Seal the marble with paste or sealer to help prevent stains and soil from being absorbed into the porous surface. Do not let acids contact the marble as they will etch it. Strong alkaline solutions are absorbed by the marble and break down the surface leaving it rough. If well-sealed, damp-mopping should keep it clean. If soil does not all come off, wash with a solution of mild detergent (such as Liquid Dishwashing Detergents) and water, and rinse thoroughly. Remove stains promptly. Check with Shaker Hill Granite for special cleaners if needed to remove stains.
Removing Stains from Marble
Make a poultice from white absorbent material such as a napkin, blotter, paper towel or facial tissue, dampened with the chemical recommended below to dissolve that stain; or mix whiting with that chemical to make a soft paste to cover the stain. The poultice should be left on the stain from 1 hour up to 48 hours, depending on the age and depth of the stain. Plastic wrap, held in place by masking tape, can be put over the poultice to keep it damp; otherwise it will have to be re-dampened with the chemical periodically. Mix only enough poultice for immediate use; mix a second batch later if another application is needed.
With the proper care your granite countertop will stay new-looking for years.
Blot up spills immediately, before they penetrate the surface. Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap (available in hardware stores or form a stone dealer), or mild dishwashing liquid and warm water. Use a soft, clean cloth to clean the granite. Rinse after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Removing Stains from Granite
Remove a stain on granite, basing the method on the type of stain. Mix a cup of Baking Soda, 1-2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid with water to make a thick paste. Put it on the stain, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit overnight. Scrape away the mixture with a wooden utensil and rinse.
If the stain is oil-based (e.g. grease, oil, milk), use hydrogen peroxide in the paste instead of dishwashing liquid - or try ammonia on it.
The only maintenance required for soapstone (steatite) is the application of mineral oil to enhance the natural darkening process the stone goes through. Once mineral oil is applied, the stone will turn into a very dark charcoal gray, sometimes black. You can take a pot right from your stove and place it on your soapstone countertops without harm.
Oiling a Soapstone Countertop
We recommend oiling your countertops to ensure that the stone will evenly darken. The oil is not sealing or protecting the stone, it is only "speeding up" the natural darkening process that steatite (soapstone) goes through. Soapstone is non-porous and, unlike marble and granite, does not need to be sealed.
There isn't a set rule of how often you should oil the countertops. Oiling too little or too much will not damage the stone in any way. We recommend oiling the countertops as soon as the previous coat of mineral oil has started fading away (evaporating). Once you oil the countertops for the first time you will see the stone will become much darker. A few days from the first oiling, most soapstone will lighten back up. You can re-treat your countertops every time this happens. The soapstone will take approximately 3 coats of mineral oil to reach its final color, getting darker after every oiling. Every time you oil your countertops, the stone will hold the oil longer than the last time, until about the 6th or 8th month the stone will stay permanently dark.
Cleaning a Soapstone Countertop
Any common household cleaner can be used to clean soapstone counter surfaces. Chemicals and acids do not harm it. However, we do recommend that you use regular soap and water because harsher solvents may remove the mineral oil treatment, therefore generating more maintenance. Soapstone, being softer than granite and marble, is also more prone to scratches. The great advantage is that any scratches can be easily removed with a light sanding and/or mineral oil.
Eventually the countertops will get scratched. Most scratches can be hidden by lightly applying some mineral oil. If you get a deep scratch in there, you will need to do some sanding. With a small piece of 120-grit sandpaper, sand the scratch area in a circular motion until the scratch is almost gone, then using a 220-grit sandpaper do the same thing but this time using water. Clean up the countertop and oil in that section again. Sanding will remove the mineral oil, and remember that the stone will take 3 coats to reach the final color. You may notice a slight color difference on that spot. Do not worry, you can oil in the morning, then again in the afternoon and so on until the color evens out.
The ever-lasting finish requires only simple and routine care to maintain its good looks. To clean we recommend using warm water and a mild detergent or quality spray and wipe type cleaner in order to enjoy enduring beauty and unmatched performance for years to come.
Virtually maintenance-free, Quartz hard, non-porous surfaces require no sealing to renew the luster and are simple to clean. In most cases, soap and water or a mild detergent is enough to keep your countertop looking like new. If necessary, use a non-abrasive soft soap along with a non-scratch or delicate scrub pad. Afterwards, thoroughly rinse with clean water to remove residue.