FUN THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR BOARD: cheese/meat tray, candle holder, food trivet (make sure the board is at room temperature), wedding/anniversary/housewarming present, man cave, picture frame holder, kitchen utensil holder next to the stove, extra hot plate, and many other options.
FOR CHEESE, MEAT & FRUIT USAGE: DO NOT PLACE IN FREEZER as extreme temperature changes can cause your board to fracture. Please place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or the night before. Doing so will keep your board chilled for approximately 3 to 4 hours, with no more slimy cheese! You may also use as a trivet, but due to the silicone and wooden feet, it cannot be placed in the oven/microwave to warm as it will produce toxic fumes. Using your board at room temperature makes a great trivet for all hot dishes coming off the stovetop or out of the oven. The stone will help stop heat/cold transference to any surface, making it safe to use just about anywhere!
- AVOID using regular cleaning chemicals as they will strip the sealer, leaving a porous surface open to bacteria and germs. Avoid using any acidic cleaners such as bleach, glass cleaners, degreasers, vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange oils/scented cleaners, again, this will destroy your sealer. Do not let water stand on your stone as the acid in water can also pit your stone further, cause a dulling of the surface, and leave water marks/rings.
- Remember stone is a natural, porous substance, that while hard, can still chip, pit, and break. Use care when moving, don’t slam or drop the board onto any surface as you can possibly damage/break your board, also damaging the surface of what it has been dropped/placed on.
CLEAN and SHINY FINISH
Plain hot water and a clean, unused sponge with no soap added, or a phosphate-free dish soap (Dawn has a clear bottle that states phosphate free) is a wonderful cleaner. Keep a sponge just for cleaning your board, as regular dish soap and food oils left in sponges will leave a residue. Granite cleaner/polish is made especially for stone and marble, found everywhere and is the #1 choice to use. This cleans very effectively, leaves no residue, and gives your stone an additional polishing/protection as well (picture waxing your car with 2 coats). I like Zep Cleaner/Polish (Lowe’s Home Improvement) the best out of all I’ve tried so far, it uses a foam and is super easy to wipe up, otherwise, I use STONETECH® products as they work with the BulletProof® already on my boards.
As always, if you have any other questions, please email or call me, I’d be more than happy to answer any questions.
We always have a lot of questions on how to care for granite everywhere we go. I’ve included some here that will hopefully answer some of them and if not, please feel free to email me and I’ll be able to reply in more depth.
I use bleach to clean my counters, it’s ok? NO!! Bleach, ammonia, and most chemical cleaners are not healthy for your countertop! Think of it this way – would you pour some in a glass and drink it? Sprinkle it on your food? Nope! Granite and marble are porous, even after being heavily polished. Some varieties of granite have larger pits seen by the naked eye, others seem perfectly smooth. The porous surface holds chemicals, bacteria, and residue in those pits and then transfers them back to your food. Please see the Granite tab for proper ways to clean while protecting.
Can I scrub my granite to get food off? The best item to use is a food scraper, like what you use for pans, that is made from hard plastic, or a scrubber made for non-stick pans.
Can I do anything to my countertops? Yes and no. While incredibly hard, granite can still damage. Marble is much softer than granite and should not be used in the kitchen except as a board for making a dough, pastries, fudge, etc. When pulling a pot/pan off your stove (or oven), use a trivet to help stop surface dulling. It can take the heat, but the movement of a pan back and forth will wear your surface dulling the polish. Use a cutting board when cutting/chopping as cutting on granite will dull your knives and again, create dulling on your polished surface.
I use a dusting spray (Endust, etc.) to keep my counters shiny. Most dust sprays contain citrus oil(s) of some such, a no-no for granite tops. It also leaves a residue on the counters that again transfers to anything placed on it, and of course, it’s chemical by-products aren’t healthy to use on your tops either. Using a granite/marble cleaner and polish will continue to keep your countertops/board looking beautiful and in optimal condition.
It’s completely waterproof, right? No, the stone is porous, polished or not, and will absorb some water over time especially if not sealed properly. Always wipe up any water/spills when you see them as this will continue to keep your board/countertops in top condition.
The company I used never said anything about maintenance, and it’s rock so it’s good forever right? No, not necessarily. Granite is hard, can take hit after hit, but it depends on what type of granite it is (how strong/non-porous), what product is used as the final sealer and if it’s food grade safe. Some companies use a cheaper sealer that lasts about 2-4 years, or no sealer at all, depending on only the Ager or other enhancing product which also contains a light sealer. With heavier usage around sinks, dishwashers, and stoves, sealers won’t last as long due to daily cleaning/friction. For folks who have never done anything to protect their stone, after a few years, the sealer is gone and water, food residue, etc go directly into the countertop. Using a sealer like LATICRETE® STONETECH® BulletProof® Sealer, with a residential coverage of 15 years, you won’t have this issue. You are able to purchase it yourself from Amazon and some local retailers. Directions are very easy and I like to double coat around the heaviest used areas. Here’s a simple way to test your top without damaging it with the typical oil and lemon juice test. Let some plain water (not much needed) stand on various places on your countertops. Wait 15 min and see how much has disappeared. Check again every 5 minutes until you reach 30 minutes total. If the beginning amount is still present, your sealer is good. If it disappears after 15 min, you need to apply a sealer coat. ** please see bottom for the directions link (the sealer directions are on the second page of the pdf).
Can I use Turtle Wax, any car wax, etc for shine? No, again, it goes back to using the proper products intended for your countertops. They are made specifically to keep your granite and marble protected, to seal the porous surface, and are made specifically for food grade surfaces, meaning that it won’t affect your health. Car waxes cannot make this same claim and oils such as tongue oil, Dutch oil, olive oil, etc. shouldn’t be used either as they can become rancid and bacteria-laden especially in the kitchen.
What happens if my granite stains? Granite is usually very heat, stain and water resistant. There are some varieties that are more stain resistant than others (Black Galaxy is one I know of). However, if water or food is left for an extended period of time, you can try these to help, and also purchase a product in the StoneTech® line made especially for stain issues:
- Organic stains caused by coffee, tea, wine, juice or food sometimes cause a brownish stain. Clean the stain first with a clean white cloth (the better to see the stain coming up). Use a 12% hydrogen peroxide solution (grocery stores, etc.) to wipe over it until the stain is removed. Remember to wipe with a clean white cloth changing the cloth area frequently to see the stain removal process, then clean with a regular granite cleaner and polish.
- Oil based stains can be a little trickier due to chemicals being used, like makeup, nail polish, cooking oil, milk (natural oils), and others. This can cause the stone to have a darker shade from the rest of your top and require a special poultice compound like LATICRETE® STONETECH® Professional Oil Stain Remover (check pricing as it varies greatly). Follow directions, then clean and repolish your countertop.
- Water spots or rings are very common, especially in countertops that have lost their sealer due to regular use, cleaning chemicals, or improper care. Usually using #0000-grade steel wool (aka 4 Ought) found at most home improvement stores, and rubbing in small circles until gone works, especially on recent water stains. After, use the proper steps to clean and reseal using BulletProof® Sealer.
Hopefully, this answers some of your questions. Here’s the link for the BulletProof® Sealer for your countertops, and other STONETECH® helping products as well: https://laticrete.com/~/media/files/solutions-center/surface-care-and-maintenance/k20528_stonetechprofessional_polishedhomogenousgranite.ashx?la=en