How to Clean Granite Countertops
Granite is one of the most popular materials for kitchen countertops, offering durability and beautiful, natural rock patterns that are timeless in their appeal. But if you’re going to install this type of countertop in your home, you need to know how to clean granite counter tops properly.
While granite is a durable material, it can still stain and get worn down over time without proper maintenance. Here’s a guide to cleaning your granite countertops the right way, and taking steps to extend the life of this beautiful kitchen fixture.
Do: Take Preventative Measures to Avoid Spills and Staining
The best way to keep granite counters clean is to avoid spills, stains and other messes from the start. Be particularly careful about alcohol and citrus juice spills, which can cause the granite countertop to stain. Red wine is especially dangerous–always use coasters to keep red wine from contacting the granite and seeking into the rock.
Remember that granite is a porous material, meaning it can still absorb liquids that sit on its surface. This also includes cooking oils, which can soak into the granite and leave a permanent mark.
Don’t: Use Vinegar to Clean Granite
Vinegar is a common cleaning agent that homeowners may use to clean indoor surfaces. But vinegar–as well as products containing vinegar–should never be used to clean granite. The chemical qualities of vinegar can cause pitting in the granite, damaging its smooth surface and making it even more susceptible to staining.
Do: Use a Specialized Granite Cleaner
To make sure you’re properly cleaning your countertops, use a granite counter top cleaner specially designed to clean this surface without causing any damage.
A specialized granite counter top cleaner will help extend the life of your countertops, cleaning away dirt, grime and other contaminants without wearing away at the stone or the countertop sealant.
Don’t: Use Abrasive Scrubbing Products
It can be tempting to use abrasive scrubbing devices like brushes, steel wool, and other heavy-duty products designed to clean even the toughest dirt and grime. But when it comes to granite, many of these products can cause lasting damage to your countertops. Harsh cleaning tools can strip away your countertop sealant and cause scratches and other lasting damage to your countertop.
Use a microfiber towel, soft sponge, or other soft towel or cleaning product that will clean away messes without harming the granite.
Seal Your Granite Regularly
Since granite is porous and can soak up spills and stains, owners of granite countertops should consider sealing their stone on a regular basis. While the frequency of this sealing can depend on how much wear and tear the countertop surface suffers, there’s an easy way to test whether it’s time to re-seal: If you place a few drops of water on the granite, the water should form beads. If the water runs across the granite, it’s time to re-seal.
Use a non-toxic specialty granite sealer to create a layer of protection on your granite and prolong its lifespan.
Granite is a beautiful surface for any kitchen, bathroom, or entertaining space, but it’s also a big investment. If you’re going to spend that kind of money on quality countertops, take a little extra care to protect that investment with regular cleaning and ongoing maintenance and preventative methods. With a little attention to detail, you can keep your granite looking clean, vibrant, and scratch-free for years to come.