Care & Maintenance
- Natural stone care & maintenance
- Engineered stone care & maintenance
- Granite sink care & maintenance
- Stainless steel sink care & maintenance
- Faucet care & maintenance
Keeping your stone free of dust and dry, sandy soil will minimize the scratches and wear-patterns that can develop from everyday use of some natural stone, such as granite, marble, limestone and sandstone. Sweep or dust all natural stone surface regularly to remove loose soil and dust.
Clean up spills immediately. This is the most important thing to keep in mind when caring for your granite. Always blot up the spills rather than wiping them up. Blot up the spill with paper towel, then wash the area with warm water, and finally, dry the area with a soft, dry cloth. Remember, the quicker you clean up a spill, the less chance of staining.
The safest way to clean your granite tops is to use products designed specifically for stone. Cleaners and disinfectants of this type are neutral on the acid scale, so they pose no risk of hurting the polish. Dish soap and water will work to clean your tops. Avoid anything that contains bleach or any wipe on cleaners that have grit in them. If you want to avoid water streaking while cleaning you must wipe your tops until they are completely dry. If lime build up occurs around your faucet do not uses lime removal products. Gently scraping the lime off with a straight razor is the best solution. Never use bleach and other chlorine based cleaners, acids, photographic development liquid, ammonia, alkalis (caustic soda) and concentrated disinfectants on the stone surfaces. If any of these substances come into contact with the stone, clean them off immediately, otherwise surface damage will occur. Avoid use of abrasive cleaning materials: scouring powders/pads course steel wool and metal brushes ect.
Strongly colored foodstuffs such as blackcurrant, beetroot etc should be avoided if possible or cleaned off the surface as soon as possible as these substances can stain natural Marble and Granite surfaces. Acidic foodstuffs such as citrus juices, vinegars, tomato sauce and cola may etch the stone surface and affect the gloss polish. While stains are rare, they are caused most frequently by cooking oil. Do not store bottles of cooking oil directly on your granite. When cooking with oil, wipe clean any of the countertops that came into contact with the oil when you are finished. Do not store metal pots and pans on your countertops either, as rust can stain the granite. The sealer is not a waterproofing agent. If your granite darkens when it is wet do not be alarmed. It will return to its original color when the water evaporates. Any material that is stuck on your granite countertop, such as dried paint, glue, tape residue and dried food can be scraped off by using the flat side of a razor blade.
What to do when a spill occurs?
No matter how careful you are, spills are going to happen. A quick response and the right solutions can keep spills from damaging your stone or the sealer.
Etch Marks- Substances that are highly acidic, such as orange juice, coffee, vinegar, wine, tomato products, mustard and many soft drinks, will “etch” most marble, limestone and travertine – whether the stone is sealed or unsealed. Although sealing allows you time to wipe up a spill, it cannot stop the reaction that may leave a dull area or etch mark in the stone.
In addition, cleaners not specifically designed for natural stone are not recommended. These may etch away the polish, discolor the surface, scratch the stone or degrade the sealer.
Food Spills – Scoop up the food with a plastic spoon. Blot with dry, white cloth. Spray the area with a cleaner and wipe off excess with a clean cloth.
Liquid Spills – Blot away the excess with a clean, dry, white cloth; turning the cloth frequently. Spray the area with a cleaner.
Mud – Let the mud stain dry completely. Remove dried mud with a soft plastic or nylon brush. Spray affected area with a cleaner. Wipe dry with a clean cloth. If the stain remains, contact a professional cleaner.
Oily stains – if you identify the stain as having an oil base (from foods like salad and cooking oils, butter, or some cosmetic) you may be able to remove the stain using a poultice. We recommend StoneTech Professional Oil Stain Remover (www.stonetechpro.com). This easy-to-use poultice is designed to slowly remove oily stains from natural stone surfaces. Follow the directions on the label.<
Do not sit or lean on weaker points in your countertop, such as the narrow area in front of the sink or cook top. Avoid standing or sitting on suspended tabletops such as breakfast bars or shelves. Granite can withstand very hot temperatures, however, rapid heat changes from cold to hot or vice versa could possibly crack your granite countertop. If you have a seam in your countertop it is best to avoid setting hot materials on top of it. The epoxy in the seam is heat resistant, but can be melted if exposed to heat for an extended period.
Chips in granite are not a common occurrence and are most often caused by banging something into the edge of the countertop. Heavy pots and pans and the bottoms of large bottles do most of the damage. Take care when you handle them around your granite. If a chip does occur and you find the piece that chipped out, save it. Most of the times it can be glued back into place.
Granite is quartz based material and can therefore be scratched by quartz or anything harder. Knives will not scratch granite, although cutting on your countertops is not recommended as your knives will dull very quickly. Diamonds will scratch granite. Removing diamond rings before cooking is recommended. Certain stoneware dishes contain rough silica sand and pose a risk of scratching. Some pizza-stones will scratch granite if they are spun around while cutting the pizza. If you use a marble cutting board make sure the rubber or plastic feet remain secure. If the marble ends up rubbing on the granite this does pose a scratching risk.
Sealing your Stone
Natural stone has been formed over millions of years but improper care can ruin nature’s beauty. Although we usually think of stone as “hard”, it is a porous material that can absorb spills and stains if left untreated. Sealing your stone with a quality impregnating sealer will prevent most spills from damaging your investment.Prior to installation, your countertops were sealed. However, we still recommend applying extra layers of a stone sealer every 6 months after the granite is installed.
There are a wide variety of sealers available, so you need to select one for your specific needs and natural stone type. Impregnating sealers, with new, advanced fluorochemical technology, penetrate the stone and help protect it against that natural stone is best protected with a fluorochemical-based sealer.
Once sealed properly, your stone is protected against everyday dirt and spills. Proper cleaning will help the sealer last longer and keep your stone protected without damaging your stone’s natural beauty.
Quartz surface requires very little maintenance to retain its color and shine, although certain rules should still be observed. If treated correctly Quartz surface should last you for many years to come.
Any multi-purpose cleaner or detergent can be used if diluted. To remove adhered materials like food, gum, nail polish, dried paint, etc, first scrape away the excess with a sharp blade. If there are any grey metal marks on the surface, a regular cleaning agent will remove them.
Quartz surface has a high resilience to staining from Tea, soda, wine, vinegar, lemon juice, and strongly colored spices, however these substances should be cleaned off as soon as possible to avoid problems. Just wipe away with a little liquid detergent and a damp cloth, and the surface is like new.
Do not sit or lean on weaker points in your countertop, such as the narrow area in front of the sink or cook top. Avoid standing or sitting on suspended tabletops such as breakfast bars or shelves. Quartz surface can withstand very hot temperatures, however, rapid heat changes from cold to hot or vice versa could possibly crack your countertop. If you have a seam in your countertop it is best to avoid setting hot materials on top of it. The epoxy in the seam is heat resistant, but can be melted if exposed to heat for an extended period.
Quartz surface has a high resistance to scratches but should be cared for in the same way as granite. Do not cut directly on the Quartz surface unless you want to ruin your good knives and possibly scratch your new worktop. Under normal working conditions in a kitchen there will not be a problem. If this is a major concern we will be happy to give you a sample of the Quartz surface color you have chosen for you to test it’s suitability for your everyday use. Always cut and chop on a wooden, glass or plastic cutting board to avoid any damage. Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm your Quartz surface worktop and it can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects.
Daily cleaning may be done with any non-abrasive cleaner (i.e. BLANCOCLEAN Composite Sink Cleaner). After every use, rinse and wipe the sink dry with a clean, soft cloth to eliminate any water spots or soap film build-ups.
Removing Stains and minor scuff marks
Normal Stains – For stains, please use BLANCOCLEAN, along with a soft scouring pad.
Stubborn Stains – A solution of 50% bleach, 50% water should only be used for tough, stubborn stains. Let the solution sit in the bottom of the sink for one hour; then scrub. Rinse well. Also, the use of Bar Keepers Friend (directions included on bottle) will help remove stubborn stains. Finally, clean with BLANCOCLEAN to put a protective coating back on the sink’s surface.
BLANCOCLEAN can be used to help bring back the luster. Follow the directions on the bottle.
To remove Calcium Deposits (a white ring around the bottom of your sink): use LIME AWAY
To remove Adhesive Labels: use Acetone (nail polish remover)
Note: Always test non-Blanco branded stain remover in a small, non-visible location
What not to use?
- Do not use any abrasive cleaning agents or scrub pads, such as Steel Wool
- Straight bleach
- Commercial alkalis, such as ammonia and/or caustic solutions
- Drain blocking chemicals that involve filling the sink with water
Note: Always test non-Blanco branded stain remover in a small, non-visible location
The best form of maintenance is frequent, regular cleanings. A little bit of cleaning on a regular basis is preferable to a major cleaning on a sporadic basis.
The best method of preventative maintenance is to ensure that the sink is clean, dry and exposed to room atmosphere when not in use. Rinse and towel dry the sink after each use in order to minimize major cleanups, keeping it shiny and relatively free of water spots. This is particularly appropriate where water may have a high mineral content.
Should a mineral deposit build up over time, it may be removed with vinegar, Line-Away or CLR, followed by flushing the surface with water. To clean your sink, use the mildest procedure that will do the job effectively. On the mirror finish deck we recommend using either a liquid detergent or metal polish, such as Peek with a soft cloth. DO NOT USE ANY ABRASIVE MATERIALS ON THE MIRROR FINISH.
Inside the sink bowl we recommend using a mild abrasive cleanser such as Old Dutch, Comet or Cameo. Always rinse the sink after using a cleaning agent, and wipe the sink dry to discourage any water spotting. Any cleaning or scrubbing to remove stubborn stains from the inside of the sink bowls, should follow the direction of the grain line. Any scrubbing across the grain will show as a scratch. Scrubbing in the same direction as the grain will blend in any surface scratches.
Steel wools pads should never be used to clean your sink as they will leave a residue of small iron particles. They may not even be readily visible, but they most certainly will lead to rusting and corrosion of the sink. ScotchBrite scouring pads are available for this purpose. For similar reasons do not leave any mild steel or cast iron cookware or implements anywhere on the sink for extended periods of time. The combined presence of iron and moisture with stainless steel can only lead to staining of the sink.
Do not leave rubber dish mats, wet sponges, or cleaning pads in the sink overnight as they will trap water which could lead to staining and discoloration of the sink. The unique properties of stainless steel are dependent upon exposure of the surface to the atmosphere.
Never use abrasive pads or cleaners on the mirror finish deck of the sink. They will scratch the finish. THIS INCLUDES SCOTCHBRITE PADS! THESE PADS SHOULD BE USED ONLY ON THE SIDES AND BOTTOM OF THE SINK BOWLS.
Chlorine bleach will attack the stainless steel and may cause pitting. The risk of damage is proportional to the concentration of the chlorine and the duration of exposure between the sink and the chlorine agent. Note that some bacterial soaps may contain chlorine compounds: Always dilute any antibacterial product used and wipe up any spills. Note: some bacterial soaps may contain chlorine compounds.
Any accidental contact of the sink with photographic chemicals or soldering fluxes should be addressed by an immediate rinsing and cleaning of the sink. Certain foods such as pickles, mayonnaise, mustard, and salt laden foodstuffs can cause pitting of the sink surface if left unattended for prolonged periods.
Any drain cleaning products containing sulphuric or hydrochloric acid will attack the sink. Silver dip cleaners may contain strong acids which will attack the sink.
Do not use your sink as a cutting surface. KINDRED offers hardwood cutting boards for this purpose. Stainless steel bottom grids are available for many KINDRED stainless steel sinks. These bottom grids protect the bottom of the bowl(s) from cutlery scratches, or marking from heavy kitchen utensils.
To care for your faucet, wipe with a clean, soft, damp cloth and blot dry as often as possible. Occasionally, apply a non-abrasive polish to prevent water deposits and remove build-up of household soaps, creams, and sprays to all finishes.
NEVER use abrasive cleaners or pads, or chemical cleaners of any kind (including window cleaner) on any product with a protective coating or custom finish. Such cleaners will attack the protective coating and use will void the finish warranty.