If you're looking to reinvigorate your home's kitchen, upgrading to granite countertops can be an excellent way to do so. Granite is strong, gorgeous, and will clearly show your commitment to improving the quality of your home. However, it does require some specialized care and upkeep. If you're not aware of your responsibilities, you may find yourself extremely disappointed in the way your countertops hold up.
Below, you'll find a guide to some tips for maintaining your granite countertops. Following these suggestions will guarantee that you're in a position to maximize your countertops' longevity, allowing you to both protect your investment and enjoy your new installation for as long as possible.
Maintain A Strong Waterproof Seal
Granite is a naturally occurring stone that is very porous. Because of this trait, it's sealed with an industrial coating before it is cut and installed as a kitchen countertop. However, over time, that sealant may wear away as you clean and use your kitchen. Maintaining it is a vital part of making sure your countertops avoid stains and damage.
One good way to check and see if your countertop sealant is in need of patching is to drop some clean water directly on the surface. If the water seems to disappear and dissipate rather than forming up into beads, it may be soaking into the stone and it's likely time to apply a new coat of sealant.
Avoid Chemical Cleaners
While there are a wide variety of kitchen cleaning products available, many of them will actually do more harm than good when applied to granite. Most powdered cleaners contain at least an element of pumice that will cause microscopic scratches and damage that will eventually wear down the surface and look of your granite.
Similarly, acid-based cleaning products will react poorly with your countertop sealant and natural stone. You should instead attempt to use only cleaner specially designed for granite surfaces, as the chemical makeup of those products has been specially formulated to protect your surface.
Clean With Gentle Cloths
As mentioned above, granite will be resistant to large scale damage but may hide damage that occurs microscopically. If you clean your countertops with a rough or ragged cloth, you may scratch it in ways that are undetectable to the naked eye but still a serious threat to its stability. Instead, only use extremely soft cotton or microfiber cloths that will be designed to avoid irritating the surface of your countertops and keep them smooth and gleaming for many years to come.