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Cleaning and Maintenance

Care and Precautions

Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that may etch or dull the surface of many stones.

Do not place hot items directly on the stone surface. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and place mats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that can scratch the surface.

Cleaning Procedure and Recommendations

Clean the countertop surface with a few drops of a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on marble. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth.

Change the rinse water frequently. Do not use scouring powders or creams: these products contain abrasives that may scratch the stone.

Food Preparation Areas

In food preparation areas, the stone may need to have a penetrating sealer applied. (Your granite countertops have been sealed by Minicci Stone Company). If you apply a sealer, be sure that it is non-toxic and safe for use on food preparation surfaces. If there is a question, check with the sealer manufacturer.

Spills and Stains

Blot the spill with a paper towel immediately. Don’t wipe the area, this will spread the spill. Flush the area with plain water and mild soap and rinse several times.

Dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth. Repeat as necessary. If the stain remains, refer to the section in this brochure on stain removal.

Identifying the type of stain on the stone surface is the key to removing it. If you don’t know what caused the stain, play detective. Where is the stain located? Is it near a plant, food service area, an area where cosmetics are used? What color is it? What is the shape or pattern? What goes on in the area around the stain?

Types of Stains & First Step Cleaning Actions

Oil-Based (grease, tar, cooking oil, milk, cosmetics)
An oil-based stain will darken the stone and normally must be chemically dissolved so the source of the stain can be flushed or rinsed away. Clean gently with a soft, liquid cleanser OR bleach OR household detergent OR ammonia OR mineral spirits OR acetone.

Organic (coffee, tea, fruit, tobacco, paper, food)
May cause a pinkish-brown stain and may disappear after the source of the stain has been removed. Clean with 12% hydrogen peroxide (hair bleaching strength) and a few drops of ammonia.

Metal (iron, rust, copper, bronze)
Iron or rust stains are orange to brown in color and follow the shape of the staining object, such as nails, bolts, screws, cans, flower pots, metal furniture. Copper and bronze stains appear as green or muddy-brown and result from the action of moisture on nearby or embedded bronze, copper or brass items. Metal stains must be removed with a poultice (seek professional help). Deep-seated, rusty stains are extremely difficult to remove and the stone may be permanently stained.

Biological (algae, mildew, lichens, moss, fungi)
Clean with dilute (1/2 cup in a gallon of water) ammonia OR bleach OR hydrogen peroxide. DO NOT MIX BLEACH AND AMMONIA! THIS COMBINATION CREATES A TOXIC AND LETHAL GAS!

Ink (magic marker, pen, ink)
Clean with bleach or hydrogen peroxide (light colored stones only!) or lacquer thinner or acetone (dark stones only!).

Small amounts can be removed with lacquer thinner or scraped off carefully with a razor blade.

Water Spots and Rings (surface accumulation of hard water)
Buff with dry 0000 steel wool.

Scratches and Nicks
Seek professional help for polishing scratches.

Do's and Don'ts

Do clean surfaces with mild detergent.
Do thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing.
Do blot up spills immediately.
Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids on stone surfaces.
Don’t use cleaners that contain acids such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners, or tub and tile cleaners.
Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
Don’t mix bleach and ammonia: this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.

Courtesy of Marble Institute of America. Copyright ©2010. Disclaimer.