Granite countertops add flair and elegance to your kitchen, but you need to take good care of them so that they can retain their sparkle for a long period. Most of the damage can be prevented through proper cleaning and applying a sealant to protect the surface. Here are some suggestions on how to care for your granite countertop.
How to Protect Granite Countertops
Protect granite countertops from coming into contact with acidic substances such as fruit juices, wines, soda, and tomato sauce. These substances create stubborn stains on the surface. Even if hotpots do not harm the granite countertop, grit that sticks at the bottom of the hot pot can scratch the surface. Such scratches dull the sparkle on the surface over time. Avoid putting hot pots on the surface unless it is absolutely necessary. Do not place cooking oils, creams, perfumes and other oils on the countertop as they may stain the surface.
You can use coasters on sealed countertops because they do not etch the surface. This is a good practice that protects your granite surfaces from scratches caused by rough objects such as cans and glass objects. Even though Granite countertops can withstand the high temperatures, they sometimes experience thermal shock and crack. Therefore, avoid putting hot pans on the surface.
Cleaning Your Granite Countertops
Clean your granite countertops with a soft cloth or sponge. If the countertop does not have stubborn stains, clean it with hot water. Wipe the surface with a soft cloth or sponge to remove all the dust, crumbs and other dirt that sticks on the surface. Remove stubborn stains with special granite cleaner, which leaves the surface clean while protecting the sealant from damage. You can also apply a granite polish on the surface once every month to enhance its sparkle. The topical dressing enhances the shine and removes fingerprints that you leave behind when cleaning.
Avoid cleaning your granite countertop with generic cleaners such as bleach and other household cleaning solutions. Most of them are corrosive and will damage the granite sealer. Also avoid bathroom, tile and grout cleaners because most contain abrasives that scratch the surface. Instead, use warm water find a soft cloth that can wipe the surface without scratching.
The Best Antibacterial Cleaner for Granite Countertops
Cleaning with a dishwasher removes most of the harmful bacteria on the countertop. Studies indicate that granite countertops clean more easily than stainless steel surfaces. This makes them ideal for use in the kitchen where constant food and drink spills attract bacteria. Disinfecting the surface with a mixture of water and 70% isopropyl alcohol kills the most resistant bacteria, such as E. coli. You can also make your own cleaner by mixing 40% alcohol with 60% water.
Should You Seal Granite?
You should seal your granite countertops as sealing is the best way of preserving the sparkle for several years. To seal your granite surface, remove everything that is on the countertop. Then clean the surface with a water or a granite cleaner. Avoid acidic substances when cleaning the surface as they may weaken the seal. Use a lint-free cloth or paper towels to dry the surface. Leave it dry before applying the seal.
Make sure the sealant is made specifically for stone or granite surfaces. After applying the sealant, leave it for 15 to 20 minutes then wipe out the excess sealant liquid with a soft cloth. Leave the surface to dry for a minimum of one hour before using it. It is preferable to leave the surface untouched for one to two days.
Why Do You Seal Granite Countertops?
The frequency of sealing depends on the type of granite stone used for the countertop. Light-colored stones are more porous than their darker counterparts and should be sealed afresh every year. In contrast, dark and hard stones may last ten years without requiring a new seal. Sealing protects your granite countertop from stains and damage.
You should test the strength of the countertop seal annually to see it is still holding on. If the surface darkens when you pour water on it, then it needs resealing as it is likely that the seal is worn out. Alternatively, pour water on it on the countertop. If there are beads, the seal is still strong and does not need to be replaced. However, it the water forms pools, the seal is weak and needs to be replaced.
The Best Granite Sealer
The best sealants are the impregnating type that soak into the surface filling pores that would otherwise absorb other substances. Such sealants last three to five years before replacement.
There are two types of sealants:
The best sealants are those that contain fluorocarbon aliphatic resin as the active ingredient. They often cost more than those that have silicon as the main ingredient but will last five to ten years. In comparison, the cheaper silicon and siloxane sealants last between six months and three years. The fluorocarbon aliphatic resin sealants repel water and oil, meaning that they will protect your countertop from the most common stains.
Protect Granite from Chipping
The best way to protect your granite countertop from chipping is by adding a sealant and cleaning it regularly. Cleaning removes stains and other substances that may weaken the surface. Chipping is caused by hitting the surface with hard or sharp objects. Therefore, avoid hitting the surface with sharp objects. Chipping is common around edges due to impact from household appliances such as hotpots. You can reduce impact on the edges by placing appliances carefully.
Further, avoid cleaning the countertop with abrasives because the excessive scrubbing may cause it to chip. Reduce the risk of impact from falling objects by using coasters to hold cups and other fragile items. Avoid using the countertop as a cutting board because knives will scratch the surface.
Granite countertops some of the best items you can buy for home improvement. They embellish your home giving it a sleek feel and last several years they are also low maintenance installations. If you select quality granite countertop and take good care of them, they will serve you for many years. Explore our range of countertop options to select the design that best suits your home.