Care & Maintenance

Natural stone care & maintenance

Cleaning

Cleaning your natural stone countertops is as easy as using a mild detergent (like dish soap) and water. Wipe your counters often to keep them clean and glossy, and use a dry towel to dry them completely to avoid watermarks. You should clean up spills immediately to avoid staining, especially if the spill is acidic in nature (like orange juice, vinegar, and tomato sauce) or contains strongly colored agents (such as blackcurrant, food dye, or beetroot). Oil is the most likely candidate to stain your countertops, so do not store oil containers on your counters and wipe off any oil spill or splatter immediately.

Avoiding Cracks?

Some areas of your countertops are more susceptible to cracks and breaks. These are the narrower sections found around the sink and cook top. You should avoid leaning or sitting on these areas. You should also avoid leaning or sitting on suspended areas of your countertops like hanging breakfast bars. Another way to prevent cracking is to avoid placing very hot items on a cold countertop as rapid and extreme temperature change could result in a crack. Never place hot items on seams. Same is true for granite, marble, soapstone, limestone, travertine and onyx.

Care

Avoiding Chips

Granite is an extremely resilient stone that is not prone to chips. In most cases, chips occur when something heavy collides with the counter’s edge, such as heavy pots, pans and large bottles. The good news is that if you find the piece that was chipped out, it can often be glued back in place.

Avoiding Scratches

Because granite is a quartz based stone, it can only be scratched by quartz or harder materials. Knives will not make a dent in it, but your granite counters will cause them to dull quickly if you do not use a cutting board. Materials commonly found in the kitchen that are harder than quartz include diamonds (you should always take off your diamond rings before cooking), stone cookware that contains rough silica sand, certain pizza stones and marble kitchen accessories, like marble cutting boards.

Sealing

Granite is durable, but it remains a natural porous stone that has the potential to absorb spills if not properly treated. This is why it is important to seal your granite countertops with a high quality sealer. All of Fairfax Granite & Marble counters are sealed upon installation, but in the interest of protecting your investment, we recommend repeating the sealing process every 6 months. There are a variety of sealers available, and we will be happy to recommend the one that is best for your particular granite stone.

Which Sealer to use

Please refer to Granite Shields manual if you purchased the upgrade with us. If not, we recommend Miracle 511 Clean and Reseal to clean your countertops Check out this link if you would like to read about marble maintenance; www.calacattamarblecountertops.com . Once sealed properly, your stone is protected against everyday dirt and spills. Proper cleaning will help the sealer last longer and keep your stone protected without damaging your stone’s natural beauty. Engineered stones such as Silestone, Caesarstone, Cambria, and Zodiaq have their own maintenance instructions. Please refer to Silestone FAQ, Caesarstone FAQ, Cambria FAQ, and Zodiaq FAQ for more information. Always also feel free to visit one of our showrooms.

Engineered stone care & maintenance

Quartz countertops are pretty low maintenance if treated appropriately. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your quartz counters beautiful.

Cleaning

Cleaning your quartz counter tops; Silestone, Caesarstone, Cambria, Zodiaq,  is as easy as wiping them with water and a mild, diluted detergent (such as dish soap). Anything stuck to the surface of your counters (such as paint, chewing gum, dried food and nail polish) should be scraped off with a sharp blade before cleaning the area. As quartz is extremely resistant to stains, they are usually not an issue. You should, however, always wipe any spill promptly (especially spills containing strongly colored agents, citrus juice, oil, vinegar and wine). Again, a mild detergent will help ensure your quartz counters do not stain.

Avoiding Cracks

While your quartz countertops are quite sturdy, narrower and weaker areas could be prone to cracks if you heavily lean or sit on them. These areas include the narrow strips around the sink and cook top as well as any hanging pieces like breakfast bars and shelves. And while your quartz counters can withstand very high heat, a rapid and extreme change in temperature could result in a cracked countertop. Always make sure that your counters are not very cold before placing a hot pot or pan directly on the surface, and never put a hot item on a seam.

Avoiding Scratches

Quartz countertops are durable and hard to scratch and chip, but you should nonetheless be careful in order to avoid any chances of damage. Knives could leave scratches, so make sure to always use a cutting board when working with knives on your quartz countertops. Quartz will also dull and ruin your knives, so here is an extra incentive not to cut directly on your counter. Hard blows and other sharp objects (the diamonds on a ring, for example) can also scratch or chip your quartz countertops. Chipping is especially prevalent on corners if hit hard enough with a hard or heavy object, such as a heavy pan or large glass bottle. If you are not sure quartz is the right surface for your new countertops, Fairfax Granite & Marble will be more than happy to provide you with a sample of your chosen quartz surface for you to test and see if it is suitable for your day-to-day kitchen practices. You will have chance to compare your sample with natural stone options such as granite, marble, soapstone, limestone, travertine and onyx.

Granite sink care & maintenance

Care and maintenance for your granite sink is relatively easy. Your granite sink should be cleaned daily using a non-abrasive cleaner (for example, BLANCOCLEAN Composite Sink Cleaner). You should make sure you rinse and dry your granite sink after every use with a dry, soft cloth. This will help ensure that there are no water spots or soap film building up on the granite surface.

Removing Stains and minor marks

Regular Stains – Regular Stains: Mild stains can be removed using BLANCOCLEAN Composite Sink Cleaner and a soft scouring pad. Make sure to rinse well then dry your granite sink once the stain is removed.
Stubborn Stains – : If BLANCOCLEAN Composite Sink Cleaner is not enough to remove a stain, you can use a solution made of 50% bleach and 50% water. This should only be used for very stubborn stains that you cannot successfully clean with other cleaners. Let the bleach/water solution sit in the sink for an hour, then scrub the stain out. Rinse abundantly with water, then clean the sink again with BLANCOCLEAN Composite Sink Cleaner to apply a new protective coat to your granite sink. A product called Bar Keepers Friend can also be used to remove stubborn stains.

Luster

If you find your granite sink has lost its glossy appearance, you can use BLANCOCLEAN Composite Sink Cleaner to bring the luster back. Directions for adding luster can be found on the bottle.

Miscellaneus

If you find a white ring around the bottom of your granite sink (also known as a calcium deposit), you can clean it using LIME AWAY. Adhesive labels can be removed with acetone (nail polish remover) When using other cleaners than BLANCOCLEAN, always test the cleaner in a small, inconspicuous area.

Do not use

  • Abrasive cleaners or scouring pads (such as Steel Wool)
  • Undiluted bleach
  • Solutions and cleaners that contain commercial alkalis (such as ammonia or caustic solutions)
  • Drain clogging chemicals that involve filling the sink with water

Note: Always test non-Blanco branded stain remover in a small, non-visible location

Stainless steel sink care & maintenance

“The Do’s”

Clean your stainless steel regularly. Light, daily maintenance is preferred to sporadic deep cleanings.
Keep your stainless steel sink clean and dry in between each use. Using a dry, soft cloth to dry the sink will help avoid in-depth cleanings and keep it shiny and water-spot free, especially if your tap water has a high mineral content.

Use vinegar, Lime Away or CLR to remove visible mineral deposits. You should always rinse your stainless sink thoroughly after using such products. DO NOT USE ANY ABRASIVE MATERIALS ON THE MIRROR FINISH.

Clean your sink with a mild, non-abrasive detergent. Liquid dish soap or a metal polishing agent such as Peek work well when applied with a soft cloth.

Clean and scrub the inside of the sink bowls with a mild abrasive agent (such as Old Dutch or Comet). Always scrub in the direction of the grain to avoid scratching. Rinse well, then dry with a dry, soft cloth to avoid water spots and mineral deposits.

“The Don’ts”

Use steel wool pads to clean your stainless sink. These metal scrubbing pads will leave behind small iron particles that, in time, will cause your stainless sink to rust and corrode. These particles are not noticeable but will cause big damage over time. Non-metallic scrubbing pads such as Scotch Brite are a safer alternative.

Leave any metallic product such as cast iron cookware or metal cooking utensils in your stainless steel sink for any prolonged period of time. Moist or wet iron sitting in your stainless steel sink will cause staining and, in extreme cases, rust. If you must let a pan soak, fill it with water and sit it on a cutting board or thick towel on the countertop.

Use chlorine bleach to clean your sink. Doing so may cause pitting. Note that chlorine or chlorine compounds may be present in certain bacterial soaps. Read the label carefully and dilute the soap with water before using it on your stainless steel sink.

Use drain cleaning products that contain sulphuric or hydrochloric acid.

Use your stainless steel sink as a cutting surface. You may also scratch your sink if you leave sharp knives sitting in the bowl. Bottom grids are available for many KINDRED sinks and are designed to protect your sink from scratches and marking.

Faucet care & maintenance

Caring for your faucet is easy. We recommend cleaning it with a soft cloth, and drying it with another soft cloth. A non-abrasive polish once in a while will help keeping it clean, and preventing soap scums. .