How to Care for Granite Countertops
Granite is one of the most coveted materials for countertops in the home for a variety of reasons. Because granite is an igneous rock formed from magma and is found within the Earth, it’s extremely durable and strong. This means it can handle a lot of day to day use including heat and spills. It’s a unique material that provides a different look with every slab, thanks to its patterns and swirls of color. Granite is also great at hiding crumbs and imperfections, again thanks to its versatile, varied appearance. What once used to be an exclusively expensive material, granite now is available in many price points.
How do you care for granite? Because granite is so strong, it doesn’t take too much maintenance to keep it looking great. However, there are some steps you can take to ensure your granite countertop stays beautiful year after year.
- Apply a sealant once every year or two. A sealant prevents stains from setting in immediately, although it won’t prevent them altogether. You still need to thoroughly clean up any spills that occur right away, especially when it comes to acidic foods and beverages such as wine. Ask your remodeler if your granite was factory-sealed and what they recommend for how frequently to seal.
- Avoid the use of vinegar-based window cleaners, as these have high acidic contents. All you really need is a paper towel or sponge to clean up a mess.
- Leave the soap in the sink. While soaps and dishwashing liquids won’t necessarily harm your granite countertops, they will leave a film or layer of build-up on them over time. Just a soft cloth with warm water will do.
- Use trivets when setting down hot pans on your countertops. While you can, in theory, place a hot pot right on the granite, in rare cases it has been known to crack under intense heat. In addition, if there are tiny particles of dirt or crumbs on the counter when you place it down, this can cause light surface scratching and pitting, particular around high traffic areas such as the immediate sink area.
- In the same vein, use coasters for all cold drinks, as the condensation can cause temporary marking on your granite.
- Use cutting boards when preparing dinner. Not only will these boards protect the surface from possible scratching, they will also protect the integrity of your knives. This is because when you cut on stone, the knives can get dull fairly quickly.
- Tell your kids not to stand or sit on your granite countertops. Yes, granite is very durable and strong, but it’s not necessary flexible. You can cause a crack if you put too much weight at one time in one spot.
Follow these handy tips on caring for your granite countertop and you will get lifelong enjoyment out of this beautiful, unique material.