Granite is one of the most beautiful and durable natural stones you can select for your kitchen and bathroom countertops. Although this stone is relatively low maintenance, you still need to put in some effort to keep it in pristine shape and prolong its lifespan.
By following our preventative tips for caring for your granite countertops, you’ll keep them looking new.
Daily Cleaning and Maintenance of Granite Countertops
A granite countertop can last a lifetime when properly maintained. Caring for your natural stone is easy. Mild hand or dish soap, warm water, and a soft cloth are generally all that is required for daily upkeep.
You can also use a granite cleaner to clean your countertops and keep them in good condition since using soapy water every day can cause scum build-up. Some cleaners, like Stone Care Daily Cleaner, also have sealing properties to help protect your seal.
How to Remove Stains
Although granite countertops are resilient to most everyday stains like coffee, alcohol, or acidic beverages like orange or tomato juice, you should still wipe up the spill as soon as it occurs.
Unfortunately, occasionally stains happen, and if you have a water-based stain on your countertop, mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda and apply the mixture to the stain. Let it sit overnight and clean with a damp cloth.
Oil can stain a granite kitchen countertop, so be careful not to place any pots or pans with traces of oil on the bottom on your countertop. If you do, immediately blot up the oil and clean with mild dish soap and water to avoid permanently staining your countertop.
Make a baking soda and water paste for deep-seated oil stains and apply it to the stained area. Allow the mixture to sit overnight, and then wipe it with a damp cloth.
How to Disinfect a Granite Countertop
If you need to disinfect your granite countertop, avoid harsh chemicals and using Lysol or Clorox wipes because they can be abrasive and damage the seal. Also, avoid using vinegar for cleaning granite because it can cause dulling and etching to the surface.
Instead, make your own disinfecting solution. Mix 91% isopropyl alcohol with water in a spray bottle. Half alcohol and half water. Spray the solution evenly over your countertop and wait five minutes before wiping away with a damp cloth.
How to Know if You Need to Reseal Your Granite Countertop
Most professionals recommend sealing your granite countertops annually. However, the porosity of the stone and how often the countertop is used affect how often it needs to be resealed.
Your countertop maintenance and color can also affect how frequently you have to reseal your countertops. Dark granite colors like coffee brown are denser than lighter colors, making them less porous and less at risk of staining. Darker colors also mask minor stains and imperfections.
You can perform a water test to determine when to reseal your granite countertop.
Pour droplets of water about 3” in diameter on various sections of your countertop and let it sit for 30 minutes before wiping it dry. If the water has been absorbed into the countertop, the area darkens, and it is a good idea to reseal your surface.
How to Seal a Granite Countertop
When it is time to seal your countertop, remove everything, wash the counter with mild dish soap, and rinse it. Wipe the counter with acetone to remove any residue. Spray or spread on the sealer and leave it to absorb into the granite.
After the recommended setting time, wipe away any excess sealer with a clean, soft cloth. Your counter should be ready to use 24 hours after being sealed.
Tips for Protecting Your Granite Countertops
Ensure you are taking daily precautions to protect your granite countertops.
- Don’t sit or place heavy objects on your countertop because they don’t have a plywood backing and can be chipped or cracked.
- Use coasters to avoid the ring effect or avoid allowing the spill to seep into the small pores in the granite.
- Don’t let spills sit for too long because the longer they sit, the more likely they will penetrate the seal.
- Use a cutting board because even when your countertop is sealed, it is still porous and can host bacteria, and the surface dulls your kitchen knives.
- Use a trivet for hot pots, especially in cooler temperatures when the granite might be cold, causing thermal shock and discoloring the sealer or cracking the stone.
- Don’t use generic cleaners because they degrade the sealer, leaving the stone vulnerable to staining.
- Don’t store oils, perfumes, hair products, and other potions on your granite surfaces because they can leak or spill and stain the countertop.
Upgrade Your Kitchen and Bathroom with Granite Countertops
Replacing your countertops instantly upgrades your home. A natural granite counter brings a luxurious feel to the space and is an affordable investment.
At Motor City Granite & Countertops, our team helps you every step of the way, from design assistance to installation. If you are ready to give some tired space a new life, visit our showroom or fill out our questionnaire to help us accurately estimate your quote.