Granite countertops can look great throughout years of daily use, requiring only a minimal amount of daily care. Here are a few tips to help keep your granite looking its best, as well as tips for removing water stains and other types of stains:
- For daily cleaning, use water and mild soap or a natural cleaning product designed especially for stone. Acidic cleaning products or abrasives may damage the sealant on your countertop.
- Clean up spills as soon as they occur; acidic liquids like wine, orange or lemon juice, even soda and household soap, can break down the sealant and stain the surface.
- To remove water spots, wash the stain with a gentle detergent and water; use a soft bristled brush to scrub lightly. Rinse with clean water and dry.
- For slightly more stubborn stains, make a paste of baking soda and water, or talc with a diluted solution of ammonia, bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Gently scrub with a soft brush and rinse thoroughly. It may take several applications to remove the stain.
- For those tenacious water rings around a faucet resulting from hard water that sits on the surface, try scrubbing softly with a Brillo pad or gently scraping with a razor blade, then wiping away the residue with a soft, damp cloth.
- For really stubborn stains, try using a poultice, or extractor. Poultice products made especially for granite can be purchased at a hardware or stone surface specialty store, or you can make your own paste using flour plus hydrogen peroxide. Thethick, pasty mixture should be applied generously, then covered with a plastic sheet and taped around the edges with painter's tape. Let it stand for 24 hours or more, then scrape up the paste and rinse the countertop with water.
This process soaks up the stain and drives any stains that are in the granite deep into the stone. The cleaned surface can be resealed if necessary. Granite countertops may need to be resealed occasionally. When water on the granite's surface no longer beads up, contact a stone care professional to have your granite resealed.
- BHG.com. "How to Clean Countertops." (June 18, 2012.) http://www.bhg.com/homekeeping/house-cleaning/tips/how-to-clean-countertops/#page=7.
- Dempsey, Ken. "Choosing and Caring for your Granite Countertop." Fine Homebuilding.com. May 22, 2012. (June 18, 2012.) http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/23628/choosing-and-caring-for-your-granite-countertop.
- Heloise. "Hints from Heloise: Granite Stain." The Washington Post. June 4, 2012. (June 18, 2012.) http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/hints-from-heloise-the-equation-for-dog-years/2012/05/22/gJQA4rksBV_print.html
- Perchuk, Florence. "5 Things You Need to Know About Stone Countertops." House Beautiful.com. (June 18, 2012.) http://www.housebeautiful.com/decorating/organize/countertop-care#slide-1.