Caring for Your Granite Countertop

If you have been considering granite countertops in your kitchen or bathroom, one of the things thatyou should know about before you buy is how to care for it. For the most part, caring for granite is mucheasier than you might think. After all, some people shy away from granite because they believe granite is too difficult to care for. This is definitely not the truth. Here are some tips on caring for your granite, no matter where it is in your home:

Sealing Your Granite

One of the things you need to do as soon as you bring granite into your home is seal it. In a natural state, granite is fairly resistant to liquids, like water, but it can certainly absorb these liquids over time. For instance, you might spill some water on your granite. Leaving it on for a minute while you find a rag to clean it will not harm it, but leaving water for hours and hours could cause it to absorb into the granite. When it does, you will notice stains and permanent spots in your granite. Once these stains appear, they are there forever. When you regularly seal, however, the granite is much more resistant to any staining or damage. It is recommended that you seal granite every six months, or so.

Daily Cleaning

Once the granite has been sealed, you can have a lot of confidence that it will continue to look its best and be resistant to damage. The next thing that you should think about, however, is the daily care of your granite. There are a number of things that you can do to keep your granite clean, but as with many situations, sometimes the simple way is the best way.

The simple way is to use a cleanser that is specially formulated for stone. You can buy these cleansers at most stores. You can also use a mild soap and water to clean the granite. Some people try to use solutions like vinegar, lime or lemon juice, bleach or ammonia. The problem with these chemical cleansers is that they will weaken the sealant. As you know, the sealant protects the granite from staining. The stronger the cleanser, the more damage they will do to your granite.

Disinfecting Your Granite

If your granite is located in your kitchen or bathroom, you will want to make sure that you are disinfecting your granite. Though granite is fairly resistant to bacteria, it is still possible that surface bacteria can linger following cooking, for instance. In order to disinfect the granite, make a 50/50 solution of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. You can keep this in a spray bottle. When you wish to disinfect, spray the solution on your granite and allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes. Rinse the granite with water then dry it with a clean cloth. Again, do not use common disinfectants like bleach or ammonia on your granite.

Other Considerations When Caring for Granite

You now know that you need to seal your granite and that you should clean and disinfect with mild cleaners. On top of that, there are few other things to keep in mind when it comes to granite. For one, though granite is resistant to damage from heat, it is still a good idea to use a trivet or hot pad to place pans and pots onto when pulling them off the stove. Some people will want to simply place them directly on the granite, but keep in mind, though not likely, it is possible that the granite will crack due to “thermal shock.” Once granite cracks, it will be impossible to repair.

Another thing that you will want to keep in mind about granite is to always use cutting boards when you are cutting food or other items on your granite countertop. Though you will certainly not harm granite with a common kitchen knife, your kitchen knives will dull very quickly. Granite is one of the hardest solid materials on the planet and with the exception of diamond and engineered quartz, no other solid material is stronger.

It is also possible that your granite can be chipped or cracked due to the trauma of something dropping on it. For example, because of the makeup of granite, you may find that something as simple as a can falling on your granite from the cabinet can chip it. Though small chips can be repaired, large chips and cracks cannot. Instead, the entire slab of granite will need to be replaced.

As you can see, a granite countertop is not as difficult to care for as you may think. Instead, with sealing twice a year, daily cleaning with mild soap and water and disinfecting as needed, you can keep your countertops looking their best for many years to come.

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