Staining commonly occurs when fluids seep into the material of your worktop and dry, discolouring it. To lessen this we apply a coating to all our stone worktops which reduces the porosity of the work surface. Naturally this lessens in effectiveness over time and we recommend you use a special wax and polish kit every so often. Reputable suppliers such as granite concepts will give you a free kit with every purchase.

For cleaning, mild soapy water is usually sufficient. Use a PH neutral detergent to be safe, rinse with water and buff with a soft clean cloth. We've had great results using just E-cloths and water... E-cloths are a modern way to clean, using advanced fibre techology to remove dirt, without even the need to use detergents (and hey, think of your hands! they've got to be worth a try).

Abrasive cleaning products and scouring detergents can leave little micro-scratches on the surface that over time will leave the brilliant granite finish a little dulled. The granite or quartz or granite worktops surface is polished smooth anyway and a soft cloth is quite sufficient.

Alkaline and chlorine based cleaners are very strong chemicals and should be avoided,likewise do not use bleach. Granite will keep it's beautiful finish for much longer without such brutal treatment!

Wipe immediately after contact with acidic things (for example wine and vinegar)and Strongly coloured foods, (for example saffron or blackcurrant). Although the granite will have been treated and sealed prior to installation, it only works so far and wiping immediately will significantly prolong the beautiful finish of your granite.

Protect work surfaces from hot pans and plates using a platter or trivet. Granite is tough stuff, but some of the pigments in the granite that give it it's rich pattern will discolour slight if exposed to extreme heat.

Use a chopping-board. Granite is the second hardest rock on earth (only diamond is harder!) but it will still scratch and wear if steel implements are used on it.

It is advisable once every few years to apply proper granite refinishing polish to the surface to retain the water-resistant seal that enhance hygiene and reduces the porocity of the stone. You can get this on the high street, or just ask your preferred granite supplier for a recommendation.

These guidelines should not put you off a natural stone worktop: on the contrary they are just common sense. Follow these simple instructions and your worktop will stay looking brand new for years and years, and probably outlast your house!