shopping for your sealer, look for one that says it is an oil repellent impregnator, which will help stop oil from seeping into the stone.
Topical sealers: These sealers form a film designed to protect the countertop's surface. Usually made from some form of natural wax, acrylic, and other plastic compounds. Topical sealers come in two types: strippable and permanent. Strippable sealers are made to be stripped or removed from the stone countertop with little work. Most often, often permanent sealers are not recommended for granite. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations when deciding what type of sealer is right for your counters.
Water Spill Test:
Once you've sealed your counter, test it to be sure that it is adequately sealed. As a test, spill a little water on your countertop and leave it set. After 30 minutes, wipe it up. If the water leaves your counter darkened, the granite is not sufficiently sealed.
Warnings and Cautions for Countertop Maintenance:
Because granite is so durable, it's easy to think you can use anything on it. However, this is not true if you really want to keep your counters in good condition. Avoid products with ingredients that include lemon, vinegar or other acids. In fact, it's a good idea to use coasters to protect your counter under glasses containing acidic drinks like alcohol or citrus juices.
And as a final note on granite countertop maintenance, remember that even though you can use harsher chemicals to clean your counter, doing so may dull or even etch the counter's finish. Stick with milder solutions and retain that natural beauty you fell in love with in the first place. Once you've applied a topical sealer, your maintenance really shifts to maintenance of the sealer.
Care and Cleaning Instructions for Natural Stone products.
Marble, granite and other natural stone products are an investment which will last for years if maintained properly. Simple care and conservation will prevent any unnecessary damage and keep it looking presentable for a long time.
Usage of food trays or coasters is highly recommended as glasses full of beverages such as alcohol or juices containing acid may damage the top surface. An exposure of the stone to such liquids will cause the surface to become dull, especially in case of marble.
Placement of hot items directly on the surface should be avoided. Usage of trivets, mats or any other stands under hot bowls, pots and other items is highly recommended.
Cleaning Procedures & Recommendations
Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean non-treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasive nature. Doormats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt and pebbles that will scratch the stone floor. Make certain that the underneath of the doormat or rug is a non-slip surface. Normally, it will take a person about ten steps on a floor surface to remove sand or dirt from the underneath of their shoes. Do not use vacuum cleaners that are worn. The harsh attachments or the wheels may scratch the surface.
A small quantity of neutral cleaner or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent dissolved in warm water should be used when cleaning stone surfaces. Clean and soft mop or rug should be utilized for best results. Excessive amount of cleaning solution will leave streaks or a coat of film after cleaning. Stay away from any form of cleaning solutions containing lemon, vinegar or any other acid blend. Once washed, rinse the surface thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth. Rinsing water should be changed repeatedly. Usage of any creams or other abrasive products is going to render the surface dull and scratched up, thus it is not recommended.
Countertops, as well as any other natural stone surface, should have a penetrating sealer applied, in order to avoid any liquid spotting. Granite, marble, limestone or any other natural product, will have to be maintained dry, even after sealer has been put on. Strong liquids such as wine, coffee and especially grease and oil, will penetrate through a sealer and into the stone, if left for an extended period of time. It is rather difficult to extract those substances. Food preparation areas should be sealed with a non-toxic sealer. Check with your supplier or sealer manufacturer if in any doubt.
It is not advised to apply layers of sealer on top of each other. Thus, a regular visual inspection of the stone is recommended. Since every natural stone have different specific gravity and other physical characteristics, this may occur in different time frames. Usage plays an important role as well. Please consult Eminence at least once a year for professional advise.
Stain Removing Procedures
Not all types of granite and marble may be subjected to the same procedures of stain removal, effectively further damaging may occur. There are various products on the market which may be utilized in an attempt to remove stains from within the stone. Please consult with your granite provider for further instructions.