Tips and tricks
To Maintain and Protect
Discussing Granite care and cleaning can sometimes be a little confusing. We will focus on granite countertop care and not granite used for other applications such as floors or wall cladding. It is important to recognize that “All” granite does not necessarily “have to” be sealed. For example, a tight grained granite may never need sealing because of the natural properties of that particular piece of granite.
However, we recommend every counter be sealed with a quality “Non-Toxic” sealer. The main reason to seal granite is to protect the stone from staining and water absorption. Staining is just that. Many food items such as, red wine, cooking oil, grease, mustard, coffee and tea can and will stain granite countertops.
Most stains can be removed depending on the type of stone and depth of penetration. At Olive Mill, we will apply the sealer to protect your stone counters. This initial sealing will not last forever and you must reapply sealer on a regular basis.
How often do I apply sealer?
We recommend that you seal your stone countertops anywhere from every 6 months to once a year. The frequency of sealing is typically based on the type of stone you have selected and the amount of traffic in the kitchen.
Type of Stone Sealer
Make sure you purchase a “Non-Toxic” sealer. The sealer should say on the bottle that it is safe for food preparation areas. If it doesn’t investigate further of please give us a call.
Can I over seal my granite?
Yes!! It is important to understand that while regular sealing is important, too much sealer can become a problem. Once a week or even once a month sealing can begin to build up in your granite material and begin to make the granite surface appear cloudy and dull. If this build up occurs we do recommend that you contact a stone restoration specialist to come out and clean and reseal your granite professionally.
Every day Cleaning
For everyday cleaning there are a number of products available on the market specifically designed for natural stone (such as Black Diamond brand stone cleaners), or a solution of 2 parts water to 1 part Simple Green works well. A very simple method is to use warm soapy water and wipe the entire counter surface on a daily basis. You do want to avoid common household cleaners that have a bleach or ammonia base. These cleaners can damage your sealer and leave your counters more susceptible to stains.
Its hard nonporous surface makes Quartz surfacing simple to clean. In most cases, soap and water or a mild detergent is all that is required to maintain its luster. If necessary, a non-abrasive cleanser such as Soft Scrub Liquid Gel with Bleach or Comet Soft Cleanser Cream With Bleach can be used along with a non-scratch or delicate scrub pad such as blue Scotch-Brite sponge.
Adhered materials like food, gum, nail polish, or dried paint can be scraped away with a plastic putty knife; any marks left by the blade can be removed with Soft Scrub Liquid Gel and a blue Scotch-Brite pad. Thoroughly rinse the surface with clean water to remove residue.
While Quartz Surfacing does not require sealants or waxes to maintain its luster, occasional polishing with Soft Scrub Bleach Gel or Comet Gel will keep the quartz surfacing looking its best.
Please understand that HONED finishes will require more daily maintenance than polished finishes. Since there is more exposed surface area with honed finishes, metal marks, finger prints and other signs of daily living will show on honed material. Most of these marks can be easily removed with little effort and non-abrasive cleaning products such as Soft Scrub Liquid Gel. For tough stains, work the area with a blue Scotch-Brite pad.
Quartz Surfacing is a virtually care-free surface, but as with any product, excessive abuse can harm its finish. With a small amount of care, your Quartz countertop will look as great as the day you bought it for years to come.
CAUTION: The following will harm Quartz Surfaces: Drano®, Liquid Plumr®, oven cleaners and floor strippers. Do NOT use these or any other harsh chemicals on your Silestone surface. DO NOT use crock pots or electric skillets while in direct contact with your Silestone surfaces. Always place them on a trivet or cutting board to protect your countertop. (Review your electric appliance manual as a reference). Silestone is a stone product. As with any natural stone, certain exposure to heat may cause cracks due to thermal shock.
There are three types of Solid Surface countertop finishes: matte/satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss*. Most countertops are finished with a matte/satin finish. All Solid Surface sinks have a matte/satin finish.
Soapy water, ammonia based cleaners or commercially available solid surface cleaners will remove most dirt and residue from all types of finishes. Stubborn residue will require a little stronger cleaner.
Follow the recommendations below to properly clean your countertop and sink.
Experience has shown that a film builds up on the surface if water is left to dry on the countertop. This film will dull the look of the countertop making the finish appear blotchy and uneven. To prevent build up of the film, it is very important to wipe the countertop completely dry after spills and cleaning.
Some colors of Solid Surface may require more frequent cleaning to maintain a uniform finish. Darker colors tend to require more attention than lighter colors. Over time, even with proper care, your countertop will acquire a patina, changing the appearance of the finish.
*Contact us if you are uncertain what type of finish is on your countertop.
For regular cleaning, use a cloth or sponge with your favorite non-abrasive household cleaner. Most cleaners will work very well with your Onyx product. The two most important aspects of cleaning are the hardness of the water and the frequency of cleaning. We recommend applying a protective / polishing product like Gel-Gloss™ after each cleaning. These products will continually make cleaning the shower easier because of the protective polish they leave on the Onyx product. Once again, avoid using abrasive household cleaners – if a cleaning product feels “gritty,” please do not use it.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners, such as: Ajax, Comet, CRL Bio-Clean, CRL Sparkle, Rouge and Cerium Oxide.
- Hydrofluoric and phosphoric acid are corrosive to the coating and glass surfaces and shouldn’t be used.
- Do not use abrasive brushes, razor blades or other sharp objects.
Download the ShowerGuard Brochure to learn more
Alston wood flooring
ALSTON INC.floors have been produced with great attention to ensure the best possible quality and workmanship. The longevity of any hardwood flooring products is directly related to the proper installation and the commitment to appropriate care and maintenance.
It should be realized that wood is a natural product with all its own natural variations of grains, colors and characteristics, which are perfectly normal with any wood product. Wood is also a living material, which reacts to changes of the climate and surroundings. During summer’s high humidity, the wood absorbs moisture and expands. In winter, when the surrounding is heated, humidity drops, the wood releases its humidity, and shrinks and contracts. Therefore it is necessary that the humidity in the room, wherever any hardwood flooring is installed, must be maintained at the level of 30~50% by the use of a humidifier and / or dehumidifier; and the room temperature is kept between 60 ̊F-80 ̊F by heating or air-conditioning system. These conditions are good simultaneously for human health as well as for the well being of the hardwood floorings. If the humidity and temperature variation is more than the recommended settings (summer/winter) and no counter-measure is taken, it may cause problems and damages to the flooring, which are not covered by the Limited Warranty.
Regular cleaning should also be done, either by a vacuum cleaner or a smooth broom, to remove any sand or dirt to avoid abrasion and scratches.
A mop slightly dampened with an approved wood flooring cleaner to remove stain, grease, shoe-tracks etc could also clean the surface. No high-heeled shoes should be worn onto the floor. Never use products such as oil-soap, “mop and glow,” traditional wax, or steel wool for cleaning.
It is highly recommended to put good floor-mats at any entrance area, and rugs around the kitchen-sink and dishwasher area to protect the surface from water or detergents.
Wipe and dry up spills immediately, never allow water to stand on the floor surfaces for any length of time.
Install rubber or felt-like pads under any furniture bases, chair-legs etc. to prevent scratches.
Trim pet’s nails and also cover high-wear areas with throw rug where the pets tend to frequent.
Avoid excessive sunlight or artificial light to fall directly on the surface for an extended period of time. Over a long period, UV rays and intense light may cause color changes on the wood’s surface. This is a normal and natural case with wood. After some years, a professional can redo the floor lacquering and even change the color if needed. Contact the nearest dealer for additional information.