One of the most popular countertop styles is granite. Although it is expensive, it is beautiful and will last a long time. It is both durable and exquisite and does not require a lot of upkeep. However, there are a few things that you want to make sure you do from time to time to keep your granite countertops in great condition to ensure that they keep their beauty. Here are a few steps on how to maintain and care for your granite kitchen countertops.
Perform Daily Cleaning
Granite countertops do not require a special cleaner. Soap and water will suffice. Clean your countertop daily with a few drops of dish-washing soap and warm water. An antibacterial is helpful as well as this will help remove any germs or bacteria. After washing with warm water, rinse the area with clean water and a dry cloth. As with any kitchen, you are bound to spill something on your counters. When this does occur, do not wipe the spill. Blot it with a cloth or paper towel to ensure that you do not spread the spill. Clean the area with warm water and soap and then dry the area with a dry cloth. If the stone is installed and sealed properly, most granite will repel stains.
Avoid Prolonged Exposure to Hot Surfaces
Do not place hot pots or pans directly onto your granite countertop. Extreme or constant changing temperatures can damage your stone. In the winter especially, avoid leaving hot pots or pans on the counter for an extended period of time. Use hot pads when placing hot pans on the counter. This will avoid giving your stone “thermal shock” which can cause your stone to crack. It is rare, but can happen. Even though granite is fairly scratch-resistant, avoid cutting directly on the stone. Use a cutting board to keep your granite looking brand new.
Ensure Your Granite Countertop is Sealed
Many homeowners are under the impression that their countertop is automatically sealed when installed. However, this is not always the case. There are specific types of granite and other stone that do not require sealing, but when sealed, the granite will maintain its beauty for longer periods of time. If it has not been sealed, you can purchase a sealer from a home improvement store. Sealant is estimated to last up to 15 years.
Avoid Using Generic Cleaning Products
Do not use generic cleaning products such as bleach, glass cleaners, ammonia, vinegar or orange cleaners on your granite. These products are not good for cleaning granite and can definitely not be used for marble, travertine, or most other types of stones. Generic cleaning products contain acids and other chemicals that can damage your granite and degrade the sealant. Also avoid using any bathroom type cleaners as these can scratch and dull the surface of your countertop.
Avoid Extreme Weight
Do not sit or stand on your granite countertops. Unlike laminate counters, these counters are hard and inflexible. They do not have a plywood backing that laminate counters do. Therefore, when extreme weight is placed on these counters, it could cause them to crack or split.