Granite countertops owe their popularity to their elegant and sophisticated look. They are available in versatile designs and attractive colors. Adding to their charm is the fact that they are easy on maintenance and partially resistant to scratches. Granite countertops are quite durable and retain their beautiful shine, even after years of use. However, as with any other material, granite also calls for some maintenance, which only helps to increase its life and durability. Read the article to find some valuable tips on granite countertop maintenance and know how to preserve the color and shine of your countertop.
How To Maintain Granite Countertops
Use A Soft Cloth
Granite countertops are easy to clean. You just need a soft cloth and warm water to remove the debris and leftovers from the countertop. Prepare a simple solution using a mild, anti-bacterial soap and warm water. Dip the soft cloth or a sponge in this solution and clean the debris off the countertop surface. It is important to remove leftover particles from the countertop, as they can etch into and scratch the shiny surface.
Avoid Chemical Cleaners
Chemical cleaners can be too harsh on granite; particularly the ones that contain acidic substances like lemon juice and vinegar, which can scrape the countertop. Gritty cleaners, which are used for cleaning glass, can lead to the build-up of a film and a cloudy appearance on the granite countertop. Similarly, cleaners containing ammonia, acetone, bleach or lemon are to be ruled out. In fact, you should go for cleaners that are specially formulated for cleaning the countertops and use the right PH formulations.
Granite, just like other stone surfaces, can absorb stains from an agent. You should use the poulticing method for stain removal, in such a case. It requires placing an absorbent material on the stain, so as to absorb it. The absorbent material will vary according to the type of stain to be removed. For removing a stubborn stain, mix some flour with a liquid dish washing soap and apply it to the stain. Allow the mixture to stay on the stain overnight and wash off with warm water in the morning.
Organic stains, such as those of coffee, tea, gravy or mustard, on a granite countertop can be easily removed by using a mixture of ammonia and 10% hydrogen peroxide. Inorganic stains, such as those of wine and ink, are to be cleaned by using a mix of bleach combined with molding plaster. This mixture is to be spread over the organic stain for half an hour. After that, you need to wash it off with water.
Using Granite Sealants
A major drawback of granite countertop is that it is quite porous. Using a granite sealer that can work to repel the stains and make the counter fairly stain resistant. Sealing of granite countertops is done during their installation. You can do the sealing on your own or seek the help of a professional for the same. A variety of granite sealants is available in the market. There is a common misconception that granite is to be sealed frequently. However, good quality, resin-coated granites need to be sealed only twice a year. This is enough to retain their luster.