Putting granite countertops in your home will highly enhance its look and feel. People’s fear of taking care of granite countertops is slowly fading as its familiarity is growing. When you are considering How to clean granite countertops, stop and remember that it is stone after all. This means that it is very durable and has a lot of resistance to damage on its own. Because of its resiliency, granite ages beautifully and changes very little over time. Some of amount of caution is warranted though. But, by following some simple guidelines you will protect your granite and increase its longevity.
Here are some simple Do’s and Dont’s that will prevent most types of damage:
Do: Wipe up any spills immediately
The risk of any spill comes with the length of time that it is left to sit on the surface of your granite countertop. Some of the most common spills like wine, coffee, and juice have a high acidic content and can stain your granite countertop. They will not etch the surface, but will be absorbed into the tiny pits and pores.
Do: Use soft sponges and cloths to clean the surface of your granite countertop
Never use any kind of sponge or cloth that has an abrasive component to it. These can permanently scratch the surface leaving visible marks.
Do: Use coasters under all glasses, bottles, jugs, and cans
Using coasters will prevent these liquid containers form leaving rings from spill over or sweating
Do: Use potholder and/or trivets under all hot pans, baking dishes, and casserole dishes
Granite countertops can withstand a high amount of heat. You can take a hot pan or dish directly from the stove or the oven and place it on your granite countertop. However, if the surface of the granite has experienced any dramatic temperature changes prior to being exposed to the heat, thermal shock can set in and cracking can occur. This is quite rare, but by simply making the use of trivets and pot holders a habit- you should never damage your granite countertop.
Don’t: Use generic cleaning products that are not granite-specific like bleach, glass cleaners, degreasers, etc.
The chemical composition of these cleaning products is not made to treat granite. The high acidity and alkaline can potentially eat through any sealant that you have applied to your granite countertop.
Don’t: Sit or stand on your granite countertop
People, especially children, can get into a bad habit of sitting on top of countertops. Although granite is extremely hard, it is not flexible. Therefore, standing on it can cause cracking that can go all the way through. If this happens, the entire slab will be compromised and could split.
Don’t: Store any type of canisters or product containers on the surface of your granite countertop
Keep your granite countertop clear of any storage containers, no matter what is inside. This will obviously prevent footprints from canisters that have wet substances in them and will also protect against any discoloration that they may experience over time.
Maintaining Your Granite Countertop
Following a simple cleaning routine along with the Do’s and Dont’s is another way to keep your granite countertop in tip top shape. Here are some recommended daily, weekly, and yearly routines to help you.
Daily: It is not necessary to use cleaning products daily, unless a spill occurs. Daily maintenance should consist of simply wiping down the most highly trafficked areas with hot water and a soft rag or sponge.
Weekly: Once a week, take the time to remove anything that you have on the top of your countertops so that you can do a more thorough wipe down. This will reduce the amount of build-up on the entire surface.
Yearly: Annually, you should give your granite countertop and overall inspection to assess for any cracks or other damage that you may be unaware of. You should also reapply sealant every 3 year or so. Search the Lemon Juice and Water Test, which will let you know if you need to re-seal.
Hopefully this guide will be a quick checklist that you can refer to on a regular basis to remind you how to care for your granite countertop, so that it can continue to perform and keep looking beautiful. If you have any other questions regarding granite, or if you would like to purchase granite for your home, give us a call!