Cleaning New Surfaces in Your Home

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A Tip You Can Take for Granite:

Granite’s everywhere for a reason. It’s durable, heat-resistant and relatively easy to keep clean. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a right way and a wrong way. Harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners can scratch and pit the stone. Instead, wipe your granite counters with a microfiber cloth as needed (and at least daily). Once a week, use a stone cleaner with a neutral pH. For oily stains, make a paste of baking soda, dish soap and a little water so it’s the consistency of yogurt. Apply directly to the stain and cover with plastic wrap overnight.

Truly Stainless Steel:

Just because it’s called stainless doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean it. But abrasive cleaners and steel wool will scratch the surface, and bleach discolors it. The best thing for stainless steel is water. You can do routine cleaning with just water and a cloth (add a little dish soap if you’re so inclined). Microfiber cloths are best because they absorb the water without scratching the surface. Make sure you dry thoroughly after washing as the minerals in water could cause spotting. Glass cleaner will take care of fingerprints.

Put Your Sink on a Pedestal:

On one hand, vessel sinks make life simpler because it’s easier to keep the counters around them clean without the splash factor. On the other, they are often made of glass, which is susceptible to hard water stains. These should dissolve if you spritz them with straight vinegar from a spray bottle and wait for 15 minutes, then rinse. It can also be difficult to clean around the area where the sink meets the countertop. For that, we suggest using a steam cleaner.

The Travertine Tile Trifecta:

These three steps are all you need for cleaning travertine. First, do a once-over with a vacuum to suck up micro-debris from the porous stone. Then, wash with a stone cleaner diluted in warm water (diluting helps prevent discoloration). Finally, hand dry. Letting travertine air dry could cause water marks.


IMG_1223Tips provided courtesy of Will Johnson of  Merry Maids of Prince William, Culpeper and Fauquier Counties at 703-584-4086


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