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Caring for Granite Counter Tops

Granite is very tough stone made of volcanic magma and minerals such as quartz, mica, feldspar, and hornblende. Over millions of years of compression these components create unique stone which we call granite that is found all over the world. Granite is harvested cut and polished. It can also be flamed finished which is not a shiny polished finish but a flat finish.

So now this work of art from Mother Nature is in your home how do you care for it? First realize the granite was sealed when fabricated and it may need to be resealed every years or so. Some sealers are “permanent” so how would you know? One clue is if water beads on the surface like on a polished car then your top is sealed. No beads anymore. Then maybe it needs sealing. Do a paper towel test. Soak a paper towel in water; lay it on the granite for 5 minutes. If the surface under the paper towel is visibly darker then your top definitely needs to be resealed. There are many sealers available just follow the brands specific instructions.

Daily cleaning is not difficult. Use a clean soft cloth, a microfiber cloth is preferable, wipe down with clean water. Occasionally soapy water when you think the top is dirty. Remove the soapy water several times with clean water. Do not use 409 or strong cleaners which will remove the sealer over time. A specially formulated stone cleaner with a neutral pH may be the best approach especially if you have a maid or cleaning service. It takes the guess work or decision process away from the help, your kids and your husband. You can give them specific instructions to only use a particular brand such as Marblelife granite quartz & countertop cleaner.

For tougher stains make a poultice of 1 cup of flower or baking soda with 2 or 3 table spoons of dish soap. Add water to make a paste cover the stain then cover the paste with plastic. Let it set overnight. Wipe clean in the morning. How about an organic stain such as wine, coffee or fruit which won’t otherwise come out. Try a few drops of 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia. Of course if you have a stain which won’t come up with water, soapy water or granite cleaner than you have proof that your top needs to be resealed.

 

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