Granite countertops have become popular due to their durability, heat-resistance, scratch-resistance, and low maintenance. So, most homeowners think that granite requires no maintenance. This is a false assumption, and if you blindly believe this, you will have to face drastic consequences.
Volcanic magma turns into granite under immense heat and pressure. The process that creates granite also blesses it with some of its best qualities. However, it does not make granite immune to the wear and tear over time. If you want your granite countertops to look new at all times, you will have to take good care of it.
You should clean your worktop every day with a solution of soap and water. Just spray the solution and wipe the surface with a soft cloth. You should also keep the following precautions in mind.
Do not use harsh chemicals or acidic substances, such as vinegar or bleach, on your countertop. It strips away the top sealant layer. Over time, it will make your worktop prone to staining and bacterial growth.
When you spill something on the countertop, be sure to blot the surface and clean it immediately. Letting the spills sit on the surface increases the chances of staining, especially if the liquid is acidic.
Granite is heat-resistant. However, it may suffer from thermal shocks when you place a hot pan on the cold surface. This can lead to cracks. Always use a hot pad or trivet to protect your granite worktop.
Do not place raw meat directly on your granite surfaces. If you do, then make sure to disinfect the area soon after with a solution of water and isopropyl alcohol in equal parts. The bacteria from the meat can get transferred to the worktop, and this can lead to cross-contamination.
Granite is a hard material that doesn’t chip easily. However, if you use your worktop as a cutting board, you may end up creating scratches on the surface. Always use a cutting board.
Your daily cleaning covers most of the surface, but you may miss the corners. Once a week or once a fortnight, do a deep clean of the surface. You can even spray the isopropyl alcohol solution, let it sit for five minutes before wiping the surface with a soft cloth.
If you notice stains on the surface, you can apply a poultice to remove it. The type of poultice depends on the cause of the stain. For stain removal, a paste made from baking soda and water is the most common method. Apply the mixture over the stain, cover it with plastic and let it sit for a day or two. If the stain hasn’t disappeared entirely, you can repeat the process with some cornstarch.
Granite doesn’t lose its shine. It may become a little dull due to the use of various cleaning products. The soap solution forms a thin film if it is not rinsed out properly. You can polish the surface once a month. The polish enhances the shine of the surface and helps the sealant last longer. It is not compulsory to do this like the daily cleaning and the weekly deep clean. However, it will help in preserving the look of granite countertops.
Annual or Semi-annual Sealing
Granite is a porous material. A sealant is applied on the surface to make it non-porous and impervious to staining. The sealant forms an impenetrable and invisible layer on top of the granite surface. The sealant may wear off after a while.
You can do a water bead test to determine if the sealant layer is still intact. Pour a few drops of water on the granite countertop. If it forms a bead, then the sealant is intact. It the water spreads out and gets absorbed after a while, then the sealant needs to be reapplied. If the sealant layer gets stripped from the granite surface, leaves it exposed and making it an absorbent surface. It becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and making it prone to staining.
Give Your Granite Countertop the Love it Deserves
A granite worktop adds value to your home. You should always buy your granite from trustworthy sellers who are also experts in installing the countertop. A properly installed countertop that is maintained regularly will always keep your kitchen looking new.