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Granite: Cleaning, Polishing & Protection

Granite, an igneous rock formed from magnum, is very dense, hard and brittle. Granite stands up well against heavy foot traffic, making it preferable for commercial application such as lobbies and walkways. True granite is the hardest of the polished stones commercially available and is used in high stress situations. Resistant to most chemicals, except for oils, which can permeate the stone, granite is also ideal for counter tops and bar tops.

While granite countertops are a favorite choice due to their beauty and durability, they are not impervious to damage. Regular care includes proper cleaning and the use of sealers to prevent staining.

Do granite countertops need to be sealed?

  1. Perform the paper towel test to determine whether your granite needs to be sealed. Some types of granite never need sealing and adding sealer to these types will just make a mess. Soak a paper towel (without printing) or a white cotton towel. Place the water-soaked towel on the counter and wait about 5 minutes. Is the area under the paper towel dark from the water soaking into the granite? If it is discolored, your granite needs to be sealed to resist water-based spills and stains.
  2. Perform the solvent test to see if an oil stain will enter the granite. Simply dab some paint thinner on the countertop and leave for 5-l0 minutes. If, after you remove it, it doesn’t darken the stone, neither will an oily staining agent such as cooking oil. If it does go dark, you should use a solvent-based sealer to protect against oil-based stains.
  3. In short, if the granite goes dark with either water or paint thinner, then seal. lf there is no color change alter testing with these two liquids, you do not really need a sealer on your granite countertop.

What is the best granite cleaner for granite countertops?

  • If there are any oily stains already on the countertop, use Oil and Stain Remover to remove those before sealing.
  • For heavy duty cleaning, use  heavy duty alkaline cleaner and degreaser prior to sealing. Do not use after sealing because it is powerful enough to possibly remove some of the sealer.
  • For daily cleaning and to keep the sealer refreshed, use Cleaner & Protector Products which can be easily found in your local market.

Granite ranges from 6 to 8 on the MOH scale (a scale for determining the relative hardness of a mineral according to its resistance to scratching). The hardest mineral, at 10, is diamond. The softest mineral, at 1, is talc.

Granite can be used for most any inside horizontal application including kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, furniture tops, bar tops, thresholds, windowsills, etc. Granite has been extensively used as a dimension stone and as flooring tiles in public and commercial buildings and monuments. With increasing amounts of acid rain in parts of the world, granite has begun to supplant marble and limestone as a monument material, since it is much more durable and acid-resistant. Polished granite is also a popular choice for kitchen countertops due to its high durability and aesthetic qualities.

The beauty, hardness and utility of granite makes it a highly desirable material for countertops in home design. In addition to its natural strength, granite is a beautiful stone that adds color and warmth to a room. Though the cost to add granite countertops to any new kitchen or remodel can be quite high, they remain the premiere choice in many new and remodeled homes. The price of granite countertops ranges from $60 to $120 a square foot, which may or may not include the cost of installation.

WARNING: Some stone marked and sold as “granite” are marble instead – always do an acid resistance test to confirm. Some granite is dyed! Not etched by most acids, but can be etched by some rust removers! Because granite is quite hard, it can be cleaned at pressures up to 1,450 PSI if the grout is in good condition.

Features and Benefits of Granite Stone:

  • Naturally beautiful with unique pattern and color.
  • Heat-resistant.
  • Scratch-resistant.
  • Stain-, mold- and mildew-resistant with proper care and maintenance.
  • Resistant to most acids, such as soft drinks and juices, as compared to marble.

Care & Maintenance of Granite Countertops and Floors:

Natural stone is very porous. The best way to prevent stains is to treat the surface with a protective sealer. The sealer fills in the pores and repels spills on the surface, allowing you time to completely wipe it away.

We recommend that you use care and maintenance products  that are specially formulated to protect and enhance the beauty of your granite. Once the stone is sealed, clean up is usually easy. We recommend that you use  Cleaner & Protector. that cleans with a gentle, pH-neutral formula that removes soils while reinforcing the original protective seal to help prevent future staining.

Although we usually think of stone as “hard,” it is a porous material. Natural stone has varying degrees of porosity depending on the type of stone. If left unsealed, spills and everyday messes can easily penetrate the surface. The liquid eventually evaporates but the stain is left behind.

DO’s and DON’Ts of Granite

  • DO clean up spills immediately to minimize damage to your stone.
  • DO use trivets or mats under hot dishes and cookware.
  • DO use place mats under china, ceramics, silver and other objects that can scratch your stone’s surface.
  • DO use coasters under glasses, especially if they contain alcohol or citrus juices.
  • DO clean surfaces regularly with  Cleaner & Protector.
  • DON’T wait to clean up spills on stone.
  • DON’T use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub cleaners.
  • DON’T use vinegar, bleach, ammonia or other general-purpose cleaners.
  • DON’T use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
  • DON’T use alkaline cleaners not specifically formulated for stone.
  • DON’T use scouring powders and abrasives because they will scratch the surface.

NOTE: Some stone marked and sold as “granite” are marble instead – always do an acid resistance test to confirm. Some granite is dyed! Not etched by most acids, but can be etched by hydrofluoric acid! Because granite is quite hard, it can be cleaned at pressures up to 1,450 PSI if the grout is in good condition.

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