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Taken a shine to your new granite countertops? Keep them sparkling 24/7 with these tips on how to clean and maintain granite.

Unless you've been hiding under a rock (pun intended), you know that granite countertops are one of the most popular luxe upgrades for a home.

And what's not to love? Granite is one of the hardest of types countertop stones and is remarkably resistant to scratches and heat. The minerals in granite are also resistant to almost all chemicals commonly found in the home.

Still, stains happen, especially in the kitchen. So we consulted with the Marble Institute of America to find out how to tackle some of the trickiest stains -- and what you should know about resealing granite countertops so they stay as good as new.

How to remove oil stains: As with any stain, it's recommended to clean up the spill as soon as possible. Oil-based stains include everything from cooking oil to milk. An oil stain can darken the stone so it must be chemically dissolved so the stain can rinse away. Clean the surface gently with a household detergent or ammonia or mineral spirits. A poultice of baking soda and water is an eco-friendly solution that often works on oil-based stains.

How to remove organic stains (think coffee and tea): Fruit, coffee, tea, food, and paper can cause a pinkish-brownish stain on the stone, which may disappear after the source of the stain is removed. It's recommended to use a solution of hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia to remove the stain.

What to know about sealing granite
Sealing granite countertops ensures a further resistance to moisture migration into an already moisture-resistant surface. In fact, before 1995, there were very few quality sealers on the market, yet there were still few cases of staining. Once properly sealed, the granite is more resistant to everyday dirt and spills. Sealers have a lifespan of about 10 to 15 years. In today's market, most granite automatically receives a resin treatment at the factory, so you don't have to worry about sealing your granite countertop.

For more information on caring for your granite countertops, check out the Marble Institute of America's consumer site.

Countertop Materials for Every Taste and Budget (Popular Mechanics)
Husband-and-Wife Team Build Granite Business Together (Angie's List Magazine)

Want to fake a granite countertop? Try painting your laminate countertops to look just like granite! It really works; just check out this video demonstration.

  • Toni

    I just remodeled my kitchen. It came out awesome!

  • Ann

    Marble does stain. Granite properly finished does not.

  • Phyllis Heitkamp

    I have marble right in front of my fireplace. It is stained from water that comes down the chimney and mixes with the ash and then comes out onto the marble. Any suggestions on how to get the grey/black out and what to seal it with?

  • Ruth

    How do you get cat urine out of granite countertops? It turned the granite dark.

  • 4 Comments / 1 Pages

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