Caring for your Granite Countertopsby Cynthia on 04/25/13
How to Care for Your Granite Countertops
Granite has become one of the most popular countertop materials for kitchens, baths and more. It is a beautiful natural material that adds value and visual appeal to any home. Granite is durable and is fairly low maintenance.
You might not know this, but granite is a porous material that can stain, scratch and even crack without the proper care. You can prevent all of these from happening to your cherished countertops with some easy maintenance routines.
First, clean-up any spills immediately; allowing a spilled liquid or sauce to sit on your granite can mean stains. Properly sealed granite will repel most stains if cleaned promptly. Here’s how to do it:
1. Blot the spill, don’t wipe (wiping can spread the stain)
2. Flush the spill with warm water and a mild detergent
3. Rinse thoroughly and then dry
4. If you can’t get the stain out with the above directions, you may have to use a poultice – a fine, non-acid, absorptive clay cleaning powder that removes deep-set oil stains, grease and light cement grout haze from polished and unpolished natural stone. This may dull the shine of your granite, but that can be restored with marble polish.
Second, seal your granite. Depending on how much use your countertop gets, you may need to seal up to every 6 months. Most granite companies recommend sealing once a year. If your granite is used infrequently, you could go as long as every two years.
1. Clean the surface thoroughly making sure to remove any stains
2. Let the surface dry for several hours before sealing
3. Spread the sealer over the surface. You can use paper towel, a soft brush, or a rag.
4. Allow the sealer to penetrate for 5 – 10 minutes. Add more if the sealer is absorbed completely by 5 minutes
5. After 5 to 10 minutes blot any remaining sealer
6. Buff the stone dry with a clean terry cloth
7. Let the surface dry for a full 12 hours before using it
Keep your granite clean and use trivets or heat pads underneath ceramic dishes or pots to prevent scratching. While granite can tolerate heat well, too much exposure to extended lengths of extreme heat can crack the surface. Avoid leaving hot pots or pans on the surface for long periods especially in the winter. Every day cleaning is simple:
1. Mix warm water and a little dishwashing detergent in a cloth to wipe down the surface.
2. Rinse thoroughly with clean water
3. Dry with a clean towel or cloth
Granite may be one of the world’s strongest surfaces but it still requires care. With these easy steps you can keep your granite looking brand new for many years of enjoyment.