Care + Maintenance
Routine Cleaning and Upkeep
Richlite surface is a durable, attractive material designed to stay beautiful for the lifetime of your kitchen, bath or office space. A simple wipe up with a damp sponge on a regular basis will maintain its beauty. Murphy’s Oil soap can also be applied at full strength for regular maintenance. Alkaline soap such as regular dish soap will gradually dull the surface, this usually occurs around the sink area. Howards Naturals Wood Cleaner and Polish will slightly renew the luster if used on a regular basis. Richlite recommends that fabricators finish the surface with Bioshield Wood Countertop Finish or Richlite Color Enhancer to provide a rich, polished finish that requires minimum care.
Generally speaking, Richlite resists stains quite well. As with most materials, there is a potential for some staining. With stubborn stains, try a nonabrasive household cleaner. Avoid using bleach products or abrasive cleaners. Plain yogurt can be used to pull stains from lighter colored material.
Repairing Scratches and Burn Marks
Richlite is extremely dense and durable. The material resists scratches and burns, but like most surfaces, can potentially be damaged by cutting directly on the surface or setting a hot frying pan on the surface. Richlite recommends the use of cutting boards, hot pads and trivets to protect the surface from potential damage. General wear in small areas can be spot treated with Richlite Color Enhancer or BioShield Wood Counter Finish. Apply the finish in small amounts with a clean rag, and rub it into the worn area. Follow immediately with a dry clean rag to buff the finish into the adjacent surfaces.
For larger scratches, tough stains or gouges, please contact your Richlite fabricator or dealer for repair advice. In most cases, it is preferable if the installer refinishes the surface. Light scratches and burn marks can be refinished using a 3M ScotchBrite® Maroon General Purpose Hand Pad. It is important to note, the refinished area will noticeably lighten compared to the surrounding surface area. Richlite surfaces are made of paper which, like wood, patinas – or darkens – over time, especially in the lighter colors such as Baguette or r100. The recently sanded area will eventually patina and match the remainder of the counter surrounding it. In order to avoid affecting one spot, lightly refinish the entire section of the counter.
Richlite countertops are stain resistant to nearly all kitchen related substances with the exception of some raw meat juice (such as liver), high-alkaline fruit or vegetables (such as papaya and red beet), and high-alkaline soaps (such as automatic dishwasher powder and oven cleaners) when left in contact for a prolonged time. The lighter colors in the Richlite color range will show stains more than darker colors. Additionally, grout (which is a high alkaline product) will lighten darker-colored Richlite counters and darken the lighter tones. Cover the surface with a protective sheet when installing tile around countertop areas. Avoid using bleach products or abrasive powdered cleaners. It is good to avoid using the abrasive side of sponges, as this may also scratch the surface of a Richlite countertop.
As desired, the customer should contact a dealer or fabricator for any of the following options defined below.
Clean with soap and water. Reapply two coats of selected finish.
Buff and Reseal
Clean with soap and water; ScotchBrite® pad on random orbital sander, clean with soap and water, reapply selected finish.
Sand, ScotchBrite® and re-apply selected finish.
* ScotchBrite® is a registered trademark of 3M Company. Howards Naturals can be purchased at many paint stores nationally. It is also available at: Howard Naturals Wood Cleaner and Polish