Granite Countertop Maintenance
LESLIE: June in Alabama, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?JUNE: I have granite countertops in the kitchen and I’ve only had them a year-and-a-half and they’ve turned dark and they’re cleaned periodically; probably every three months. But they’re much more attractive light and they’ve just turned dark; especially around the stove and around the sink.TOM: Now June, when you clean them, do they brighten up again?JUNE: They brighten up and they shine but the color doesn’t change.TOM: Hmm.LESLIE: It sounds like you’re dealing with two areas where there’s a lot of moisture, especially around the sink; and it seems to me, just from the description, that perhaps the seal that’s on the top of the granite – which needs to be taken care of every year; you need to put a new coating on it – but it seems like perhaps it failed where they cut the tile – you know, the granite edge – for the sink or for the two pieces that butt up to the stove and maybe you got moisture underneath. And it seems like mold, wouldn’t you think, Tom?TOM: Well, it also sounds like – I was thinking along the same lines; that the seal may have failed. You know, there’s a website called Stonecare.com. It’s got some great products that could actually straighten this out. You’re probably …JUNE: I went to that website but they have so many products. The only thing that I saw that might apply was a degreaser.TOM: June, I think that the product that you need is actually a stain remover. It’s a poultice powder, which is essentially designed to lightly abrade the surface, and it works for food stains, it works for mildew stains and there are even stain removers for things that are tough like oil and grease to get out. It sounds to me like this countertop probably wasn’t sealed properly when it was first installed and, as a result, you’ve had a lot of absorption just from normal use. And so you kind of need to get those stains out and then we can start over again, once it’s nice and clean, with a good-quality sealer and not have to deal with it again.JUNE: OK. So where do I get this stain remover?TOM: Well, that website that I was talking about, Stone Care, has different types of poultice powders. I think the product that you want is called FPP Stain Remover. It’s about 20 bucks a pint and that ought to do it for the whole top.JUNE: OK. Alright, thank you very much.TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.