Granite is a natural stone that is mined in quarries. Known for its hardness, durability and unique aesthetics, granite is one of the favourite natural materials for countertops. Like most natural stones, maintaining your granite countertop requires more care unlike engineered stones like quartz.
Nonetheless, it is possible to keep your granite countertop in tip-top condition when you follow the below care guidelines.
Basic Granite Surface Maintenance
Dust the Countertop
To keep your countertop shiny and new, practise a morning routine of lightly dusting off the surface with a soft microfibre cloth. This practice doesn’t just apply to granite countertops, it is a very basic cleaning method for all your home surfaces.
No one likes running their fingers on dusty surfaces. More so when it is at the place where you prepare your food.
Use Neutral-PH Cleaners
Cleaning your countertop is relatively easy with a simple wipe clean. However, if you cook frequently, it is advisable to perform a more intensive cleaning routine once a week with neutral pH cleaners.
If you are using a cleaning agent for your granite countertop, check that it doesn’t contain any abrasive contents. Harsh chemicals from your common household cleaners can potentially tarnish the sealant on the granite surface.
That is why you also need to be careful when learning DIY cleaning hacks from the Internet. While you may learn that vinegar and lemon are cheap and easy DIY cleaners, it is not suitable for your granite countertop.
Wipe Off Food Spills and Oil Stains
While cooking, it is inevitable to avoid food spillage and oil splatters. When this happens, wipe off the stains after cooking and don’t let them sit for too long.
The acid from your food and drink may etch the surface of your countertop when it reacts with the sealant.
The same goes for oil stains. Remove them with soap and water to prevent the oil from seeping into the countertop.
Use Coasters for Hot Pots and Pans
Granite always feels cold to the touch because it absorbs heat. That is why it is a great surface for baking.
However, it doesn’t give you the green light to place all your hot pots and pans directly onto the surface. Sure, it wouldn’t hurt the granite if you place the heated utensils briefly. However, multiple contacts from direct heat may eventually weaken the sealant.
It is advisable to use coasters and heat pads to protect your countertop surface from direct heat from your pots and pans.
Don’t Store Liquids Directly on the Countertop
Avoid storing liquids like shampoo, dish soap, handwash, any form of oil, etc directly onto the countertop. Place them on a fancy tray. The tray provides a safety catchment for any dripping liquid that may stain or seep into the countertop.
Periodical Granite Countertop Maintenance
Seal the Surface
If you have purchased a granite countertop from a reputable seller, your granite will come sealed. However, with frequent usage over time, the sealant will eventually wear off.
Once this happens, your countertop is exposed to all the damaging elements that may tarnish your beautiful surface. Granite is porous, and if the seal barrier is breached, moisture, coloured pigment and oil can seep into the crevices of the surface. This creates a breeding ground for bacteria, thus, impacting the hygiene of your surface. Cleaning your countertop becomes harder once the stains are absorbed into the porous stone.
To prevent this, you should adhere to a yearly maintenance schedule to seal your granite countertop.
Although it is recommended to re-seal your countertop annually, there may be times when you may need to do it more frequently. You may conduct a simple water test to check the amount of sealant it requires.
Conduct an Inspection
Inspect your countertops for wear and tear like cracks, stubborn stains and scratches. The faster you remedy these eye-sores, the less expensive the repairs will be.
If you let it deteriorate without any early intervention, you may end up having to replace the entire countertop. And that could be a major renovation waiting to break your bank account!
Easy Care Tips for Your Granite Countertop
Maintaining a granite countertop is relatively easy. You just need to practice some care and always remember to check that the sealant is in optimal condition. A professionally sealed countertop will minimise all your worries.
However, if you prefer a fuss-free alternative for your kitchen and bathroom countertops, there is always quartz. They are as durable and attractive as natural stone surfaces. Best of all, quartz countertops are hygienic and low maintenance! You can’t go wrong with the darling countertop material of kitchen designers.
If you are looking for countertop solutions for your home, contact us.