How to Care For Your Granite Countertops
One of the most popular countertop surfaces today is granite, a natural stone. If I had to guess, I would say that 80% of my clients select a granite for the countertops in their kitchen remodel or bathroom renovation—and for good reasons! Granite is durable, dramatically beautiful, and low maintenance—all of which are qualities that my clients look for in a countertop material. But, what many people do not realize is that low maintenance does not mean NO maintenance. Here are some tips to properly care for your granite to insure a lifetime of performance and beauty from your stone.
(Note: I am not a granite care professional, and I do not claim to be. Speak to your granite fabricator or distributor for more info on protecting your granite countertops.)
Although granite is very hard and durable, it still has some porous qualities to it as it is a natural stone. To protect against spills and stains, it is recommended that you seal your granite countertops every 6-12 months. Natural stone sealer can be purchased at any hardware store or big box store. You just need to make sure that the label specifies it is for granite. Sealing is very simple. All you need to do is put a few capfuls of the sealer on your granite, rub it in with a clean cloth, and let it sit for the recommended amount of time noted on the back of the bottle. Then, simply wipe it off. It is as easy as that! (See sealer bottle for more thorough directions.) A trick to remember to seal your granite—do it on your birthday and “half birthday.” While sealing your granite countertops may not be the most fun birthday chore, it is a good way to remember to do it!
While sealing is a once or twice a year procedure, general cleaning should be done on a regular basis. Dusting should be done often to minimize scratches. For general cleaning, it is best to use a mild detergent with warm water and a non-abrasive cloth. (Anything abrasive could tarnish the polished finish of the granite countertops.) The soap you use for your dishes is typically fine. However, stay away from products that contain acids, as they, too, could eat away at the polished finish. Many people ask if it is okay to use Windex. The answer is both yes and no. The key is you must check the label. If the label says it is safe for granite or natural stone, then Windex away! However, certain Windex (and other glass cleaner) formulas do not say “granite-safe” on the label, so be sure to check before you spritz!
Although granite is hard-wearing, it is still an investment that you should protect. Therefore, utilize coasters under drinks, trivets or mats under dishes, and placemats under dishes if possible. These extra protective measures will help prevent accidental staining and scratching and help maintain the inherent beauty of the natural stone.
By utilizing these tips and tricks, you will be able to enjoy your natural granite countertops for years and years to come.