LESLIE: Now we’re talking to Pauline in New Jersey who needs some help with a countertop. How can we help you today?
PAULINE: I have a lot of counters in both bathrooms and the kitchen. And from the – I have backsplashes, as well. And where the backsplash and the counter meet, it’s coming up white and it looks like dry paste. And also, what’s happened over the last few years – at first, I took a little bit off with my nail but now it’s getting really bad. And it’s – there were splash marks, as though when they put the counter in, they didn’t clean off the – whatever they used. And it looks like you splashed something on and it dried up.
And I don’t want to use anything that isn’t right for the granite and ruin it. So I was wondering if you had a suggestion that might be easy for me to use and get rid of this stuff.
TOM: How long have you had these countertops? When were they first installed?
PAULINE: Seven years ago.
TOM: And they’ve never been sealed since?
PAULINE: No, no.
TOM: Well, granite tops do take quite a bit of maintenance. People think that they’re fairly maintenance-free because they’re somewhat indestructive. But they really do need a lot of care and they need to be resealed from time to time.
And it sounds to me like the white stuff that you’re describing is most likely mineral salt. And what happens is the countertops, when they lose their seal, they absorb more moisture. Then the moisture evaporates off and it leaves behind the mineral-salt deposits that’s in the water. And that forms that white sort of crust; it’s like a grayish-white crust.
Now, what are you using to clean them on a daily basis?
PAULINE: Generally, just water and a little – they told me to use the Windex.
TOM: Yeah, you can make a homemade granite cleaner with rubbing alcohol – standard rubbing alcohol – mixed with maybe a half-a-dozen drops of dishwasher detergent.
PAULINE: OK. Thank you so much.