How to Care for Your Granite Countertops
If you’ve recently had granite installed, you know that they don’t come cheap. Now you’re a little worried about how you’re going to protect that investment. There’s a lot of misinformation and myths out there when it comes to caring for granite. Your granite is not as fragile as it may appear. Remember, your counters and floors are made of stone. Pyramids have been built entirely of granite. So, there’s a good chance that your countertops and floors might outlast both you and your home.
There is some care and general knowledge involved if you want to keep them looking showroom ready though. Stone can be damaged but avoiding such a situation is fairly simple. There isn’t much involved or a need for an expert to help you care, clean and protect your granite.
There is one simple way to keep your stone looking fantastic: avoid bad habits that may end up damaging it. Here are the do’s and don’ts of granite. Do take the time to read through and begin practicing these in your daily cleaning routines and inform your family as well.
Do: Clean surfaces with a sponge or soft cloth. Using a soft microfiber cloth along with a natural stone and granite cleaner will keep your countertops in their best condition. Use these in combination to help remove dirt, grime and build up. In a pinch, a quick wipe of hot water will do for quick clean-ups.
Do: Blot spills immediately. Liquids such as coffee, wine, fruit and sodas are highly acidic and will not etch granite like they would with marble, but they can potentially stain the surface. Cooking oils may also leave a stain and residue if not wiped up immediately.
Do: Use trivets and hot pads under pots and pans. Ideally, yes, you can take a hot pan fresh off the stove and put it right on the granite countertop and not have any issues. However, it is possible for granite (or any stone/quartz) to suffer from thermal shock and crack. This is rare, but you don’t want to get into a bad habit of placing the pan directly on the counter and risk cracking your beautiful countertop.
Do: Dust mop your natural stone floors often. Using a clean, dry, non-treated pad with your dust mop is perfect and entirely efficient for picking up dirt and grime off your stone floors.
Don’t: Use generic cleaning products like bleach, glass cleaner, degreasers or any multi-purpose cleaners. These products contain acids, alkalis and other chemicals that will degrade the granite sealer leaving the stone more vulnerable to staining. Taking a shortcut and trying to use these products as a cheap alternative to the recommended stone cleaner will only cost you more time and money in the long run.
Don’t: Use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange-based cleaners. Again, most common cleaners are going to cause your granite more harm than good in the long run.
Don’t: Use bathroom, tub and tile grout cleaners. These cleaners contain abrasives that will scratch and dull the surfaces of your granite. Avoid using them as trying to remedy the effect on the stone could be irreversible.
Don’t: Store toiletry products or liquids directly on the surface. Perfumes, colognes, creams, lotions, cooking oils and hair products tend to spill and go overlooked. Even when properly sealed, granite that is repeatedly exposed to constant contact with liquids with harsh chemicals will erode the strength and quality of your stone over time. Be proactive and find alternate storing options such as inside a decorative tray or on a shelf.