Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it difficult to care for natural stone countertops?
A: Although granite is quite resistant to scratches, to properly maintain this type of countertop material, it's advisable to follow a few simple procedures.
- Spills have a tendency to soak into the surface, so to avoid deep staining wipe up spills immediately.
- For stone surfaces a neutral cleaner, such as stone soap or mild dishwasher liquid and warm water, is safe to use.
- When cleaning with a soap solution, use a soft, clean cloth and then rinse the surface thoroughly. Finish off by drying with a soft, clean cloth.
- If you do happen to stain the surface, removal depends on the type of stain. First, try removing it with this paste: mix together a cup of flour, 1-2 tablespoons of dishwasher liquid, and water. Place the paste over the stain, cover in plastic wrap, and leave overnight. In the morning, use a wooden utensil to scrape away the paste and give it a rinse. This should work except for stains made from grease, oil, or milk. In these cases, instead of dishwasher liquid use hydrogen peroxide in the paste, or ammonia.
- For organic stains resulting from coffee, tea, or fruit, a mixture of 12% hydrogen peroxide combined with a few drops of ammonia should work wonders.
Q: Are natural stone countertops prone to staining?
- Ink, marker and wine stains on darker stone require a lacquer thinner or acetone for removal. Hydrogen peroxide works well on light-colored granite.
- Another method to remove wine, ink, or any other non-oil stain is to mix molding plaster and pure bleach into a paste. Apply for 30 minutes, remove, and rinse.
- For oil-based or fat-based stains, create a paste of molding plaster and water. Apply an even layer over the stain for 3 hours, after time has expired remove and rinse surface.
- Granite countertops require resealing every two to three years, but ask your installer for suggestions as to when this needs to be done.
- Of course, on surfaces that will be used for food preparation, use a non-toxic sealer.
- New disinfectant cleaners on the market now come in formulas designed for granite countertops; purchase this type of product if you prefer disinfectant cleaners to other cleaning options.
- For any problem that you can't handle on your own or are not familiar with, call a professional to handle the cleaning job.
- Use coasters, especially for alcoholic and citrus beverages, as the acid in these drinks can dull the stone's surface.
- Always test these cleaning methods on small discreet area for color fastness or granite damage.
- There are also new products for removing stains in hardware stores, like Home Depot and Lowes. However, always follow the instructions provided on the products label.
Q: Do granite countertops need to be sealed?
A: Because natural stone is porous, it is recommended that a sealant be applied to the surface of the stone to help protect its natural properties. Most granite companies use surface sealants that they claim protect against staining by creating a barrier that sits on top of the stone, resisting substances from penetrating into the pores. This is cost-effective for fabricators, but not ideal for homeowners for three main reasons. Surface sealants wear off and require constant re-sealing (at least twice a year). Surface sealants can give the stone a cloudy appearance. Sunlight and the fact that the stone is unable to breathe through the pores can cause the sealant and/or the stone to change colors over time.
Q: Does Richstone offer a warranty against stains?
A: See our Dry Treat Stain Protection Guarantee:
The Dry Treat Program is one of the industry's best warranties, which includes a 15 year fully transferable residential warranty. Covers over 100 granite options or select marble options, as well as labor and materials. Guarantees stain protection from coffee, red wine, ketchup, mustard, and cooking oil. As if it couldn't get any better, this program has an 8 year commercial and industry warranty. Also, a 1 year outdoor warranty on selected granite options. This warranty includes a substantial discount on the purchase of all professional grade stone care products from DuPont. Ask your sales representative on how to ontain this exclusive 15-year warranty.