Granite countertops are made of granite, a natural stone with a porous surface. Well maintained, granite kitchen countertops can last a lifetime, but care needs to be taken as acid substances can damage the finish. Granite is similar to marble and limestone, and as such most of the advice given to clean marble countertops can be applied to granite ones.
Granite Countertops Enemies
Most granite countertops are sealed using resins and varnishes that reduce its natural porosity and make stains less likely to become permanent. However, it’s important to be careful and avoid substances that could harm that finish. This includes acids such as lemon or orange juice, but also other acidic liquids such as wine. If you have an accident, clean the spill as fast as possible with a wet wipe and make sure it’s not left on the countertop to soak. Harsh cleaning products and abrasive substances should never be used, as when a stain becomes permanent you’ll need the help of a professional to remove it and that can be pricey.
Sealing Granite Countertops
The sealing on a granite countertop often lasts for up to 10 years, so if you want your kitchen countertops to look as good as new you’ll need to have them professionally re-sealed as often as the manufacturer recommends, or when you notice that water splashed on the surface no longer beads up. After the sealing has been applied, you can polish it so it achieves the high gloss finish that makes granite surfaces so sought after. This can be done by a professional using an orbital buffing machine. If you want to do it yourself, there are granite maintenance kits available that will allow you to buff the granite surface without damaging the sealing.
Prevention Is Better Than The Cure
The best way of keeping your granite countertops in perfect shape is preventing scratches and stains, instead of trying to clean them up afterwards. To do so, make sure you use chopping boards, table clothes and heat protection and never use abrasive cleaning methods or try to scratch things off the surface as you will damage the sealing instead. If you get a stain that doesn’t bulge, let it soak for a bit with warm water and a neutral PH soap, and rub it off carefully to avoid further damage.
The best way of keeping your granite countertops clean is by using a dampened cloth and a non-abrasive soap, or even a mixture of vinegar and warm water if your manufacturer states it is safe. Some people use kitchen cleaners suitable for glass surfaces, and as long as you wipe it immediately the granite surface won’t be damaged. However, and since those made of granite are not cheap countertops you should be extremely careful and follow to the letter the manufacturer instructions.