Granite is a hard, durable stone that requires relatively low maintenance compared to other materials. However, granite is not effortless, and care and maintenance are required to protect the beauty and functionality of your investment.
Because granite is a porous stone, food and liquid spills should be cleaned up as soon as they are noticed.
Wipe down surfaces daily with a microfiber cloth, dry or dampened with water. Warm water an a small amount of dish soap may also be used. Cleaners formulated specifically for sealed granite are also available at Sellers.
To disinfect, mix equal parts isopropyl alcohol and distilled water in a spray bottle. Allow the spray to sit on the counters for 2 – 3 minutes, then wipe down with a soft cloth.
Once a week, wipe down your granite counters with a microfiber cloth and only water or a specialty granite cleaner with a neutral pH.
For oily stains that have soaked into the granite, try a poultice made of a cup of flour or baking soda and 5 tablespoons of dish soap. Add water to make it the consistency of yogurt. Place the solution directly on the stain and cover with plastic wrap overnight before washing away the poultice. Be sure to gently rinse the countertops and dry thoroughly.
Your granite counters were sealed when they were installed, but should be re-sealed every year. There is a simple test that you can do to determine if your countertops need to be sealed again. Splash a little water on the surface of the countertop. Watch to see if the water sits on the countertop in small bead-like shapes or flows freely. Re-seal the countertop when water splashed on the surface no longer beads up. Be sure to perform this test on areas that get the most use.
Inspect areas to make sure there is no cracking or shifting at the seams. Inspect for stains and scratches as well. If there are stains or damage, contact a stone-care professional for repair. Delaying repair or treatment can lead to larger and more expensive repairs or even the need for a total replacement.
What to Avoid
Harsh, acidic cleaners and chemicals. Common cleaners like Windex, vinegar, lemon, lime, or anything with ammonia or bleach should be avoided, as frequent use of these will dull and weaken the sealant over time and can scratch, pit, and etch the surface of the stone permanently.
Even though granite is an incredibly durable stone, it isn’t entirely impervious. Hot pads, trivets, and cutting boards are all recommended.
Quick Dos & Don’ts
Hardwood care and maintenance can be surprisingly easy considering the amount of use and traffic most floors get. Although all wood floors develop a patina of use over time, regular maintenance can easily prolong the life and beauty of your floors.
Three Hardwood Enemies
To keep your floors looking like new, avoid overexposure to three main things: Water, dirt / grit, and the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Water left to puddle or stand can dull and mark the finish of your floors. Prolonged exposure can even warp the wood.
Dirt, dust and grit can act like sandpaper, dulling the finish of your floor.
Excessive sunlight can similarly dull the finish of your floor as well as cause discoloration in the wood.
Sweep regularly with a soft bristle broom or dust with a dry microfiber mop.
Vacuum weekly using the bare floor setting.
Wipe up an food or liquid spills immediately. Clean spills with warm, mild soapy water and dry with a soft cloth. Only use cleaners specifically designed for your type of hardwood floor.
Limit excessive sunlight exposure by using blinds, curtains, and drapes.
Place protective mats and rugs at entrances and in high traffic areas. Use outdoor mats to trap dirt and grit that may have otherwise entered the home.
Keep your pet’s nails trimmed.
What to Avoid
Resist wet-mop, damp-mop, steam-mop, or cleaning your hardwood with water or other liquids. Similarly, don’t use oil soaps, liquid or paste wax, or other household products containing lemon, citrus, tung oil, or silicon to clean floors.
Avoid walking on floors with cleats, spiked or damage-heeled shoes.
Never use vinyl or tile cleaning products on wood floors. And never use self-polishing acrylic waxes on wood floors.
Quick Dos & Don’ts
Tile is known for its water resistance and easy cleaning. With the right maintenance routine, your tile floors, walls, and countertops will look great and last for years.
Glazed, unglazed, stone, glass and soft clay tiles may require different cleaning agents.
Clean glazed tile products regularly with an all-purpose, non-oil-based household or commercial cleaner which is also grout-joint-cleaning-compatible.
Multipurpose spray cleaners for everyday use will remove soap scum, hard water deposits, and mildew and can be used on wall tile areas in residential baths and showers.
Clean unglazed tile with concentrated tile cleaners that have a neutral pH for safe regular use. These are better able to removing grease, oils and normal spills from unglazed products (these products may also vary depending on application, use and amount of traffic).
For routine cleaning of glass tile, use any non-abrasive cleaning compound recommended for either glass or tile.
Damp-mop your ceramic floor a minimum of once each week, more frequently for heavy traffic areas. Do not use detergents, soaps, or any of the chemicals listed above.
Floor mats, rugs, and protective pads are also good ideas for reducing tile wear, especially in high traffic areas.
Quick Dos & Don’ts
Carpet / Rugs
Cleaning your carpet properly can be a breeze. It not only will keep it looking great for its full lifetime, but also help improve your indoor air quality, as well.
Vaccuum your carpet regularly to prevent dirt and soil from embedding themselves in the pile.
Depending on the type of carpet you have, you’ll want to use a vacuum with a rotating brush, a beater bar, or suction only.
Use scissors or curved fingernail clippers to cut sprouts and snags. Pulling on them can easily damage the carpet.
Clean spills immediately. The longer a spill or stain sits there, the harder it will be to remove.
For a food spill, gently remove as much solid material as you can with a spoon, or a dull knife. Add water and blot, using detergent sparingly if needed. Then, using the highest suction function, vacuum back and forth, adding more water to the stain as you go until completely clean.
If you need a spot removal solvent, use a product approved by The Carpet and Rug Institute of America. Apply several drops to a clean white cloth and blot the carpet in an inconspicuous area. If you notice a change in the carpet color, consult a professional carpet cleaner.
If stains remain after cleaning, moisten tufts in the stained area with 3% hydrogen peroxide and let stand for one hour. Blot and repeat until completely clean.
Use protective pads to prevent heavy dents made by furniture.
Depending on how much traffic your carpet or rug gets, consider having them professionally cleaned ever 12 – 18 months.
Quick Dos & Don’ts
Luxury plank flooring is highly durable and easy to maintain. A few simple cleaning tips will keep your floors looking and feeling great for years to come.
Clean up dust and dirt frequently with a soft-bristled broom or vacuum with bare floor settings, appropriate attachments, and the beater bar turned off.
Damp-mop weekly with clean water and a non-abrasive floor cleaner.
Clean spills immediately. Spot clean by hand with a nylon pad and neutral detergent.
Oil, vinegar or lemon stains should be removed right away as they may cause discoloration.
Ink, tomato and other stains can be removed by putting very diluted alcohol directly on the stain for a few minutes without scrubbing, then rinse off with water.
Always lift and carry when moving furniture. Never push, pull, or drag it across floors.
Consider mats and rugs for higher traffic areas.