How to Care for Granite Countertops
Granite countertops are both durable and beautiful, which is why granite is such a popular choice for homeowners who are selecting the materials for new home construction and for those who are remodeling and want a kitchen that is both striking and practical. Caring for granite countertops is different from caring for other countertop materials because granite is a natural stone that can be stained or damaged over time. Some maintenance is required to keep the dramatic look of granite at its best and brightest.
Light Daily Cleaning
Use a lint-free cloth or paper towel and a specially formulated granite cleaning product regularly to clean the counter, then dry the area with a separate clean cloth or paper towel. Do not use common abrasive cleaners, which can destroy the protective sealant on the granite.
In the kitchen, spills on the countertop may be a daily occurrence, and the quicker you clean them up, the less potential damage to your counters. As soon as possible, blot the spill with a soft cloth or paper towel, then clean the area with a granite cleaner and dry with a clean cloth. Remember to blot, not wipe, because wiping can spread the spill.
Granite is extremely durable. Though placing a hot pot or pan on it briefly might not damage it, it’s best to use a trivet beneath it, especially if you need to set a heated pan down for longer than a few seconds. As tough as granite is, extreme changes in temperature can harm or even crack it. Avoid the problem by using something between the hot pan and the surface of the counter.
To keep your granite countertops protected from dirt buildup and staining, remember to seal them often with a stone sealer like Granite Gold Sealer®. Some people seal their counters every 6 months to a year, but you cannot over-seal stone. If your granite is dark, it will be denser, less porous, and less at risk for staining than lighter colored granite. While this means it may require sealing less frequently than lighter stone, it is still necessary to seal it frequently so it can resist everyday spills and stains.
Tips to Maintain Granite Countertops:
- Never stand on granite countertops. Use a ladder to reach lights that need changing.
- Use a cutting board. It may be tempting to use the granite surface to slice foods, but don’t do it. While granite is scratch resistant, it isn’t completely impervious to scratching. And you’ll also save your knives, which are not as hard as granite and will become dull quickly if used directly on the stone.
- Don’t skip regular cleaning. Even tiny particles can potentially affect the stone.
- Use a mat or a trivet under anything ceramic, like a vase or kitchen utensil holder, to keep countertops scratch-free.
- Polish granite frequently. Using a special polish for granite helps protect the stone surface from fingerprints or water spots by reinforcing the protective sealant, and it enhances the beauty of the surface.