Arguably all living things in some regard abstain from an adornment of filth. This concept has always been so, with creatures instinctively deeming anything clean to be of virtue and anything dirty to be mired in vice. In the world of humans, this concept has existed from the dawn of civilization.
Man has always sought to keep his surroundings as clean as possible. It was discovered from an early time that filth of any kind is an indication of or contributor to sickness. To be clean is to be healthy. In religious connotations, we equate a sense of cleanliness to be of God or next to God. This follows the concept as mentioned above that clean things are virtuous things and filthy things are of vice.
The concept has stapled itself in our culture. We do not like filth, grime, dirt, or stains. One place where stains try to rear their ugly heads is in our kitchens. These stains dare to invite themselves into the very places where we prepare our meals. Our granite countertops fall victim to this barbarism at times. All is not lost, however, as every problem has one or multiple solutions. This article will explore some methods of removing stains from granite countertops. We will even go as far as to provide tips on avoiding these emissaries of vice altogether.
Why Choose Granite?
When one thinks about the concept of sturdiness, it is hard to find better alternatives to granite. As a result of this natural stone, specifically, granite is a common characteristic of countertops. While some may argue for the benefits of wood in terms of countertops, they have to admit that wood pales in comparison to granite in many aspects. For starters, granite does not become vulnerable to parasitic termite infestation over time. The overall sturdiness of the granite material lends heavily to its longevity when compared to wood with the termites, as mentioned above, and metal, which is susceptible to rust.
Granite is formed over millions of years from compressed molten rock beneath the surface of the Earth. It is an extremely hard and durable form of igneous rock. This durable stone is made up of several materials, such as quartz, feldspar, and mica. Typically if you observe granite, you see these materials. Feldspar generally is the white mineral that you see, with the light grey veins comprised of quartz. Mica is usually seen in the black veins.
It is not likely to chip or scratch when used as a countertop. The material is also heat resistant making it immune to blistering.
In terms of aesthetic appeal, granite is far superior to marble, synthetic, or laminate. This is not only attributed to its sturdiness, but also the luminous and dimensional quality, which is displayed when the surface is polished.
Granite Preparation and Installation
Because of the nature of the material, granite may prove difficult to install and labor-intensive. It requires meticulous skill, measurement, and attention to detail. Special tools are needed to cut the stone, and these proper tools must be used. Raw granite is cut into chunks at a quarry. However, for your kitchen counter purposes, it can be found preshaped to your specifications at home improvement or hardware stores. This is a hefty material, with a typical countertop weighing over thirteen pounds.
How to Remove Oil Stains From Granite Countertops
Like many other materials of a similar nature, granite has the flaw of harboring some form of stain. Oil stains tend to be a common occurrence with granite countertops. Not to worry; however, there are some very simple methods of removing such stains and returning your granite countertop to its clean and luminous state.
Removing Oil Stains From Granite Countertops With Baking Soda
Things you will need:
➢ Baking soda
➢ Tool for scraping (plastic scraper, razor blade etc.)
➢ Clean cloth (3 separate pieces)
➢ Natural stone cleaner
➢ Plastic wrap
Cover each oil stain on the granite surface with the baking soda. Lather the baking soda into the stain, making sure to leave no part of it exposed. Once you are satisfied that all the stained sections of the surface are covered, allow the baking soda to sit on the stone for twenty minutes. This will give it ample time to absorb the stains.
Moisten your sponge with the water. Make sure to squeeze the sponge to remove excess water. We do not want to saturate the surface over. Once you are satisfied with the moistness of the sponge, use it to wipe the baking soda from the granite surface.
Make a paste in your bowl using baking soda and water. Do this by mixing the baking soda with the water in equal proportions. Then, use your paste to treat any remaining oil stains. Apply it by using your sponge.
Smooth your baking soda paste over any remaining oil stains on your granite countertop. After doing this, cover the paste with your plastic wrap. With the baking soda covered, it should be allowed to remain on the granite surface until it is completely dried.
Once the paste is completely dried, you are now ready to remove it from the granite surface. Remove your plastic wrapper and gently scrape your baking soda paste off the granite surface using your razor blade or plastic scraper. If there is any residue left, wipe this away with your damp, clean cloth.
Pour a small amount of your natural stone cleanser onto a dry clean cloth. Use this solution to clean the granite surface. Once you are satisfied that it is clean, dry the surface with another clean piece of cloth.
How to Remove Rust Stains From Granite Countertops
At this juncture, it is important to point out that natural stone is quite porous. Granite is no exception. Your granite countertops may suffer as a result of this as liquid spills may leave some form of stain when spilled. This is because the liquid seeps into the pores and leaves its stain when it evaporates. Rust can occur in this way. Thankfully, oil rust is also fairly easy to remove. However, there is a method for this. It is not practical to just blindly scrub the rust. You have to be able to access the granite’s pores. This is where the stain rests.
Things you will need:
➢ Rust remover
➢ Plastic wrap
Use your soap and water to clean the stained area initially. Rinse the area when done. You can use a sponge and cloth combination to do this.
Mix your rust remover with the flour. The aim is to give your solution a texture similar to that of peanut butter. The amount that you need will naturally depend on the size of the rust stain on your granite countertop.
Cover the stained area with your solution. You should go about a quarter of an inch outside the border of the stained area. Also, make the layer approximately a quarter of an inch thick. Do not make it beyond this, though, as an overly thick solution will not clean any more effective than that which is recommended. It instead takes a longer time to dry.
Cover your paste with your plastic wrap. Use your tape to seal the edges of the wrap.
Leave the surface with the paste and allow it to sit for twenty-four hours. After this time, you should check on it. If it is not yet dried, leave it for another twelve hours. Recheck it after this time.
Use your hands to scrape away the now dried paste. Once you are through, rinse the surface with water.
If there are any particles of rust remaining, repeat the steps until the surface is spotless.
Preventing Stains on Your Granite Countertops
We will never delude ourselves into thinking that we can gingerly work in our kitchens and, as a result, avoid stains altogether. Nobody is that careful. Fortunately, there are other ways to prevent stains.
Preventing Stains on Your Granite Countertops by Cleaning Spills Immediately
Usually, a stain is not immediate. It is something that festers and therefore needs time to become an ultimate menace. Oil and rust soak into your granite surfaces if they are allowed to sit long enough. These seemingly apparent metaphors for cancer grow stronger and more impenetrable the longer they go untreated.
Therefore one cannot stress enough the importance of attacking these stains before they become challenging. Do not allow oil or any other liquid to penetrate the pores of your granite countertops. Always have your cleaning agents within reach so you can easily tackle the problem before it becomes a bigger problem. Doing this will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
Preventing Stains by Sealing Your Granite Countertops
As we stated before, natural stones such as granite are porous. This, unfortunately, gives them a certain vulnerability. One way of combating this problem is by sealing your granite countertops.
It is recommended that the sealing process takes place every five years. This allows the liquid, as mentioned earlier, to bead on the surface of the granite countertop as opposed to seeping into the pores. Naturally, this beading prevents staining. Sealing also serves the purpose of preventing etching, which is usually caused by acidic liquids and some cleaners.
Once the granite surface is sealed, it becomes easier to clean. Better still, you will not have to employ the use of many chemicals to clean them. The surface, therefore, becomes more hygienic. This is because the porous surfaces can become havens for bacteria. Sealing solves this issue.
How to Seal Granite Countertops
The actual process of sealing your granite countertop is quite simple. It can be completed within twenty minutes.
Things you will need:
➢ Clean cloth
➢ Sealing agent
Clear the surface. Remove all objects from your granite countertop. After doing this, you should clean the surface with your cloth. Make sure that you dry the surface before beginning the sealing process.
If you were not wearing your gloves initially, you should start now. Begin to spray the sealer in as uniform a manner as possible. Make sure to cover every part of the surface and apply the sealer generously.
Leave this for fifteen minutes, then wipe away the excess. At this point, you should check for any point of dull spots. If these are discovered, you should spray a bit of sealant on the cloth and use it to wipe these spots. They should disappear.
Leave the countertop for twenty-four hours. After this time, it should be perfectly sealed. You can test it by dripping water on the surface and confirming that it beads.
It is important to note that the level at which a granite surface is porous may differ in density. In the case of the heavily porous granite countertops, you may have to seal more frequently than every five years. To test this, you can easily dribble some water on the surface and observe its reaction. A sealed surface will allow the water to bead.
Granite is a very durable material and sits right at home when used in the form of countertops. The luminously beautiful stone not only sits with unrivaled beauty but also boasts a level of strength that speaks to longevity. However, it is not perfect. Granite countertops do need some kind of maintenance. Sealing your granite countertops is highly recommended, as this will reduce your workload as it relates to maintenance. One should also never forget to practice cleanliness. Clean your granite countertops regularly, and they will lend their beauty to your kitchen with unbridled passion.
Preserve hygiene, preserve beauty.