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Maintaining the Beauty of Granite Countertops

Updated on January 27, 2014

You are debating on the type of countertops for your kitchen. You want something that will be impressive, beautiful and practical, narrowing your choice down to a natural stone of some type. But now, you are being told that these natural stones, while magnificent, can be difficult to take care of- especially if something should get spilled on them. And that, has given you cause to pause and wonder if you are thinking correctly in your countertop choice.

Should you ask anyone who has granite countertops, chances are, they will tell you that granite is an amazing countertop choice that adds and enhances their kitchen or bathroom. They will also tell you that, maintaining the beauty of granite is not nearly as difficult as you may have been lead to believe. Rather, it is merely a matter of addressing any spills immediately, before they can cause staining. However, should you not get to spill quick enough (or perhaps you have purchase a home that has granite countertops that have been stained under previous ownership) you can still have the granite looking beautiful – it’s just a matter of knowing the proper approach.

The following are common spills/stains that may encountered, and the methods by which they can be cleaned:

Oil-based stains – These are often caused by tar, grease, cooking oil, milk or cosmetics and will cause the stone to darken. It can be cleaned with using a soft cloth and a soft lithe stone to darken. It can be cleaned with using a soft cloth and a liquid such as bleach, mineral spirits or acetone.

Organic stains - These are coffee, tea, tobacco, paper, urine, leaves, bark and bird droppings and will typically cause a pink to brown colored stain. This type of stain can be removed by mixing 12% hydrogen peroxide (the types used for hair bleaching) and a few drops of ammonia.

Metal – Comprised of iron, rust, copper and bronze, and appearing as orange or brown if caused by iron or rust and as green if due to copper or bronze, metal stains are best removed by calling in a professional. There are special poultices that can be made, should you wish to look those up.

Biological mildew – These stains are caused by algae, mildew, lichens, moss and fungi and are removed by using half a cup of ammonia or hydrogen peroxide mixed with a gallon water and then wiped with a soft cloth.

Inks- Magic markers, pens and ink can be removed with bleach or hydrogen peroxide (hair coloring type); dark stones can be treated with lacquer thinner or acetone.

Keep in mind---No matter what type of stain you are removing you should NEVER mix bleach and ammonia as this will cause a toxic and lethal gas!

Having granite countertops does not have to be an excessive amount of work, nor does it mean you must have a ton of experience to maintain the beauty of this natural stone. If you had resigned yourself to a lesser countertop choice, think again. The gorgeous movement and durability of granite can be yours, and with these tips for cleaning, you won’t need to be concerned about maintenance.

Many websites provide additional information on the topic of granite. One such site worth visiting is

Janet Slagell independently authors articles for, Inc. for search engine marketing. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those solely of the author, and not of any other person, company or organization. No guarantee or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, fitness, or use of the content herein.


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