Natural Stone Care & Maintenance
To ensure that your stone counter tops will provide you with a lifetime of aesthetics and utility, proper maintenance is crucial. Natural stone is a durable material consisting of minerals but is porous by nature and requires regular routine care to ensure lasting beauty and luster.
Granite, Marble and Slate are natural stone products that Mother Nature has created and may be subject to small cracks, color blemishes, shade variations, veining, pitting, voids, surface textures and small fissures which are inherent properties of the natural stone and are not to be considered as defects.
Granite does come in different thickness from 19mm to 30mm and edge profiles can be picked out from a variety of styles that will compliment your design. Seams will be determined by Modern Granite & Marble as to the best possible solution for the countertop as weight may be a factor on size.
Since most natural stones, even in a honed and polished finish, still have a natural absorption factor which allows most staining agents and even the cleaning water itself to penetrate deep into the pores to a point that regular maintenance will not be able to remove them an initial protection with a sealer is “strongly recommended”. Once a countertop has been sealed it does not mean that the countertop is entirely impervious to stains. The sealer only provides a temporary barrier to stains. If something is spilled on the countertop, wipe off immediately to keep it from staining. To prevent stains from occurring make sure that the surface is wiped with a clean paper cloth and clean water mixed with a light detergent after each use. To further reduce the chance for a countertop to be stained, it is also recommended that the homeowner “re-seal” the countertop periodically after the initial sealing. You should do a sample testing in a small area to insure desired results. The countertop should be sealed 24-48 hours after the installation. Apply the impregnator using a clean white towel. Granite and Marble are “Natural Stone Products” here are some pointers.
General Cleaning & Use
For daily cleaning, clean the countertop with warm water and a few drops of dish washing detergent or antibacterial detergent using a soft cloth. Rinse the surface thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft cloth. If you spill something on your countertop, blot with a paper towel or soft cloth immediately. Do not wipe the area as this can spread the spill. Flush the spill with warm water and detergent and rinse thoroughly. Dry the area with a soft cloth. Properly sealed stone will repel most stains if the spills are cleaned promptly.
- Clean counters after use. Preferably use a specially formulated stone cleaner, but warm water and a basic liquid dish soap will do for quick dean-ups. However, repeated or excessive use of soap will cause build-up and dull your countertop’s shine.
- Use coasters and wipe any spills immediately.
- Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on marble or limestone. Strong detergents or corrosive liquids can dull the polished marble/granite surface and should not be used.
- Do not use bathroom, tub & tile or grout cleaners.
- Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers, scouring powders, or ‘soft’ cleansers. They contain abrasives that will scratch and dull surfaces.
- Do not mix cleaning products such as ammonia and bleach together – the result is toxic.
- Hot cooking pots will not damage the surface; however extreme or constant temperature changes may harm your stone. Avoid leaving hot pans sitting on the counter for long periods of time, especially during the winter.
- Do not Sit or stand on your countertops. Unlike laminate countertops, granite, marble and quartz countertops are very hard, but not flexible and they DO NOT have plywood backing so too much weight in one spot could cause a crack.
- Substances such as colored water, paint, coffee, wine, juice, inks …. any oiled based products can stain Marble, Limestone, Granite and or Slate products.
- Do not Place toiletry products directly on your countertop surface.
- Hair products, perfumes, colognes, nail products, creams, lotions and potions may stain or damage the surface or etch the polish leaving a ring. Protect your countertop by placing these products on a decorative tray.
- Use trivets or mats under ceramic objects that can scratch the surface.
- While granite is highly scratch-resistant, we recommend you do not cut on it directly. Use a cutting board.
- Dust mop your natural stone floors regularly. Use a clean, dry, non-treated dust-mop. Some people choose to use a vacuum cleaner. But be cautious, worn parts or grit jammed by the wheels may scratch the surface.
Daily: Hot water and a sponge is sufficient to wipe up spills and debris and keep your countertops clean and tidy throughout the day. At the end of the day, a quick spray and wipe of the most heavily used areas with a stone cleaner will adequately clean, disinfect and protect your countertops.
Weekly: Use the stone cleaner over the entire surface.
Quarterly: Polishes, revitalizers and color enhancers can also be used periodically for the ultimate in natural stone and granite countertop maintenance.
Yearly: Annual re-sealing is a good idea although the frequency for proper granite counters top maintenance really depends on the type of stone (porous or dense) and the quality of the sealant It’s a very easy job and unless you have a stone that really shouldn’t be sealed (i.e. some black granites), then re-sealing every year will only ensure that your countertops are well protected against staining. It’s a must for marble, travertine and limestone.
For stains or dried spills, apply a non-abrasive cleaner and rinse with water. For adhered stains, scrape gently with a plastic
putty knife and wipe away excess residue with a damp cloth. To remove extra-stubborn stains, use a no-scratch or delicate scrub pad.
If you find you have a stain that is not easily removed by following the above directions for spills, a “poultice” can be used to pull the stain from the stone. Stone poultice is a fine, non-acidic, absorptive clay cleaning powder that removes deep-set oil stains, grease and light cement grout haze from polished and unpolished natural stone. Poultice may dull the shine of the polished stone. If this occurs, you will need to use a marble polish to restore the natural shine.
Heavy Duty Cleaning
When granite has been neglected, you will need to use a heavy-duty stone cleaner and degreaser to effectively remove dirt, grease, and grime. These products are concentrated and designed to deep clean without damaging the stone. It is important to follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Chemicals to Avoid
Granite and marble countertops can be damaged from exposure to harsh chemicals and solvents. This includes, but is not limited to;
- Products containing Trichloroethane or Methylene chloride (such as paint removers).
- Aggressive cleaning agents (oven cleaners, dishwasher polishing agents).
- Products containing oils and powders.
- Acidic or abrasive chemicals (bleach, etc.)
Should your surface accidentally come into touch with any harsh reagents, immediately rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Modern Granite & Marble seals all granite and marble countertops upon installation. Granite and marble should be resealed every 6 months to two years depending on color and usage. Always refer to product manufacturer’s instructions for sealer application. Modern Granite recommends sealing the countertop once a year.
Applying granite sealers general application: Please refer to specific manufacturers’ instructions. Clean the surface thoroughly, remove any stains, allow the stone to dry for several hours, pour the sealer on the surface. Spread the sealer over the countertop with a paper towel, foam brush or rag, allow the sealer to penetrate 5-10 minutes (if the sealer is completely absorbed in 5 minutes add more) after 5-10 minutes blot any remaining sealer, buff the stone dry with a clean terry cloth and let dry for 12 hours before use, make sure your work area is well ventilated.
Modern Granite & Marble offers a 1-year limited warranty on workmanship. Warranty work does not cover damages resulting from normal wear and tear such as chips and scratches, neglect, physical or chemical abuse, accidents, misuse, improper care, prolonged exposure to heat or liquids, and damage or injuries caused in whole or in part by acts of God or structural failures and deficiencies.
The Marble Institute of America offers a brochure that includes information on treating spills and stains of natural stone surfaces.
One free copy is available by sending a self-addressed, stamped business size envelope to:
Marble Institute of America
30 Eden Alley, Suite 201, Columbus, Ohio 43215
or visit their website@ www.marble-institute.com