Frequently Asked Questions
Natural Stone Countertop Care & Maintenance
Granite is a Siliceous stone composed primarily of quartz-like particles and silica. This natural material is coarse grained and very durable. It forms from slowly cooling magma that is subjected to extreme pressures deep beneath the earth’s surface. Granites vary in mineral composition affecting color, pattern and other aspects of appearance.
Marble is a Calcareous stone composed of calcite and calcium carbonate. This soft, porous and fine-textured material is very delicate and sensitive to acids (e.g., fruit juice, alcohol, cleaning products.) Acid reacts with calcium carbonate and literally eats away a tiny bit of the surface, creating “etches” or dull spots. Marble is also susceptible to stains, scratches and over time, patina.
To keep your natural stone (granite or marble) countertop beautiful, follow the care and maintenance instructions below:
How should I clean my natural stone countertop?
- Clean surface with water and a few drops of mild liquid dishwashing detergent or stone soap (available for purchase from Wellman General Contracting)
- Thoroughly rinse the surface with clean water after washing
- Dry the area thoroughly with a soft, clean cloth
- Using too much cleaner or soap could leave a film and/or streaks
- Don’t use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners, or tub & tile cleaners
- Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice, or other cleaners containing acids on marble surfaces
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, powders, bleach, and ammonia
How do I prevent stains on my natural stone countertop?
- Blot spills with a paper towel immediately (Do not wipe – wiping the area will spread the spill)
- Flush the area with clean water and a mild soap or detergent
- Rinse several times
- Dry the area thoroughly with a clean, soft cloth
- Repeat as necessary
How can I remove a stain that is resistant to the typical method of removal?
If the standard method for stain removal does not remove the stain entirely you can use a stain-removing poultice for the deep, stubborn stains.
A poultice is a cleaner or chemical mixed with an absorbent powder to form a paste-like material (similar to the consistency of peanut butter.)
- Spread the poultice over the stained area with a wooden or plastic spatula to a thickness of ¼” to ½”.
- Cover the area with plastic and taped around the edges to hold it in place for about 24 hours.
- Remove the plastic and allow the poultice to dry thoroughly for another 24 hours.
- To remove the poultice, rinse with distilled water and buff dry with a clean, soft cloth. A wooden or plastic scraper may be used if necessary.
Repeat the process if the stain is not removed. Difficult stains may take up to five or more applications.
How often do I need to seal my granite countertop?
Granite is a unique and natural material that is extremely durable, resistant to high temperatures, and easy to clean. However, granite can stain and warp over time if it is not maintained. In order to protect your granite countertops from losing its aesthetic beauty, it must be sealed.
Granite is first sealed by the fabricator before it is installed in your home. Once it’s installed, maintenance is the homeowner’s responsibility.
Note: Some experts will recommend sealing granite countertops every “6-12 months” or “3-5 years”, but there is no hard and fast rule.
The frequency of sealing granite depends on the absorbency and porosity of the stone. Usually, the lighter the stone, the more often it needs sealing. But, not all granites are the same, and applying sealer automatically, on a set schedule or “just to be safe” is not a smart way to do it. When sealer is applied too soon and it can’t absorb properly, it may leave a haze on the surface that can be difficult to remove.
How can I tell when it’s time to seal my granite countertop?
To figure out when your granite countertop should be resealed, it’s best to test the granite first to see if resealing is absolutely necessary –
Water Test – Sprinkle three drops of water on the granite. If the granite darkens and absorbs the water within four minutes or less, the counters need to be resealed. This test should be done every few months to truly see how often you should reseal your countertops.
Tip: Try the water test again after the sealer has been applied. This will help determine if the surface has been effectively sealed or if a second or third coat is needed.
For your convenience, we also have all of our maintenance & care information below in case you would like to print it out and reference it.