of Home Improvements
Granite Care & Maintenance
Granites are the densest of the natural stones. Typically polished but also available in honed, or flamed and other finishes. "Hard" to "very hard" as natural stone goes and therefore suitable for use both commercially and residentially in very high use areas (few exceptions). Commonly used residentially on kitchen and Bathroom counter applications.
In order to maintain the surface and keep it looking fresh and natural, we recommend the following procedures:
1. All stone
products require a resealing at least once a year. Since your top has
already been sealed at the factory. You will need to schedule your top
for resealing accordingly.
Helpful Hint # 1: Granite is porous and can be stained, but these can be removed. When removing stains, it is important to identify what has caused the stain first. Then be sure to use a product specifically recommended for removing that stain.
Types of Stain that can occur (but not limited to):
o Oil based stains:
Grease, tar, cooking oil, and food stains
Helpful Hint #2: Any spill should be cleaned as soon as possible. Blot spills with a paper towel or clean rag. Wiping a spill may spread the stain. If the stain remains you can remove it by literally pulling the stain out of the stone with both a chemical and material that will absorb the stain. This combination is what is called a poultice. Poultices are commonly powder or cloth materials that can be mixed with a chemical and placed on top of the stain to draw it out. Many homeowners have the tools to remove stains right in their home.
Some common poultice materials include but not limited to: paper towels, cotton balls, gauze pads, flour, clays, chalk and Diatomaceous Earth.
How to apply a poultice?
o Pre-wet the
stained area with a little distilled water. This fills the pores of the
stone with water isolating the stain and accelerating the removal by chemical;
If the stain is Poultice with
o Rust-Iron out
The sealer will penetrate below the stone's surface without leaving a coating or film on top. The stone below the surface will be protected, however, there is no surface protection. This means calcareous natural stones such as marble, onyx, limestone, and travertine can still etch or dull if acidic products such as orange juice or coke are left on your stone.
To help provide surface protection, a natural vegetable soap cleanser or a cleanser made specifically for natural stone should be used. These cleansers build up a thin film layer between periodic deep cleanings. Natural vegetable soaps and stone cleaners remove dirt and debris from the stone's surface the same as a detergent soap does. They are just milder.
Penetrating sealers are either solvent based or water based.
Solvent based penetrating sealers have a higher durability because they are able to penetrate deeper within the stone. Water based, on the other hand, cannot penetrate any deeper into the stone than it will absorb.
In the denser stones, a water based sealer will not penetrate as deeply and leave the protection just below the surface. This means there is less protection of the stone over longer periods of time.
Stones with a high rate of absorption will take the protective sealers deeper into the stone. A water based penetrating sealer works well with very porous natural stones.
The most common protection materials used in penetrating sealers are silicone, siloxane, and fluoropolymers. These materials are unaffected by outside elements and only damaged by temperature ranges of 900F to 1200F or exposure to strong caustic solutions.
Sealers with silicone, silane, and siloxane work well to repel water born stains. This type of impregnator will repel water based liquids such as coffee and tea.
Fluoropolymers are generally water based sealers and have oil repellent characteristics. They will repel oil based liquids such as grease and cooking oil.
If you are sealing granite or natural stone kitchen counters, look for an oil repellant impregnator. An oil resistant impregnator will only slow the absorption of oil while an oil repellant impregnator will keep the oil from entering the stone.
All of them work well to protect stone. Some repel water better and others oil.
countertops do not need to be sealed. Before 1995 there were very few
quality penetrating sealers on the market and there were very few cases
of staining. Both prior to and after the availability of penetrating sealers,
no cases of food poisoning, radon, or food preparation issues associated
with treated or untreated granites have been reported. If a homeowner
cleans their countertops after each meal, they will rarely, if ever, have
staining or cleanability issues with granite. This being said, many granite
countertops receive additional benefit from being sealed. That benefit
is the further reduction of moisture migration into an already moisture