I posted this on the Cleaning board as well.
When I got my granite installed, the company I used said to only use soap and water and wipe dry.It sometimes seems like I have a cloudy film. One of the people I work with suggested 409 solid surface/granite spray.
Any one ever use this? Any suggestions to keep my granite shiny? It's only 6 months old. If I wipe and buff it, it's shiny, but it shouldn't be this hard, should it?
You're right, is shouldn't be that hard.
Dish soap is never a good idea for granite. It leaves a residue behind that builds up on your stone, causing that effect you describe.
Dish soap generally has emollients added, to keep your hands soft. Those emollients include oil, which is what you're trying to keep OFF of your stone. Dish soap can stain stone over time.
In your case, I'm not concerned about stains, because you did your research, and found a nice absolute black - which will never stain, and never needs sealer.
While I'm on that topic, it's completely inaccurate to say granite needs sealing twice a year. It's also wrong to recommend sealing to a consumer, without knowing the consumer's material. Steer clear of anyone talking like that.
Josie, whatever products you use, always check to be sure they do NOT contain any sealer. Lots of these wipes contain sealer. Also, you don't want anything that "polishes" your stone - those are basically waxes and oils.
I just had a client who had been using some "magic" product that had polish in it, to clean her Uba Tuba. Her tops were dull, unevenly so, and some areas were slightly smeary looking. Cleaning that mess up added almost two hours to the job.
If someone has used a stone polish/cleaner combinations on your tops, like maybe a hired cleaning service, it will cause you extra grief to clear up.
I've recommended 409 Stone Care, and Simple Green for Stone. I find the 409 has a pH that varies - even according to their specs, the pH can be anywhere from 9.0 to 11.5. Simple Green for Stone holds its tolerances better - 9.5 - which might mean their quality control is better.
Both products clean, but I've heard some complaints occasionally about 409 StoneCare leaving streaks. I don't know if that's a quality control issue, or simply that it was following a stone polish application, and just needed more elbow grease to work out. Regardless, 409 StoneCare won't hurt your kitchen. It works fine for many folks.
Most of my clients use Simple Green for Stone, and it works well.
With either of these, use directly, and if you find the cleaner leave streaks after three sessions, try clear water on a fresh towel. If that clears the streaks, you can simply dilute the cleaner with water, saving the full strength applications for heavier grease/grime.
I couldn't find the Simple Green, but several people recommended the 409 Stone Care. I tried it and i LOVE LOVE LOVE it.
My granite looks just like it did the day it was installed.
Thanks much for your pro advice
Josie, we're having granite installed next week and the guy said basically what Chicago Stonepro said.
He told me that just warm water on a rag to wipe it down, then polish it dry with a towel...that should be all it needs.
We're getting "Dakota Mahogany" which is a fairly hard granite to begin with and doesn't absorb much.
I've had Granite before and never sealed it, it looked great.
Some people say they don't like Granite because you have to seal it every year. I have no idea why they think that. Maybe they have very light colored, softer granite.
~Jean~ in garden zone 6b
Stone porosity has nothing to do with its hardness. Those are two separate characteristics.
I really like the various flavors of Dakota Mahogany. It's one of my favorite stones, and I've worked with it quite a bit. It's often used for monument and architectural applications.
I can assure you, it is actually fairly porous, but is usually treated with plastic resin - mainly to make your countertop surface appear to not have any natural surface pits/character. A side benefit is an increase in water resistance. However, oil stains can still get through, and the plastic resin can block water based sealers.
Dakota Mahogany tends to disperse the appearance of oil stains via capillary action - but once the stone becomes noticeably darkened, the damage is done. Better to just seal it with solvent based sealer, and re do it annually.
Lots of folks think their stone looks great, but when I show up, I find the stuff all stained. They just don't know much better, until it's too late.
Of course, some material does resist stains better than others.
I just discovered Countertop Cleaner by Weiman which is recommended for all sealed stone. My counters are Silestone quartz. This product is wonderful. My counters have never looked or felt so clean.
Now I'm on a mission to find the best product for cleaning my brand new cork floors before it is even needed.
Phil, what kind of sealer do you recommend for Dakota Mahogany?
I don't mind sealing it and I don't want any stains.
~Jean~ in garden zone 6b
My grocery store also carries the Weiman granite and stone cleaner WIPES!!!
They almost look a little like baby wipies.....but for your granite. I love them as well.
OK, thanks. How often are you supposed to apply the sealer if you're going to seal the Granite?
~Jean~ in garden zone 6b
Phil, I looked at the label info on the Weiman Countertop Cleaner. It doesn't say anything about polish. Is there a particular ingredient I should be looking for?
The label says it "cleans and shines". I suppose the shine part may mean it leaves a residue behind to increase the luster.
I used a Weiman product for marble, 20 years ago, and stopped because I found products by a specialty stone company I trusted, that seemed to work better. I don't have any current experience with Weiman.
As a general rule, I steer folks away from the more complex formulations - nothing against any particular company.
Anyway, a simple cleaner would likely just say it's a cleaner. You can always call the company.
I use Method Granite Cleaner that I pick up at Target. It works great!
I have been using the Stone Tech pro line of cleaners and sealers. Chicago Pro, what is the difference between their professional products and their consumer line? My original installer got me some of their "professional" cleaners and sealers but now he is retired. Locally, they sell a slightly different group of the Stone Tech products.This message has been edited. Last edited by: 16paws,
Sorry paws, I didn't see this earlier.
DuPont bought them out a few years ago, and I'm not entirely pleased with their reformulations. Impregnator Pro was the first - and by far the best - sealer to successfully combine three major sealing technologies in one product. DuPont's "improved" formulation now relies on fluorocarbon technology alone, and it's too thick for some materials.
It's still a good sealer - but not as good as it used to be.
The remaining product line has moved to water based, and the idea is to make it easier for the average consumer to do a good job sealing their stone. Easier said than done.
This is nothing new. Sealer companies have been trying to get consumers to buy their products forever.
Years ago, I used to coach consumers on how to seal their own tops, believing that if I could do it, so could the average consumer. I really believed that. Experience taught me otherwise, because I've just seen too many issues, such as deep oil stains, and hardened sealer residue, along with damaged floor and cabinet finishes, mostly from poor procedure, but also from consumers using inferior or defective products, and/or using a product that was a poor fit for their material.
The water based sealers available now are certainly easier to use, but I regularly find the protection either doesn't hold up, or fails to properly materialize in the first place - and when the customer tries to re-seal, a weak sealer layer can block subsequent application attempts, so the effort fails.
In my experience, the solvent based products will penetrate weaknesses in existing sealer applications, which means you, the consumer, never have to experience "open" areas in your sealer protection, before the next sealer application can actually penetrate. That's a recipe for disaster, in my opinion, but that's the state of affairs with water based sealers.
I suppose the "Pro" line denotes the stuff with the solvent content, or concentrates that one has to dilute.
I have used Weiman granite cleaner and polish since 2008, when my granite counters were installed. The product works great, but I don't use it everyday.
For daily cleaning, I just use water and perhaps a dab of mild detergent, wiping up spills as they occur.
I have also not resealed my granite countertops since they were installed. I am lucky I have a granite with a lot of variety (Kashmir white). With time and daily use, it has darkened slightly, but the patina is quite lovely.
Your description of what's happened to your Kashmir White is consistent with my description of the effect of cleaners with polish in them. The stone becomes stained by them.
"Patina", can come from uv exposure, but is mainly the result of oil and grime from various sources - Including from "conditioners" or polish, in your stone cleaner.
Kashmir White is one of the most difficult stones to seal properly. For a time, many slab processors were resin treating it, to try to alleviate this, but then the finished countertops didn't have edges that matched the color of the surface, and the surface usually yellowed over time. On top of that, oil could still stain the stuff. Finally, that material is darker than normal when resin treated, and folks who admire that material often reject the resin treated slabs.
Many folks with that stone have similar experience to yours. Over time, the staining becomes generalized, the contrasts fade, and the overall appearance seems okay, though a bit darker and perhaps blotchier here and there.
I love the look of a good Kashmir White when it's new. For this reason, I prefer to keep it well sealed to allow time for cleanup, and to use simple but effective cleaners that won't leave their own residues, to keep the colors bright. It's a beautiful stone when it's new, and it really can stay that way.
Thanks for your explanation, chicago.
Since I rarely use Weiman's to polish my countertops (maybe 4 times per year, over 4 years), the culprits lie elsewhere. I keep my counters clean with water and mild detergent.
The patina is in just two areas, my center island and a little area around the cooktop. (The rest of my counters are pristine.)
Since I cook three meals a day, mostly on my gas cooktop, and use the island as my prep center, I am positive the culprits are olive oil, mayonnaise, sesame oil and all those wonderful ingredients that can spill or drip.
I just ran across this stone polish issue yesterday, cleaning and sealing a kitchen and bar in a home. The residue was thickest on the desk and bar.
The problem showed up as a smeariness that was really tough to clear. I started with heavy duty water based degreaser, rinsed it back, then used acetone. After repeating this a couple times, some areas still had a bit of persistent residue. Sometimes the solvent mix in the sealer will handle the remaining polish residue. This was the case yesterday.
It's a time consuming and expensive process, using sealer as a cleaner - and it works best when the bulk of the lighter residue is gone.
My arms are sore.
Their stone has a much clearer appearance now. It feels good to get all that gunk out of their material.
For your Kashmir, you may want to poultice the oil stains. I found a great product called Oil & Grease Stain Remover, by Prosoco. It's easy to use, works extremely well, and is far cheaper than the DuPont product I used to use.
Here in Chicago, I get it from a masonry products yard. It's about $40.00 for a gallon. Here's a link to the product web page:
For regular cleaning of oils from granite, you need something alkaline, made for granite. Stay away from dish soap, because the skin conditioners in it are basically oils, which stain the stone, and leave sticky tough residue build-up behind.
Also keep in mind that soaps bond with magnesium and calcium in water, to become a really tough residue. Detergent doesn't do this, and is the formulation basis for a good stone cleaner.
Thanks, Phil. Someday when I am feeling especially ambitious, I may give that poultice a try.
My mom always used 50/50 alcohol and water in a spray bottle. It cleans and disinfects and it doesn't leave behind a gross residue I don't think. And it's cheap which is always a plus.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Anna Vaughn,
Thanks, Phil for the info. I think that I will buy the pro products online and use them.
You're welcome, Paws.
The StoneTech product line has changed in recent years, and I'm not as impressed with the present formula of the daily cleaner. For regular cleaning, I really feel Simple Green for Stone works just fine.
No harsh chemicals are required to maintain granite's beauty. A simple solution of one part white vinegar and two parts water could do the job. An annual sealing will definitely make your Granite Countertops looking good as new.
after using it, clean with water and soap. make sure that your counters are always dry, most cleaners may leave streaks if not dried immediately.
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