Granite is a beautiful surface for any countertop. It’s hard, comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, and will enhance any kitchen. But whilst granite countertops look amazing, they do require some extra care if you want them to remain in pristine condition. Here are some handy tips to help you clean and maintain granite countertops.
Seal Your Countertop
Granite is a naturally porous material, which is why it must be sealed before or after installation. If you don’t seal your countertop, you will end up with stains and marks. Before you apply a sealant, check how absorbent your granite countertop is. You can do this by adding a few drops of water to the surface. If the water is rapidly absorbed, your granite countertop is very porous. If the water is still sitting on the surface after a few minutes, your countertop doesn’t need sealing.
Be aware that very porous granite is not suitable for kitchen countertops and you may have been sold a sub-standard product.
Make sure you use the right sealant. Check with the supplier for their recommendations. That way you won’t make a mess of your new granite countertop. The best sealants are carbon resin based. They provide long-term protection. Ideally, use a water-based sealant, as it’s better for the environment.
Be Careful with Acidic Substances
A nice gin and tonic with a slice of lemon is a delicious way to chill at the end of a stressful day but be very careful with that lemon. Acidic substances, such as lemon or vinegar, are deadly for granite countertops. The acid cuts through the sealant and if you’re not careful, it will end up leaving a stain or etched mark. For this reason, do not use white vinegar to clean your granite countertops!
DIY Granite Cleaner
Check with your supplier to see which granite cleaner they recommend. Alternatively, make your own cleaning solution. Stay well away from bleach when cleaning your granite countertops. Bleach is much too harsh. Instead, make a simple cleaning solution with water, dish detergent, and rubbing alcohol. Mix soapy water and alcohol in a 3:1 solution, add to a spray bottle and use this to clean your countertops.
You don’t need to scrub away stains and dirt. Use a soft microfiber cloth to mop up spills and clean your granite countertop. Granite may be hard, but it isn’t immune to abrasive pads. If you scrub away too hard, you risk damaging the surface sealant.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Instead of fretting over marks and stains, take extra care with your granite. Wipe up spills quickly, especially if the substance is acidic, such as coffee, ketchup, or wine. Keep a soft cloth handy and mop up water and liquid spills. If you have a breakfast bar, keep some drinks coasters and placemats handy, to protect your granite countertops.
Now when you learned how to maintain granite countertops, your granite countertops will remain in pristine condition for many years to come.