Keeping Your Granite Countertops Looking New for Years
Granite countertops have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. They are a favorite among homeowners and interior designers alike, as they add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any kitchen or bathroom. In this article, we will discuss the importance of cleaning your granite and provide tips on keeping your granite countertops looking new for years.
How to Clean Your Granite Countertops
Granite countertops offer a range of benefits that make them a popular choice among homeowners. First and foremost, granite is an incredibly durable material that can withstand things that would otherwise ruin other types of countertops. Considering granite is a naturally occurring product, it is typically very resistant to things like heat, scratches, and stains in comparison to synthetic or man-made countertops. This means that with proper care, granite countertops can last for decades without showing signs of wear and tear. In addition to its durability, granite is a natural stone that comes in a variety of colors and patterns, making it a versatile option that can complement any style of kitchen or bathroom. Granite is also easy to clean and maintain, with most routine cleaning requiring only a regular wipe down with soap and water to keep it looking its best. Finally, granite countertops can certainly impress potential homebuyers, making them a worthwhile investment for those looking to upgrade their living space or those considering putting their home on the market.
Routine cleaning of granite countertops is a relatively simple process, but it’s important to use the right products and techniques to avoid damaging the surface. Here are the steps to clean granite countertops properly:
- Wipe the surface with a soft, damp cloth to remove any loose dirt or debris.
- Apply a small amount of pH-neutral, non-abrasive cleaner to the surface, such as a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap.
- Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to gently scrub the surface, focusing on any areas with stubborn stains or spills.
- Rinse the surface thoroughly with clean water and wipe it dry with a soft cloth.
- If necessary, apply a granite sealer to the surface to protect it from future stains and spills (more on this below).
What to Avoid Using When Cleaning Granite Countertops
When it comes to cleaning granite countertops, it’s important to avoid certain products that can cause damage to the surface. For example, acidic cleaners like vinegar or lemon juice can cause etching or discoloration on the granite. Similarly, abrasive cleaners like baking soda or powdered cleansers can scratch the surface of the granite if scrubbed too intensely, leaving it vulnerable to future stains and damage. It’s also important to avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaning agents, as they can strip the natural oils from the granite and leave it looking dull or faded. To protect your granite countertops and keep them looking their best, it’s best to stick to gentle, pH-neutral cleaning products like soap and water as well as avoiding any harsh or abrasive cleaners.
Do I Need to Buy Those Special Granite Countertop Cleaning Sprays?
While the granite countertop cleaning sprays and solutions that you see at most retail stores are a viable cleaning solution for your countertops, they’re not required. In many cases, these cleaning sprays are simply solutions that are pH-neutral to prevent chemical damage to your granite countertop. However, as mentioned above, a mixture of soap like Dawn dish detergent and warm water will provide enough cleaning power for most homeowners — saving you from the hassle of keeping track of another cleaning product in your home.
Tips to Maintaining Granite Countertops Beyond Cleaning
Granite is one of the lowest maintenance types of countertops that a homeowner can have. Maintaining granite countertops is very easy and can be accomplished with just a few simple steps. Here are some tips for keeping your granite countertops looking their best:
- Clean up spills immediately to prevent the risk of staining. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe up spills as soon as they occur and avoid letting liquids sit on the surface for an extended period of time. Although granite doesn’t typically stain easily, it is still a possibility if a dark substance like wine is spilled on a lighter shade of granite and not cleaned up quickly.
- Avoid using harsh or acidic cleaners on the granite. Instead, use a gentle, pH-neutral cleaner and avoid using abrasive sponges or brushes that can scratch the surface.
- Apply an inexpensive granite sealer every couple of years to protect the surface from stains and spills. (again…more on this below)
- Use cutting boards and avoid cutting directly on the granite countertop, as this can cause scratches and damage your countertops as well as your knives. While granite is considered very scratch resistant compared to man-made countertop materials, it is still considered a best practice to use cutting boards when using extremely sharp knives. Additionally, it is important to remember that granite is a porous stone, therefore using your granite countertop as a cutting surface can lead to a more involved clean-up process after you’re finished preparing your meal.
By following these simple maintenance tips, you can keep your granite countertops looking beautiful for years to come. With proper care, granite countertops can be a long-lasting and beautiful addition to any home.
Do I Need to Seal my Granite Countertops?
Sealing your granite countertops is an important step in maintaining their beauty and durability. A granite or natural stone sealer creates a barrier on the surface of the granite that prevents liquids and stains from penetrating the stone. To determine if your granite countertop needs to be sealed, you can perform a simple water test. Apply a small amount of water to the surface and wait 10-15 minutes. If the water beads up on the surface, your granite is properly sealed. If the water is absorbed into the surface, it’s time to reseal your granite. Fortunately, granite countertops typically only need to be sealed every 1-2 years, depending on usage and exposure to spills and stains.
When your granite countertops are professionally installed by Carolina Granite, LLC, they are sealed, so you won’t need to worry about sealing again for a year or two. When you decide it is time to refresh the seal on your countertops, the process is relatively simple and can be done by yourself in just a few minutes using any inexpensive DIY kit like the ones listed here. Sealing your granite countertops can help protect your investment and keep your kitchen looking beautiful for years to come.
In conclusion, maintaining the beauty and durability of your granite countertops is a relatively simple process that requires light cleaning, avoiding harsh or abrasive cleaners, and sealing the surface every couple of years. Granite countertops offer homeowners an elegant and sophisticated addition to their home decor that is both durable and low maintenance. With the proper care and maintenance, granite countertops can last for decades without showing signs of wear and tear. Keeping these tips in mind will help ensure that your granite countertops remain beautiful and functional for years to come. Of course, the pros at Carolina Granite, LLC are more than happy to answer any additional questions that you may have.