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The first thing many people think about when choosing new kitchen or bathroom vanity countertops is granite. Granite is understandably popular; it is beautiful and durable, and undeniably increases the value of any home. Interior designers also prefer granite for their kitchen or bathroom designs because it goes well with almost any theme.
In addition, keeping your granite countertops in primo condition is relatively easy if you take reasonable care. Stains are the biggest problems most homeowners encounter with unsealed granite counters, as granite stone has a degree of porosity common in natural stones. If you encounter this problem with your granite counters, here are some of the things you can do to address the issue.
First things first
Before doing anything, however, make sure you do the following steps first.
Choosing the right way to remove a stain will depend on what caused it in the first place. Find out the classification of the stain source, i.e. oil, water, rust before you decide on what to do
The best way to minimize the stain size and depth is to mop up any liquid or other substance still on the surface. Use a dry cloth or paper towel to blot and absorb the spill. Avoid using a wiping motion as this tends to spread the stain more.
Read the label
if you are using a chemical cleaner to take out the stain, make sure you know what the active ingredients are. Use only the chemicals deemed safe as described below, and use only as little as possible to minimize damage to the stone.
Most granite is porous as mentioned earlier, but it tends to be less so than other natural stones. It may not be necessary to seal certain granite stones at all, although we apply a sealer to our granite slabs as a matter of course. In either case, it is good policy to clean the granite with clean water on a regular basis and mop up spills immediately to keep stains to a minimum. If you find stains anyway, use one of the following methods to take them out.
Best stain removal methods for granite countertops
Once you have classified the type of stain you have, choose the right method for taking them out. If the stain is old, it may take several tries to get them out, and even then you may still see faint signs of it. However, it most cases you will be able to remove the stains completely if you choose the right method.
Ironically, the most common source of stains is water. It can leave some stubborn stains if you leave standing water to dry up on your counter, especially if you live in an area with hard water, which contains magnesium and calcium. The water will leave white spots that are surprisingly hard to remove. The best way to take them out is to use a very fine grade of steel wool specially made for natural stones and buff them out. Use gentle, circular motions to touch only on the mineral deposits and avoid damaging the granite surface underneath.
Another common source of stains is oil, typically from cooking or cosmetic products. You can usually tell if it is an oil-based stain as it turns the granite dark as it permeates the stone, and may seem impossible to get out. It is difficult, but you can do it using a thick paste of baking soda and water. Lay down a generous layer of the paste on the stain and a bit over it using a plastic scraper, and keep it in place with a piece of taped down cling film. Leave it alone for a minimum of 24 hours, or until the paste is dry. Remove the cling film and gently scrape off the dried paste from the surface using the plastic scraper or an old plastic card. Wipe off the residue with a damp cloth and dry it completely with another soft cloth. If you still see some signs of staining, repeat the process until it is all gone.
Organic fluids like coffee and fruit leave a brownish stain on natural stone. The best way to take them out is to apply a solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide with a drop or two of ammonia using a clean, soft cloth. Rub gently at the stain and watch it fade away like magic.
Believe it or not, the thing you use to keep your granite counters film can actually make it look dull. Even mild dishwashing soap can develop a film over you stone surface if you don’t rinse it off completely. To cut through soap build up, spray the surface with a solution of one gallon water and ½ cup ammonia. Wipe it dry with a clean rag and see your granite counters sparkle again.
Sometimes metal cans or canisters can leave a ring of rust on your counters, especially if they get wet. The rust ring is just on the surface, so you can usually take them out by coating it with baking soda slightly moistened with water. Rub it on gently with the scour side of a damp sponge and then rinse it off with water. Check if the rust rings are gone. You might have to do this several times to get rid of all the rust.
Despite what many people think, maintaining granite counters is so much easier compared to other popular countertop materials, and they last a very long time to boot. Consider granite countertops for your next kitchen or bathroom remodel, for which you will need a reliable contractor and fabricator to carry out your project goals successfully. You can do no better than Granite ASAP.
We carry a wide range of natural stone slabs as well as the best engineered stone brands in the country. Over 100 colors of granite and marble slabs are available for inspection at our Chantilly, Virginia showroom. If you prefer engineered stone, we can offer you products from the Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI brands, each one carrying the manufacturer’s warranty. You can choose what you want and we will deliver it ASAP!
We service the state of Virginia, including the cities of Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax, Chantilly, Herndon, Centreville, Tysons, and Washington DC.
Feel free to ask any questions over the phone, or get in touch using our contact form. We offer free estimates and quotes for any of your kitchen remodeling or bathroom remodeling needs.