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ADVICE WANTED!   July 31, 2002
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Granite Cure / Clean
Problems: stains & spots rings, marks, patches, smudges, scratches, rust, dulled, bleached, faded, lightnes, darkens, absorbs, yellowing, haze, film, rough, powdery

Basic info Stain Removal  Daily Dos 'n' Don'ts To Seal or Not Lemon Juice Test

Q 2360: Water Stain: I have just had "granite" countertops installed in my kitchen. The stone is gray/white and carried the name Imperial White. The stone was supposedly sealed on installation but I find it is amazingly absorbent. A small puddle of water left on the counter for about 2-3 minutes leaves a spreading dark spot. Of course it disappears in a while but it makes me very concerned about stains from grease or tomato sauce etc.
I have asked the vendor to re-seal the stone but I am wondering now if I have some form of rock that really isn't appropriate for a kitchen counter (it looks great but you can't get it wet or prepare food on it). Is  re-sealing going to take care of this problem or was the Imperial White a big mistake? Patrick, July 31, Reply
R1: Dear Patrick: What you're wondering about is, alas, true. Imperial White (an Orthogneiss, not a granite) is an extremely porous stone, and you will never find it in my sample board (I do fabrication, too). Have your fabricator come back & seal it to death (it may require up to 4 or 5 additional application, with an interval of at least 24 hours between each application) Sorry, I don't like breaking bad news. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist.
Q 2192: Water Stain: A potted plant sitting on my Juparano Columbo left a brown water stain. What do I use to get this out. The stone has been impregnated once-6 yrs ago. It is in a little used but highly visible area of my kitchen. Please advise. Thanks! Debbie, July 9, Reply
R1: Dear Debbie: You have to poultice the stain out using high-potency Hydrogen Peroxide (30 - 40 volume. The one available at your pharmacy won't do it, at only 3.5 volume. Go to your beauty salon and ask for the clear type.) Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist.
Q 2179: Water Stain: The more I read about granite the more complex it appears to be. Never knew there so many stones classified as granite each with its own characteristics.
We just purchased a new home in Las Cruces, New Mexico that has granite countertops in the kitchen and master bathroom. The granite is a light color with a variety of colors in it. Not sure what type it is, so that is something I will have to find out.
When you drop water on it is leaves a dark color mark on it which vanishes when it dries out. From what I have read this may indicate that it needs to sealed. I have not conducted the lemon test on it but will do so on now some of scrap pieces of granite to see what happens. The house builder has never used granite before and did so in this house since it was going to be a show home. He is not sure if the company who installed the granite sealed it or not. I will check with them next week on this.
Our other questions are the following:
1. There appears to be some random pitting in the granite. Is this natural or is the granite defective?
2. Should the seams between pieces of the granite be almost invisible or is the visibility of the seams a matter of the type of granite and the quality of the installation work involved?
3. There is one blurred spot near where two pieces were seamed together that appears as if some of the seam sealant may have spilled and did not get wiped. What can be used to remove that  
Thanks, Len. July 8, Reply
R1: Dear Len: Don't bother with either the lemon juice test, or asking the fabricator if that stone was sealed. It was obviously not, and -- for what you're reporting -- it does need to be sealed real bad. I do mean, REAL BAD!! Due to its excessive absorbency rate you will always have problems, but the application of the right sealer (probably 4 or 5 applications at an interval of 24 hours each) will help minimize them.
The pitting you're describing is a natural occurrence typical of many a "granite".
About the seam, I don't think you diagnosis is right (but it could be). You do not want to tangle with that situation. Have the fabricator come back and do the job right -- whatever has to be done.
Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist.
A 2121: Spots: We had a contractor install a 50-sq.ft. bar and countertop. The Absolute Black (3-cm) was to be satin finish (to minimize surface dirt on counter top). The fabricator assured us that he could install this satin finish, etc. When he installed it, it looked fairly good after he rubbed it with acetone and then applied Desmolit Shestone.
A few hours later, it rained, and spots developed all over the top surface. He came back, cleaned it again with acetone, and applied 511 Impregnator Penetrating Sealer for Granite (from Miracle Sealants Co.,).
The spots remained, so he used a small (about 5") buffer with some white liquid (not water) to buff the entire top. Result, every pass left a streak.--which did not go away with sealing.
The contractor has billed us $5,400 for this (49 square-foot) counter (with only one small sink cut-out), and we will not accept the 'wavy lines' across the entire top surfaces.
The contractor sent a refinisher out to look at the job, and he's not even sure the top is really granite. He noted that the bottom surface did not appear to be cut by a chain, etc., and saw, perhaps, no mica, etc., which usually is in genuine Absolute Black granite.
Do you think we should simply have another fabricator install a standard polished Absolute Black top--or do you think this surface can be saved (either in satin or glossy finish)? Bill, June 26, Reply
R1: Dear Bill: Of course, I can't comment on what the stone refinisher told you, but black "granite" is not a
granite (no matter what the invoice of the distributor says). It's either gabbro, or dolerite, or anorthosite. Each and every one of these stones are better -- from a mechanical point of view -- than true geological granite.
That said, the idea that a satin finish would show less soiling over its polished counterpart is totally wrong. In fact, it's absolutely the opposite. This forum is literally soaked with the tears of end users that bought into the idea of hone-finished black "granite". It is, in fact, a maintenance nightmare!
For what you're reporting to us, I must conclude that your fabricator knows about stone just as much as I know about ancient Chinese literature! I never even heard of this "Desmolite Shestone" thing and, honestly, I don't care to know about it, either! Sure enough it appears as being the culprit. The acidity of the rain etched the stuff, and to eliminate the "stains" (which stains are not), what does your fabricator do? Uses acetone (which won't do sqft), then, to top it all, uses an impregnator sealer for stone, which has no business whatsoever being applied on black "granite" (there are a lot of horror stories about this particular issue in this forum, too!) I really don't know what the heck he did when he came back and used a right-angle buffer on your poor stone, but it doesn't seem like it was the right thing to do, of course!
Leave the fabricator alone (in order not to create any additional mess) and strip the heck out your countertop by using a paint stripper based on Methylene Chloride (anything else won't cut it. Read the directions and precautionary measures and warnings on the product's can). After that, when everything will come out being nice and uniform, apply a color enhancer over your stone surface. This will turn your top permanently black, which will minimize the visual effects of surface staining (the nightmare of hone-finished black "granite".)
Out of pity, I'd like also to suggest that you print out my answer and have your "Michelangelo" fabricator read it. Who knows, he may just appreciate the education! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
A 2089: Spot: I have a new granite counter top on my bathroom vanity KASHMIR GOLD.....it is doing great.
I also had a little shelf made for the shower niche and it keeps getting spots from shampoo bottles, etc...if we catch it in time and rinse off the soap, it usually dries. However we now have a spot (container was from conditioner) that has been rinsed off, but has not dried out completely and it is two weeks. How can I get out the spot? This shelf was sealed with the same spray solvent that the tile grout was sealed with, should we be treating this area differently (once we get the spot out)? This should not require such high maintenance should it????? Eileen, June 19, Reply
R1: Dear Eileen: Who gave you the idea that an Orthogneiss stone like your Kashmire Gold would be easy to maintain? They they perhaps told you that's a granite??!! That stone is like a sponge and should not have been installed in a wet environment like a shower enclosure. I have guidelines on stain removal available at no cost for you. Just send an E-mail to this site and ask them to put you in touch directly with me. Ciao and good luck,
Maurizio, USA 
A 2012: Stains: We purchased our 'absolute black' granite tiles and had our countertops built this April. 
The store that sold them to us never mentioned that we should seal the tiles after installing them. Within a couple of weeks, we started noticing some stains that were actually lighter than the black granite. The stains were most likely from juice and water. We called the store and they recommended doing the procedure that has been described in your advice column make a paste of poultice (we used baking soda and acetone), apply it over the stain, cover it with plastic and leave it on for 48 hours). The stains did not come out, but since my wife was having some friends over, she sealed the countertop with Pro-Solve 10 from Aquamix. The day after her party, there were several more stains. The store owner took a left-over tile home, did some experiments, called the technical department of the sealing solution company, and then came over and applied a poultice paste over the stains and left them  on for 3-4 days. This too did not work. 
At this point, I don't know what to do to remove the stains. We have begun discussions about who is responsible for the problem, and I am doing as much research to determine both if there is a solution and if not, if were we sold defective material. 
Do you have any advice for removing the stains other than what I have mentioned? 
Do you think this may be a case of 'doctored' stone vs real quality granite? Your advice, please. Frank, USA, June 4. Reply 
R1: Dear Frank: I'm so glad you put your name. As a rule I don't do anonymous, and, boy oh boy, do I want to answer your question!! 
When incompetents get their "education" from other incompetents, and then in turn "educate" other persons down the line, that's exactly what happens. Everybody is looking at a problem but nobody understands the nature of it, and, consequently, try to come up with canned and blanket "solutions" (which are the only ones they know and that of course will not work), because their brains are not trained to think on their own!
Black granite, not only does not need to be sealed, but it's a definite mistake to seal it (even with my own sealer!), because you most likely would end up having all those weird "stains" that you're reporting and that nobody can understand what they are. Your direct experience confirms that: You applied a sealer and the problem intensified, instead of disappearing!! That should lead any normal person with an IQ slightly higher than a carrot to conclude that, maybe, we're going in the wrong direction, but ... What can you expect from a bunch of salesmen! ...
Let's start by saying that none of the weird things that you see are stains, no matter what they look like. They are in fact ACID ETCHES, no debate, period and shut up! Now that we've determined the REAL nature of the problem, let's examine the possibilities and possible remedies.
1) This is the most unlikely. Your black "granite" is not real "Black Absolute" from South Africa, but is one of those rare stones that look like black granite but are a mix breed. That is, they have some calcite in them, and THAT is what reacts with the acids.
No black granite is a true granite. Most of them are either Gabbro, or Dorelite, or (even if just a lonely one) Anorthosite. None of them would ever etch, if it were left alone.
2) Still unlikely. Your tiles had been sealed in the factory, and the sealer (which never had a chance to be absorbed by the stone -- as it should -- due to its inherent density) is the one that's actually "staining," not the stone itself. 
3) Most likely. Your black absolute "granite" tiles have been "doctored" by the factory via the application of some sort of black makeup to make them darker, therefore more "sellable." It is usually the case with Black Zimbabwe (a Dolerite). Black Zimbabwe is not, by far, an inferior stone. It is in fact an excellent stone from a mechanic point of view and for all the intents and purposes of a kitchen countertop. Its only problem is that it's not really black (rather a dark gray), hence the "doctoring"! 
Now, what to do? If we're dealing with the case #3, the problem could have been easily solved by cleaning the makeup off your tiles' surface using a clean rag and acetone, but now we have two different layers of some stupid sealer on top of the makeup, and acetone won't cut it anymore! Still -- despite all the "expertise" displayed by all the "gurus" involved in your stone adventure, and their desperate attempts to screw things up permanently -- there's a solution. Get hold of a good-quality paint stripper based on Methylene Chloride (anything else won't cut it), and soak the heck out of your tiles. Give ample time to the chemical to melt away all the crap sitting on your innocent stone and keep feeding it as it dries; then scrub it with a scouring pad (NOT a green sponge -- it would scratch the granite surface, as incredible as it sounds!). A silver scouring pad will do just fine. DO WEAR RUBBER GLOVES ALL THE TIME AND KEEP THE ROOM PROPERLY VENTILATED. FOLLOW ANY OTHER PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE WRITTEN ON THE CAN. Repeat if necessary (after the first cleaning, you may have a few streaks of residue) by doing the final cleaning with a clean white rag, instead of a scouring pad. 
At the end of the day, you will have your dark gray stone nice, shiny and with no "stains"! Accept it and learn how to love it for what it is (not really black, that is), because it will serve you faithfully for many years to come with no problem at all, for as long as you won't seal it again!! All this, of course, unless you're actually dealing with the rare yet possible case 1) listed above, which has no solution. I would also have all the "geniuses" you've been dealing with read this message. Who knows, maybe some of them will be able to absorb some real intelligence (providing that their brains had not been sealed with an impregnator for stone, that is!!). Finally, do NOT waste your time asking them how to take care of your "granite" tiles on a daily basis. You already had a taste (and a bad one at that!) of the kind of "competent" answers you'd be getting, don't you! But don't despair, you can get my free maintenance guidelines for residential stone installation by hitting the link at the bottom of this page's side bar. Treasure them; you'll be glad you did! And, who knows, your stone 
"professionals" could use them, too! ... Fat chance! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
A 1988: Stain: I am a novice to granite countertops and just bought a new house with one installed. After reading the many questions on your website, I'm convinced of two things: 
1) I have no idea what kind of stone I have and 
2) I'm even less sure what to do to clean and maintain it. The stone is a primarily black and green, not veined, but with a roughly circular pattern of color. (I know, a picture's worth a thousand words.) 
Water stands on the surface and the only "stains" I see are darker "wet" marks that disappear, presumably with drying. So far, I've only used water to clean it. So tell me, what do you think I've got and what should I clean it with? Also, is the stone resistant to heat e.g. can you put a hot pot down on it? There are some nicks in the island portion--is clear acrylic glue OK to fill? Janet, May 29. Reply
R1: Dear Janet: I will start from the end. Theoretically, you could use clear acrylic glue to fill the nicks. The question is: Will you be able to do it without smearing with glue all the surroundings of the nicks? Yes, you can put a hot pot on your stone counter top. From what you're reporting about the water being absorbed (dark for a while, then it disappears when it dries), your stone needs to be sealed with a good quality impregnator-type sealer for stone. 
As far as cleaning procedures are concerned, you will find useful my maintenance guidelines that you can find at the end of this page's side bar. Finally, I don't don't have a clue as to what your stone is! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
A 1821: Stain: Can you please tell me the brand name of a very good-quality impregnator-type sealer? I just had granite countertops installed (Ghible?) and noticed (after washing dishes) that I get water stains but by the next morning they're gone. After reading all of the horrible staining stories, I am petrified to place anything on the countertop (even though its strength, durability & easy clean-up were the reasons for buying it). The installer supposedly put on a sealer already but I am going to make them come back and put on another one and wanted to know the name of a REALLY good sealer/impregnator to have them use that? Thanks, Patricia (NY),May 14.Reply
R2: Well, Since the installer used a sealer to begin with it's smart to continue with that impregnator. Ghibli is a very absorbent stone. As such before using it anymore, the installer needs to install 5-6 coats, at 1 per day, preferably this is before you start using it. You then need to monitor the counter and maybe reapply (depending on use every 6 months). You will also need to clean the tops with a neutral pH cleaner. Have the installer get you the one formulated by the manufacturer of the impregnator. If not Maurzio has some solution. Regards, Steven, USA
R1: Dear Patricia: Your experience goes to prove - like if there were any additional need for it - that relaying on chemical (impregnator) to bend the wrong stone for the strong application to our human whims is a losing proposition. Have your fabricator seal the darn thing until it doesn't absorb liquids anymore. It's your legal right. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
A 1796: Stain: I was asked to look at a Black Absolute Granite Island and countertops installed by another contractor. The customers complaint is that almost anything (soda, milk, tomato etc.) leaves a light permanent stain if allowed to sit on counter for more than 3 minutes. The contractor applied a sealant out of a can marked impregnator. Then he left instructions for customer to remove residue, with soap and water, after 24 hours. The customer said there was such a heavy residue you could not see the stone. This does not sound like any impregnating sealer I've used. I wiped out of the way corner with acetone No black residue was visible on my white towel. However when I applied Black Pamir it masked the light area. Is there any sealant the customer can apply to prevent this reverse staining? Thanks, George, May 14. Reply
R2: Yes stop putting waxes and impregnators on it. Acetone everything off the island. Realize that it is the waxes and impregnators that were etching. Now, leave it alone. Gabbros don't need impregnators or waxes. Regards, Steven, USA
R1: Dear George: Why don't you take a gun and shoot yourself, after shooting dead the 
contractor who applied the impregnator?! You'd be rendering a priceless service to society.
Time and again I've been preaching and reporting real-life episode of the "damages" that an impregnator does to stones - like black "granite" (no such an animal like black granite) - that don't need to be sealed, but, apparently, the salesmen got onto you and that contractor real good, to the point that they sealed with an impregnator your brains, too, just in case - 
the Gods forbid it - some intelligence had a chance to sink in!!
The light stains reported to you by your customer are etchings on the first impregnator that had been applied on the stone. Now, to "eliminate" the problem, all you guys can do is to apply more impregnator. In other words, you have a problem before you, but have no clue whatsoever about its nature, yet you go about it by trying some pathetic solutions.
Get hold of a strong paint-stripper based on Mythelene Chloride (anything else will not do) and flood that poor stone with it. Let it sit several minutes feeding it when necessary, then remove all the stupid impregnator that had no business being there in the first place, by rubbing the surface of the stone with a rough rag. Discard frequently. Wear rubber gloves and keep the place ventilated. Follow all cautionary direction on the can of the stripper. Once you're done, spill a few drops of lemon juice on the countertop, let them sit for a few minutes, then wipe them dry. If you still notice a slight discoloration, that means that the stupid sealer wasn't removed completely, therefore you have to repeat the procedure until the lemon juice will tell you that the job is done. After that, let your customer enjoy their stone the way Mother Nature intended. All you have to do is giving them some precise guidelines on proper maintenance and indicate them the right products to use. But, let me guess, you don't much (and so does the other contractor) about  that, do you! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
A 1717: Stain: My daughter left an oily salad dressing bottle overnight on my new granite counter. How do I remove the stain? Gail, April 16. Reply
R1: You need to apply a poultice. Take some paper towels and cut them to just larger than the stain. Immerse them in acetone. Cover with plastic wrap and tape the edges. Let sit for 24 hrs. Let air dry for 4-5 hrs.  
If successful apply an impregnator per manufacturers recommendations. If not successful, do the procedure until it is removed. Regards, Steven, USA
A 1715: First, I would like to thank you for this website. I find much useful info, however now I am overwhelmed... 
I have three different granites installed in my home. The names that were supplied to me are: 
1. Absolute Black - found on the kitchen floor. This has not been sealed. I would like it (and the grout) to be darker black. The floor does not appear to have any stains in it, just hard water stains on it. What can I do to protect it, and maintain it?
2. Tropical Fantasy - grey with swirls of black/blue and quartz -- kitchen counters (slab) the only granite in the house that does not absorb water. Shinny... I clean with windex. What should I do to maintain it, protect it etc. Can I do this myself
3. Pink something ... not really pink. grey stone with some hint of pink quartz, grey streaks, tiny metallic silver specks. beautiful shinny stone gets very dark when wet, holds water a long time. This stone has never been sealed, and since it is in showers, it has hard water stains, actually looks like a white film over some surface. How do I clean off hard water  stains, and prepare this stone for sealing. Not worried so much about stains, primarily interest in water repellant with some stain protection. 
Any information would be very much appreciated. Any recommendation on products welcome. If you advise a professional assessment, is there anyone in the Northern California Bay Area (San Francisco area) that you could recommend? Thank you, Eric, April 16. Reply
R1: Dear Eric: 1. Black Absolute is quite a dense stone and does not need to be sealed.
It's not supposed to absorb water. Hard water deposit can develop when spilled water dries, but they are only sitting on the surface and should be easy to remove. If it's not "black" enough for you, it can't be helped. 2. Tropical Fantasy. Quite a good stone. Forget Windex.
3. Pink something. It looks like you have a big absorbency problem. You need to seal that stone with a good-quality impregnator several times to minimize the problem. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
A 1651: Stain: How do we get rid of this stain? The granite was installed 6 months ago. It was sealed. However, from this problem, the sealer isn't providing protection. What sealer do you recommend. Thank you for your help. We are going crazy trying to eliminate this stain!
Tim, April 4. Reply
R1: Dear Tim: And who's Kim? Why do you ask here? what to do Go back to your fabricator. They made money out your "granite" countertop, didn't they?! It's only fair of them to solve your problem, don't you agree? Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
A 1641: Stain: We have just had Kashmir Gold laid on our kitchen bench and noticed that if you leave an oil spill too long that it will stain. So does water around the sink but that soon disappears. My concern is the oil spills. Can you suggest what we can do to remove them and also avoid them? Regards, Cathy, April 3. Reply
R6: Dear Cathy, You will not believe, when I stained a Raw Silk granite table top with oil, I simply put a lot of talcum powder on the stain and left it there for sometime, at least most of the oil vanished- how I would not know. This is what I also do when I stain silk saris with oil too - put a lot of talcum powder on it and give a good rub. Do get back to me- if you succeed. Pushpa, India. 
R5: Dear Cathy: I feel truly sorry for you. The crappy stone that was sold as granite to you will give you nothing but trouble. The poulticing method given to you by Garner is totally wrong from beginning to end (there an answer of mine a little further up on how to properly poultice an oily stain.) Remember, however, that you will never be able to enjoy your stone. Get rid of it: It's only money and I believe that your mental health is more important that money to you! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
R4: Mix diatomaceous earth or a clay (kaolin, attapulgite) with ammonia into a fudge consistency, spread it about a quarter inch thick over the stains cover with Ceran wrap, tape it down, wait 24 hours then take a peek. If it works, great, if not then do it again. Once the stains are gone then seal the surface well. Garner, USA.
R3: Cathy -- That stone must be sealed better. Use an impregnator. That should protect the beauty of your kitchen. If it is sealed properly, it should not stain. Peace & Propserity, Tile Guy, USA.
R2: Kashmir Sun Gold is very porous and unless you want to pre-stain / seal it with inert mineral oil (butcher block oil) you need to use a heavy duty commercial sealer like a flouro polymer based sealer. Even then, the manufacturers of these sealers say you may need to re-apply as often as yearly. Alex, USA.
R1: You can try letting the stone completely dry out. Poultice off the oil. Now that the stone looks the way it is supposed to, you can apply a water based impregnator once a day for 5-6 days. You are done when the stone does not absorb the impregnator anymore. Then use the lemon juice every three months to check and see if you need to add more impregnator. Regards, Steven, USA
A 1635: Stain: Please help. Our granite countertop is stained with oil from the dressing bottle. It won't wash off. What can we do. Thanks. Tim, April 3. Reply
R3: Dear Tim: I consider commercially available poultice-kits nothing but an expensive marketing gimmick. True professionals never use them!!  Steven advice is the one to follow. 
Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
R2: Try a commercially available poultice. Try to contact the company that fabricated and installed your stone to see if they can show you how to do this. Alex, USA.
R1: Use a poultice. Take some paper towels and soak them in acetone. Lay them on top of the stain. Cover with plastic wrap. Wait 24 hours and remove. It may take a couple of tries. Once the stain is gone apply an impregnating sealer once a day until the impregnator does not penetrate anymore. From then on check the absorbency of the counter using the lemon juice test. Regards, Steven, USA
A 1467: Stains: I had Uba Tuba granite installed in my kitchen and sealed it immediately. I have been using Windex to clean it and now its looking very dull. What can I do to bring back the shine? (I realize now I need to use a granite cleaner) Also, my coffee maker leaked coffee onto the countertop and it sat for several hours before I realized it. Now that area looks darker-can I do anything about it? Thank you, Julie, Feb 22. Reply
R1: If the Ubatuba needed an impregnator (which surprises me) then the Windex removed the impregnator. Or was it a wax sealer? You can clean the coffee stain with a solution hydrogen Peroxide 12% and few drops of ammonia. This may take a couple of treatments.
You can call the original fabrication facility to see if they can help you with restoring the original shine. Regards, Steven, USA
A 1352: Stains: Yesterday we had some stone countertops installed in our kitchen. The stone is called Kashmire White. You indicated in one of your responses that this stone is not granite. I'm curious about what stone it is, but more importantly, I would like to have your recommendations for how to seal the stone. Our installer said that the surface was sealed already, but I noticed that a wet cup left a ring on the surface after sitting for about 5 minutes. The dark ring disappeared as the water was absorbed into or evaporated from the stone. I am not concerned about temporary discolorations from water, but I am concerned about coffee spills and splattered oil from cooking. Stephen, Jan 21. Reply
R3: Dear Stephen, The stone you have used can be slate. There is a variety available in
India by this name which is slate. Proper sealing is important and I would recommend resealing the stone to protect it from damage in future. Regards Arun, India Reply
R2: Kashmir White is one of those stones that we dread people purchasing. The impregnators can not stay ahead its absorptive nature. Therefore, I advise you to clean as you go, take care not spill oils, and eat out frequently. As a counter top it will need all this to look good. Regards, Steven, USA Reply
R1: Dear Stephen: You had better be concerned!! 
Unfortunately I have some bad news from you. What Kashmire stone actually is I don't know for sure, but I do know that it is not granite. In fact it does not look like granite and, most importantly, it does not perform like granite. I do believe that's a gneiss, but, again, I'm not for sure. Maybe our friend Daniel, or Dr. Hans can be more specific on that. The bad news is that your situation is pretty much hopeless. You may find sealers that work for a few days, or a few weeks at best, but that's how far as you will ever go with that stuff. Sorry. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
A 1300: Stains: I was browsing the website and came across the same exact problem as that of A 1077. I have Sivakashi installed as a vanity top in my bathroom- and getting the same stains. Your answer is dismal- there's NOTHING I can do about this?? I've just spent an enormous sum of money on this "granite" top and am very upset. Any way to remove the current water spot (it's a smoky black discoloration) and future spotting? Please give me some hope!! The family bathroom can not function as just a showcase. Tom, Jan 5, Reply
R1: Well, same stone, same problems. You don't expect me to give you a different answer, do you! For the removal of the stains, do 'poulticing'. After that, try to buy all the sealers on the market place (please, don't buy mine, I can tell you right now that it won't do a perfect sealing with that stone), try them all, and keep your fingers crossed. Oh, by the way, you too, don't forget to thank you the company who sold that "granite" to you. It's always a good thing being nice to "Michelangelos"! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
A 1212: Spots: I just read a response of A 1077 that you wrote about a very absorbant "granite" countertop. You said it is probably metamorphic sandstone. That is probably what I have, as it is also pinkish-tan- and it water spots easily. We keep it sealed and that seems to be fine, but we had a big party and grease impregnated a spot on the counter. Can this be removed in any way? Thanks. Judy, USA, Nov 24. Reply 
R2: Judy, Yes it can, try a poultice. This is when something absorbent is placed over the stain. Diatomaceous earth is good but not found readily so paper towels can be used. A product known as acetone may be able to be used. The acetone will dry up the oil. Cover the area with cellophane and expect it to take a couple of attempts. Once diminished seal the area again. Without seeing your countertops I have no idea what it is, so do a test in an inconspicuous area to make sure the poultice will not dis- color the area as well. Best regards, Steven, USA
R1: Dear Judy: Hopefully yes. 1. Get some paper-towel (I'm partial to "Bounty" and "Viva") and make a "pillow" (7 or 8 fold) slightly larger than the stain. 2. Get some Acetone, which is available at any hardware store. Do not use your nail polish remover. 3. Soak the "pillow" of paper towel with the acetone (what you have now is
called a "poultice"), place it onto the stain, cover it with plastic wrap, and tape it down (you don't want it to evaporate). 4. After 24 hours or so, remove the plastic, and LEAVE THE POULTICE ALONE 5. When the poultice is completely dry (figure approx. a couple of hours), remove it and see what happened. You may have to repeat the procedure a few times, before the stain is completely removed. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
A 1137: Stain: I have a granite counter top that has an oil base paint stain. The paint came off but the oil has stained the granite. How do I get it out? USA, Oct 11, Reply
R4: Sorry to say that in all likelihood you will be replacing the piece or living with the stain. Poultices can be tried. Please review the Findstone library about application. Good luck, Steven, USA
R3: I would try a poultice using pulped tissues soaked in thinners left on the surface. Cover the tissues with cling film for a few hours and then remove the film and allow the tissues to dry out. This procedure can be repeated. It will be very difficult to remove all traces of the paint. Regards, Jim, Australia
R2: This could be tricky as some granites have been dyed to enhance the color, particularly if it is a black. The reason this is an issue is because the way to remove the stain is by the use of a poultice. A poultice is a mixture of clay compounds and oil removers. The poultice should be applied and left for 4 to 24 hours, then removed and scrubbed clean. The poultice should extract the stain. If not repeat. Let the area dry completely because it will remain dark until this happens. You can purchase a ready to use poultice formula from a reputable distributor. Please test the process on an extra piece of material or an inconspicuous area first to determine suitability. Bob, USA
R1: It'll be extremely difficult, because the oil of oil-based paint has the tendency to become hard. Try to poultice it with a paint stripper based on Methylene Chloride. You may have to try several times, and you will never be sure to succeed completely. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA

A 1099: Stains: I have a stain on my granite from oil: (Any suggestions before resealing it on how to remove the oil stain?) Thank you, Suzanne, USA, Sept 11, Reply

R3: There are a couple of ways to approach removal of oil from granite. The first is to use a commercial poultice specifically formulated for oil. You would apply the poultice according to manufacturer instructions cover with plastic wrap and wait. You may have to do this a couple of times. The second way is to make up a poultice of your own. We use diatomaceous earth or baby powder and acetone. We make it into a paste and apply like the commercial poultice. Sometimes we just rub the area with acetone a few times if the oil has not been there for too long (Doesn't work very often). Lastly, I am curious about what type of granite you have and what type of sealer is being used. I ask because there are so many granites being used today with varying absorption rates.  You may want to email Maurizio about what type of sealer you should be using.

Best of luck, Steven, USA

R2: Dear Suzanne: You need to make a so called "poultice". Relax, I'll keep it simple this time, too!
You need: 1. Some paper towel (I'm partial to "Bounty"); 
2. A can of acetone (forget your nail-polish-remover, get a can at your local hardware store); 
3. Some plastic wrap
4. Some masking tape;
5. A pair of rubber gloves.
Directions: Get two or three sheets of paper-towel and fold them to make like a "pillow" (8 or 10 fold) a little wider than the stain. Wear your rubber gloves, soak the "pillow" with acetone, then position the soaked "pillow" over the stain (by now, the "pillow" has become a "poultice"), tapping lightly with you gloved fingertips to assure full contact with the surface of the stone. Put the plastic wrap over the poultice and tape it down. Leave it there for 24 hours, take the plastic off and LEAVE THE POULTICE ALONE UNTIL IT'S COMPLETELY DRY (it may take an hour or so). In other words, don't peak! When the poultice is completely dry, remove it, clean the area underneath it with a dampened clean rag, then wipe it dry with some dry paper-towel. If the stain is not completely gone, you'll have to repeat the procedure over again until the stain is completely removed.  Some times it will take 3 or 4 attempts. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA

 R1: Hi, You need Poultice - A unique mixture to extract stains from natural stone. Pini, USA
I tried mixing baking powder and water, covered it with plastic wrap for a day then took plastic off, waited until powder hardened and took that off also. Everyone I spoke to said, there is no way that the guy who installed it sealed it properly that yes oil is the worst enemy of granite but the granite should not have sucked it up that quickly. Anyhow it appears to be lighter but still there. I bought a sealer but would like to be successful in getting the whole oil stain out before resealing all the countertops in my kitchen. Please advise:) Thank you,Suzanne, USA, Sept 18,
Hi! Don't forget to add a striper to the mixture, ammonia or Windex. Pini, USA, Sept 20

Okay so don't mix the baking powder with water? Add ammonia or Windex? I just want to make sure I don't screw this up. Thank you I appreciate your response. Suzanne, USA, Sept 20,
Mix baking powder with ammonia or Windex! Pini, USA, Sept 20

A 1077: Spot: Great website! Wish I had found it sooner. We just had granite counters installed. They are a lighter stone (were told it was granite), Sivakashi Pink. I noticed that they temporarily water spot around the faucet and am worried about long-term spotting from my soap dispenser or food (grease, berries). The installers wiped a coat of sealant on & off again quickly. Is there any cause for concern? Should I go back & reseal the counters? What can I expect regarding water spotting and staining, particularly with grease, once the counter is well sealed? Nancy, USA, August 27. Reply

 R1: OK, here's the story. Your "granite" (whatever it is. I suspect it's a metamorphic sandstone, but I am sure that your fabricator will show you an invoice that "prove" it's granite!...) is an extremely absorbent material. The way you describe your problem is that it was not sealed properly. Not that it matters much, mind you. Because, even if it had been sealed properly you will always have problems -- and a lot of them -- with the extreme absorbency of the stone. Certainly, your faucet and soap dispenser will be the first one to show. But, eventually, just about anything else will do! I suggest you to use your kitchen as a showplace. And, by the way, you should also thank your fabricator for having sampled that beautiful stone and fabricated it for you. It sounds to me like he sure knows what is doing! But don't worry too much: It's only money! Sorry! Maurizio, USA

A 1062: Stain: My daughter recently moved into new house that have grayish/brown granite countertops in kitchen. Not knowing and not being told about need to seal, the kitchen island countertop has been spattered with grease from a griddle. What can be done with this granite top? Larry, USA, Aug 7. Reply

R1: Dear Larry: The first thing to do is to remove the oily stains from your daughter's granite. To do that you need to make a so-called "poultice" (Relax, it's easy!). A "poultice" is meant to reabsorb the stain from inside the stone out, into something more absorbent than the stone itself. It is composed by two components: A) A chemical that will interact with the type of stain at hand (in this case, grease).  B) An absorbing medium to reabsorb the stain out of the stone. There are several absorbing media available, from cotton balls, to paper-towel (I'm partial to "Bounty"), to talc (such as baby powder), to diatomaceous earth (the white stuff used in pools' filters). They are all good.
I experimented with several chemicals to remove grease stains and concluded that, among those more readily available, Acetone available at any hardware store, paint department) is the most effective.
As far as the absorbent medium is concerned, either talc or paper-towel will do just fine. If you choose talc, mix it with the acetone to make a paste a little less consistent than peanut butter. If you choose paper-towel, make like a "pillow" (7 or 8 fold) a little wider than the stain, then soak it with acetone. In the case of the talc, apply the paste with a putty knife. (DO NOT use a plastic spatula. The acetone will melt it!) Over the stain (approx. 1/2" wider that the stain itself) leaving it a good 1/4" thick or better. In the case of the paper-towel, just put the soaked "pillow" over the stain.
In either case, cover the "poultice" with plastic wrap and tape it down (at this stage you don't want the acetone to evaporate. You want it to go down inside the stone to meet with staining agent and attack it). Leave it there for a day or so then remove the plastic wrap. Next, let the "poultice" dry completely (one hour or so) DO NOT peak. This is the most delicate stage: By removing the plastic you will allow the acetone (hopefully together with the staining agent) to be reabsorbed by either the talc, or the paper-towel. When completely dry, remove the poultice and, in most cases, you will see that the stain is gone. If not, repeat the procedure step by step. With some stubborn and old grease stains you may have to do it a few times. Once the stains are removed you shouldhave a good-quality sealer for stone (Impregnator) applied professionally to your countertop. Good luck, Maurizio, USA

 A 1038: Stain: I have black absolute granite countertops in my kitchen. The counters stain when they come into contact with acidic juice such as tomato or citris. The counters were sealed a second time and the staining continues to occur. What is the cause? Thank you. Pal, USA, July 17. Reply 

R3: Dear Steve: Black absolute is not exactly the densest, but is very dense, all right. Butter and milk, being grease substances may stain the stone to a certain extent, but won't go very deep. A good cleaning with water and dish detergent should do (of course, if they'd use our product, it would be even better. For me, at least!). Seems to me, however, that your customers are not exactly Mr. and Mrs. Clean. They have to let the butter and milk sit a very looooong time before they start staining! If they'd clean the surface of the top right after breakfast I believe they wouldn't have any problem. Good luck, Maurizio, USA

This seems to be close to the problem we are having. We have had no similar problems with any other granite (sic) so could you mail me your recommendations as to treatment (or not). The main culprits are milk and butter, and our customers don't or wont understand that nero being the densest of materials is the likeliest to stain. Any help appreciated. Steve, UK, July 21.

Firstly sealers do not offer a complete seal from stains - it just helps resist stains.  Secondly, the acidic nature of the staining agents is an unusual culprit with granite (especially those like absolute black).  The sealer may be reacting with these acidic liquids and show up as stains due to the breakdown of the sealer.  Try putting a drop of water on your granite and see how quickly it soaks in. This will show you the effectiveness of the sealer. Black granites also have a tendency to show up imperfections such as trafficking paths (tracking) when the polish gets worn and "tide" marks from dirty water.  Not much you can do about it except be diligent with spills and don't expect miracles from sealers. Regards, Jim, Australia

 R1: Dear Pal: The cause is probably the sealer. I'm not saying that what was used on your counter -- and twice! -- is a bad sealer (I don't even know which one it is, nor do I care to know!); What I'm saying is that sealing black absolute is a bad idea, even if you use the sealer that my company  manufactures. Black absolute granite is a basaltic rock, partly metamorphic, of an igneous origination, of the plutonic type (high pressure and high temperature). All this mumbo-jumbo is the get to understand that black absolute (that from a petrographic classification is not a granite -- despite what the invoice of the dealer says) is an extremely dense rock and doesn't absorb much. Not even the sealer. Sealers for stone (impregnators) are designed to be below surface sealers and none of it is supposed to remain on the surface of the stone to be sealed.
Of course, for a sealer to go below, it has be absorbed by the stone, so that it can go in and clog its pores. It's not the case, here! The sealer won't go in, a film of it will remain on the surface and ... it will get damaged by acidic substances such as those you've been describing. In other words, the damage does not occur to the stone (black absolute, being a silicate rock, does not etch, unless one uses hydrochloric acid), it rather occurs to the stupid sealer that has no business being there to begin with, and notwithstanding what all the salesmen out there will try to tell you. They are the same salesman who "trained" (brainwashed, better defines it) the "professionals" who made your countertop and stubbornly keep sealing it, without having a clue about the real problem. (I'm sorry, I do have a huge problem dealing with mediocrity!). How to solve your problem? Very simple: have the darn sealer completely removed and enjoy your otherwise "bullet proof" black absolute granite for the rest of your life, the way Mother Nature intended. The best sure way to remove completely the sealer is to use a right angle polisher / grinder with a 7" diameter pad-holder, a white nylon pad to fit it, and some oxalic acid (it's a white powder and can be found at any good hardware store). You will also need a spray bottle with some tap water. Sprinkle some oxalic acid over an area to fit under the 7" diameter pad, spray a mist of water, over, say 4 or 5 square feet, put your polisher on top of the powder, rub it back and forth a few times (without pulling the trigger) to form some sort of paste (oxalic acid with the water), then apply a certain amount of pressure, pull the trigger and buff the area that you've targeted (4 or 5 square feet), until it becomes dry and shiny. Repeat until you've treated the whole counter. Better yet, have the "genius" who applied the sealer twice do the work for free. After all, he the one who created the problem. Good luck. Maurizio, USA

   A 1024: Stains: We have been having problems with Nero Assoluto (Absolute Black) staining from a variety of causes. We seal with products, with which we have had no problems with any other granite. Is it it's low porosity, Or possibly that it is so (relatively) featureless? Steve, UK. June 27 reply
R1: A good deal of the problems of staining associated with absolute black is indeed because of the lack of "graining" which makes everything show more. Most other patterns do a much better job of hiding stains and water marks etc... It is not really much different in density than other granites, so its porosity should not be a factor. Sealing of the product is critical to minimise the possibility of staining. You may wish to try another brand of sealer. One other "trick" for removing stains is to use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide mixed with white bread. Make a dough of it and smush it on the stain. Let it set for a while and the stain should leach out into the bread. Hope that helps! Bill, USA
R2: I sure would love to have more specifics about the type of staining you've been experiencing with absolute black. They way you say it sounds ... kind of unheard of. Such stone should be pretty much problem-free. Yes, you're right, it is very dense (therefore the use of a sealer is pretty much useless, in my opinion). In fact, we never seal "Nero Assoluto". Anyway, let me know more and, maybe, I'll be able to help. Maurizio, USA. Expert Panelist, 

A 986: Stains: I have granite counter tops (12" "tiles") in my kitchen--a little over a year old. In several areas the stone has become stained through absorbing grease or oil from food. Can you suggest a cleaning solution?  Ordinary cleaners seem to just sit on the surface without penetrating sufficiently to do any good. I have heard of poultices, but do not know the composition or a source. Micheal, USA. May 17 reply
R1: Dear Michael: Yes, a poultice is what you need. A poultice has the task to reabsorb the stain out of the stone. A poultice is made of two components: 1. The absorbing agent.  2. The cleaning agent.  It is intuitive that, while the absorbing agent can always be the same, the cleaning agent must be tailored to the stain at hand. For greasy stains do the following:

  1. Take some paper towel (I am partial to "Bounty") and make a "pillow" 7 or 8 fold thick a little wider than the stain.
  2. Put the "pillow" over the stain and pour some acetone (available at any hardware store, paint dpt.) until the paper towel is soaked.
  3. Slightly tap the pillow all over with your fingertips (wear rubber gloves) to assure full contact with the surface of the stone.
  4. Cover the pillow with some plastic wrap and tape it down to assure complete seal.
  5. Leave the poultice there for 24 hours, then take the plastic off. (DON'T PEAK!!)
  7. Remove the paper towel and check if the stain is gone. If not, repeat.
If the stain is not grease but, say, coffee or wine, then use Hydrogen Peroxide instead of Acetone following the same procedure above (never forget to wear rubber gloves). Get the Hydrogen Peroxide at your local beauty salon (30 or 40 volume, clear). The one sold at the pharmacy (3.5 volume) is not strong enough. Good luck, Maurizio, USA

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