Proper granite care can keep your granite or marble countertop new-looking for years. Stone is one of the easiest surfaces to maintain. And granite, being 7 on the Mohs hardness scale of 1 to 10, is virtually unscratchable. (A stainless steel knife blade is a 6 on the scale.)INSTRUCTIONS STEP 1: Blot up spills immediately, before they penetrate the surface. STEP 2: Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap (available in hardware stores or from a stone dealer), or mild dishwashing liquid and warm water. STEP 3: Use a soft, clean cloth to clean the granite. Rinse after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft, clean cloth. STEP 4: Remove a stain on granite, basing the method on the type of stain. Mix a cup of flour, 1-2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid with water to make a thick paste. Put it on the stain, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit overnight. STEP 5: Scrape away the mixture with a wooden utensil and rinse. If the stain is oil-based (e.g. grease, oil, milk), use hydrogen peroxide in the paste instead of dishwashing liquid – or try ammonia on it. STEP 6: Try a mixture of 12 percent hydrogen peroxide mixed with a couple drops of ammonia for an organic stain (e.g. coffee, tea, fruit). STEP 7: Use a lacquer thinner or acetone to remove ink or marker stains from darker stone. On light-colored granite, use hydrogen peroxide to these stains. This also works for wine stains. STEP 8: Mix molding plaster and pure bleach into a paste and spread over a wine, ink or other non-oil stain. Leave on for 30 minutes, then remove and rinse. STEP 9: Paste a mix of molding plaster and water over an oil-based or fat-based stain. Mold it into a bird’s-nest shape and allow to stand for 3 hours. Remove and rinse. STEP 10: Reseal the countertop every year or two years. Check with the installer for recommendations. Use a non-toxic sealer on food preparation areas. STEP 11: Consider using a new disinfectant cleaner made specifically for granite. STEP 12: Call your professional stone supplier, installer, or restoration specialist for problems that appear too difficult to treat. TIPS & WARNINGS Ask a professional to remove or repair a scratch in granite.