The popularity of granite as a choice for kitchen countertops in the home has increased tremendously over the last decade. This trend is due to several factors, beginning with the stone's natural beauty and uniqueness. Since it is not man-made, granite's patterns and colors are never completely consistent, which, in a way, makes an individual piece of granite like a work of art.
Aside from its aesthetic appeal, granite's primary claim to fame is its unmatched durability, making it the most practical surface for preparing food. It will not chip or crack easily and is harder than a stainless steel knife blade. Granite can also withstand high temperatures. Finally, granite is easy to clean and maintain because of its solid, smooth surface.
Proper granite care can keep your granite or marble countertop new-looking for years. Stone is one of the easiest surfaces to maintain. And granite, being 7 on the Mohs hardness scale of 1 to 10, is virtually unscratchable. (A stainless steel knife blade is a 6 on the scale.)
STEP 1: Blot up spills immediately, before they penetrate the surface.
STEP 2: Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap (available in hardware stores or from a stone dealer), or mild dishwashing liquid and warm water.
STEP 3: Use a soft, clean cloth to clean the granite. Rinse after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft, clean cloth.
STEP 4: Remove a stain on granite, basing the method on the type of stain. Mix a cup of flour, 1-2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid with water to make a thick paste. Put it on the stain, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit overnight.
STEP 5: Scrape away the mixture with a wooden utensil and rinse. If the stain is oil-based (e.g. grease, oil, milk), use hydrogen peroxide in the paste instead of dishwashing liquid – or try ammonia on it.
STEP 6: Try a mixture of 12 percent hydrogen peroxide mixed with a couple drops of ammonia for an organic stain (e.g. coffee, tea, fruit).
STEP 7: Use a lacquer thinner or acetone to remove ink or marker stains from darker stone. On light-colored granite, use hydrogen peroxide to these stains. This also works for wine stains.
STEP 8: Mix molding plaster and pure bleach into a paste and spread over a wine, ink or other non-oil stain. Leave on for 30 minutes, then remove and rinse.
STEP 9: Paste a mix of molding plaster and water over an oil-based or fat-based stain. Mold it into a bird's-nest shape and allow to stand for 3 hours. Remove and rinse.
STEP 10: Reseal the countertop every year or two years. Check with the installer for recommendations. Use a non-toxic sealer on food preparation areas.
STEP 11: Consider using a new disinfectant cleaner made specifically for granite.
STEP 12: Call your professional stone supplier, installer, or restoration specialist for problems that appear too difficult to treat.
TIPS & WARNINGS
Ask a professional to remove or repair a scratch in granite.
Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the stone surface.
Do not place hot items directly on the stone surface. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and placemats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that could scratch the surface.
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.
Don't use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers, scouring powders, or 'soft' cleansers.
Do not mix cleaning products such as ammonia and bleach together – the result is toxic.
These tips were meant to provide general information and are worded based on our personal experiences combined with online research. We always recommend calling a licensed, trained professional for specifics including warranty information, code requirements, precise instructional information, etc. Since we are a new home builder, some products, materials and processes may change over time and may vary in the different locations we build new homes.
Please refer to your new home warranty paperwork included in your homeowner orientation packet for more information.
More home improvement tips can be found here.
Adams Homes is one of the largest privately-held new home builders in the southeast. Adams Homes has built more than 35,000 new homes since 1991 and builds in seven states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Discover all Adams Homes communities, model homes and homes for sale anytime on our website, https://www.adamshomes.com/. While you're there, explore our mortgage calculator and obtain financing information.