COUNTERTOP CARE AND MAINTENANCE
TAKING CARE OF YOUR GRANITE SURFACES
Granite countertops are durable and easy to maintain. However, taking the right precautions can prevent damage to them. Proper care and maintenance will ensure your granite countertops’ lasting beauty. With some minor daily, weekly and annual attention your granite will retain and maintain its shine. Granite countertops are elegant, unique, durable and enhance the beauty of the your kitchen and bathrooms. Using these tips in your daily routine will keep your granite countertop surfaces sparkling for years to come.
HOW TO CLEAN A clean rag, water and a small amount of neutral cleanser, such as mild dish soap or using 3-N-1 Cleaner weekly (available at Insignia) are more than sufficient to maintain a safe and clean surface. Rinsing thoroughly is a good practice to avoid soap scum build-up. Dry the surface after cleansing. For oily spills that may occur, simply wash with a mild cleanser (such as Dawn, or Palmolive liquid dish soap) wipe with water, and dry.
BLOT UP SPILLS IMMEDIATELY
Spilling anything other than water or mild soaps, especially acidic substances must be avoided on these countertops. Substances like wine, tomato sauce, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, coffee and soft drinks won’t necessarily etch the granite like they do with marble, but they can stain the surface if neglected. Moreover, cooking oils can also leave their stains, if not wiped up immediately.
CLEANING AGENTS TO AVIOD
Many common household cleaners, such as bleach, kitchen degreasers and glass cleaners contain acids, alkalis and other chemicals. These harsh cleaners can degrade the sealer, thereby making the granite susceptible to staining. Bathroom, grout, tile or tub cleaners must be strictly avoided. Moreover, ammonia, vinegar, orange or lemon must also not be used as cleaners.
AVIOD ADDING WEIGHT
It is important to avoid putting unnecessary weight on overhangs of the countertops. Increased pressure and weight at your sink area can lead to damage of the tops. Activities such as using the countertop to climb up and clean something or reach a shelf, grabbing on to the countertop for balance, etc. must be avoided. All this can cause the attractiveness of the granite to diminish.
Cutting boards must be used and all possibilities of causing scratches must be avoided. Moreover, cutting on granite will not only dull the stone, but will also damage the knives’ edges.
Granite countertops can withstand heat very well, unlike other surfaces. Granite is a hard stone and can take tons of abuse, without getting damaged. However, the granite surface comprises some soft, thin strips of granite. These thin strips lack enough surface area to absorb all the heat from the piping hot pots and pans, thereby resulting into chipping and scratching of the lustrous surface. Generally scratches are not formed so easily, however, it is advisable to use trivets or hot pads.
Regular maintenance procedures are important to protect your investment and give you numerous years of beautiful, natural stone surfaces.
HOW TO CLEAN
A clean rag, water and a small amount of neutral cleanser, such as mild dish soap or a stone soap (available at most hardware and building centers, or from your dealer) are more than sufficient to maintain a safe and clean surface. Rinsing thoroughly is a good practice to avoid soap scum build-up. Dry the surface after cleansing. For oily spills that may occur, simply wash with a mild cleanser (such as Palmolive liquid dish soap) wipe with water, dry.
Rule-of-thumb: wipe up spills as soon as they occur. Prevention is the best policy and preventing spills from sitting on the surface for any great length of time helps to avoid staining.
CARING FOR YOUR SURFACE
When caring for any natural stone surface, it is very important not to use any harsh commercial detergents or ammonia based cleansers. This includes products such as VIM, Mr. Clean, S.O.S. pads, Windex, et cetera.
Coasters are an excellent and easy way to protect your surface from harsh acids contained in most alcoholic beverages and citrus juices.
Avoid exposing a natural stone surface to strong acidic products common in the kitchen like lemons, limes, mustards, et cetera by using a cutting board during food preparation. Use trivets and hot-pads to guard against hot items damaging the surface of the stone. Though natural stone is highly heat-resistant, prevention is the best policy! Avoid ammonia based cleansers as they will dull the sheen and surface of the stone. Use non-acidic scum removers in the event of soap scum. Always use a cutting board when using knives other cutting utensils.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR QUARTZ SURFACE
Quartz surfaces blend modern sophistication and timeless luxury with unbeatable strength and durability. The ever-lasting finish requires only simple and routine care to maintain its good looks. To clean quartz, we recommend using warm water and a mild detergent or quality spray and wipe type cleaner in order to enjoy enduring beauty and unmatched performance for years to come.
Virtually maintenance-free, quartz hard, non-porous surfaces require no sealing to renew the luster and are simple to clean. In most cases, soap and water or a mild detergent is enough to keep your quartz countertop looking like new. If necessary, use a non-abrasive soft soap along with a non-scratch or delicate scrub pad. Afterwards, thoroughly rinse with clean water to remove residue.
STUBBORN STAINS AND DRIED SPILLS
If needed, apply a non-abrasive household cleaners (a non-abrasive cleaner will not dull the surface shine) and rinse to remove residue. To remove adhered material such as food, gum, nail polish or even dried paint, first scrape away excess material with a plastic putty knife and then use a damp cloth to remove any marks or residual dirt. For extra-stubborn stains, a no-scratch Scotch-Brite® pad is recommended along with the non-abrasive cleaner recommended by your local distributor.
Quartz is less heat resistant than other stone surfaces including most granite, marble and limestone; and is not affected by temperatures lower than 150°C (300°F). However, like all stone material, quartz can be damaged by sudden and rapid temperature changes. Therefore, we suggest that hot pots and pans never be directly placed on the surface. We also recommend a hot pad or trivet be placed on the surface under cooking units such as electric frying pans, crock pots, or roaster ovens.
Quartz is a highly scratch resistant surface; however avoid abuse of the surface by refraining from using sharp objects such as sharp knives or screw drivers directly onto the surface.
CLEANING AGENTS TO AVIOD
It’s important to be aware that like any other surface, quartz can be permanently damaged if exposed to strong chemicals and solvents that can damage its physical properties. Never clean your quartz surface with products that contain Trichlorethane or Methylene chloride, such as paint removers or strippers. Avoid the use of highly aggressive cleaning agents such as oven/grill cleaners and dishwasher polishing agents that have high alkaline/pH levels (pH 8.5 or higher). Products containing oils or powders may leave a residue and should be rinsed off thoroughly. Should your surface accidentally be exposed to any of these damaging products, rinse immediately with clean water to neutralize the effect.