Care and Maintenance
All of our countertop and stone projects will last you a lifetime, with the proper care and maintenance of course. Follow the tips and advice below and your new countertop will always be as beautiful as the day we installed it.
General Care and Maintenance of Stone Surfaces
Although stone surfaces are tough, they can be damaged by various environmental factors, including air pollution, which can erode and stain the stone. Freezing and thawing can threaten the structural integrity and degrade the stone’s natural beauty. Even granite, the hardest of stones, will lose its polished beauty when exposed to high amounts of dirt and abuse. Use care in preventing problems by cleaning up spills right away, using coasters and placemats when possible, and placing hotplates under heated cookware.
Granite surfaces, untreated, are very easy to keep clean. The high density naturally resists material absorption and stains. Polished surfaces are easier to clean and less likely to stain than thermal surfaces, which might require an impregnator for cleaning.
On polished granite, regular maintenance of a mild solution of water and soap is all that is needed to remove dirt and grime. In high traffic areas, a stronger cleanser might be needed. It also might require a polish preserver or restorer to revive the luster. However, specific stains or conditions might require special cleansing agents. A neutral pH detergent can be used on granite kitchen counters.
Sealers, although used regularly, can cause problems when used on thermal finishes. They can create a build-up, creating a surface that can become less durable than the untreated granite. Sealers are not recommended on exterior granite projects. Sealers can catch moisture under the granite layer, which might cause it to crack when the temperature changes.
Polished marble only requires occasional washing with a mild alkaline cleanser and clean water. It is recommended that a soap-free cleanser be used, thus minimizing filming and streaking. A top dressing may be used after the marble has been cleaned and dried. Beeswax is an excellent non-oil based dressing. Colored or oil based dressings should not be used. A polished surface will resist dirt and staining more than a honed finish surface.
Honed interior marble surfaces can be maintained the same as polished surfaces. Honed surfaces, however, may need sealing to bring out the natural color and minimize maintenance. Make sure the marble is clean before applying a sealer. For high traffic area maintenance, do not allow liquids or other materials to accumulate, causing safety hazards or staining.
Honed exterior marble building surfaces, prone to environmental pollutants, should be cleaned with high pressure pumps. As with granite surfaces, stains and discolorations on marble can be treated with specific cleaning agents.
Unlike granite or marble, quartz is not pure natural stone, it is man-made. Quartz slabs are a special blend of 75%-90% ground up quartz , which is mixed with a binder of resin or polymers. Pigment is added for color and pattern. Once blended, everything is then poured into a mold to form pressed slabs of engineered stone, which are cured before heading off to get cut according to your countertop specifications. Because this is a man-made product, it is also very predictable. Appearance is uniform throughout each slab, and manufacturers can guarantee quality and predictable performance.
Quartz is best cleaned with a soft cloth, mild soap and water, as Quartz does not need to be sealed. Quartz is not heat, chemical or fracture proof. Never use abrasive cleaners or cleaning supplies on Quartz.
Granite Care & Maintenance
1. Your granite is already sealed when it is installed. We use a 15 year silicone impregnator. You only reseal when it is needed. If water beads on your granite, the sealer is fine. If it does not bead, you should reseal. A granite sealer from any home improvement center will work. Follow the directions on the sealer.
2. White or light colored granites will show water spots more so than darker colors. These water spots do not mean your granite it not sealed. The sealer on your granite has to allow for the natural stone to breathe. The sealers job is to make the stone resistant to liquids for a short amount of time in order to give you time to clean up spills or water splashed around the sink. If you get a spot due to water, it will evaporate and return to its original color. If you get a stain because of other liquids (e.i. oil, wine) that requires a stain remover to be applied. Either Amanzi Marble & Granite can remove the stain for you at a charge or you can make a poultice and remove the stain yourself. Please see attached directions for poultice.
3. You can use your granite as a cutting board, but because of the hardness of the granite it will dull your knives.
4. Granite can withstand 1500 degrees F. Putting hot pots or pans on your granite will not harm the granite in any way.
5. To clean your granite, we recommend warm, soapy water and an ammonia free glass cleaner. Do no use anything containing bleach or ammonia. These 2 chemicals will break your sealer down faster. They will not harm the granite, but once your sealer is broken down it becomes more susceptible staining.
Quartz Care & Maintenance
1. Maintaining Quartz is easy. Simply wash with a soft cloth and warm water, use a mild soap if desired.
2. Do not expose your quartz to abrasives, strong alkaline, acid, oxidizer cleaners. Various chemicals are corrosive. Such chemicals can erode your quartz and damage the surface and the material.
3. Quartz is not heat, chemical or fracture proof in any form.
4. Do not expose your quartz to the following cleaners, bleach, oven cleaners, Comet, scrubbing pads, batteries, paint remover, furniture strippers, tarnish or silver cleaners. Do not use anything containing abrasives on the quartz.
5. Quartz does not need to be sealed. Do not put sealers, penetrants or topical treatments on your quartz for any reason. Such products will wear off and cause the gloss to appear dull or inconsistent.
Granite Stain Removal
STONE POULTICE RECIPE:
1. Hydrogen peroxide-40% by volume.
3. Unscented baby powder or talcum powder
4. Plastic cup
5. Plastic wrap
6. Razor blade
7. Masking tape
8. Plastic putty knife
9. Stirrer stick
1. Pick a test area (approx. 16?x16?) that has the most damage or staining to it.
2. Combine the peroxide and the baby powder in the cup and mix until it is a paste about the consistency of peanut butter.
3. Apply the paste to the stained area with the putty knife- about 1/4? thick.
4. Cover the area with plastic wrap.
5. Tape down the edges using masking tape.
6. Use the razor blade to cut one or two slits in the plastic so it can breathe.
7. Allow the paste to stay on the counter for 24 hours.
8. After 24 hrs., use the plastic putty knife to scrape off the now dried paste.
9. Rinse the work area with water and dry with a paper towel.
10. After the surface is completely dry, compare the test space to the rest of the counter and evaluate your progress.
11. You should see a distinct difference.
12. Repeat the process in sections of the counter until desired result is achieved.
Note** There are several different recipes for different types of poultices that remove different types of stains. We can always change the recipe. For example, a stripper/degreaser can replace the peroxide when a grease stain is present. A product called Iron Out can be substituted when dealing with rust stains. Do not be afraid that you will harm your stone by working on it. The rule of thumb with a poultice is “if the stain can go in, then it can come out”.
Note ** Remember to wear your gloves!