If you want your kitchen granite countertops to last a lifetime, you need to take care of them. Granite kitchen countertops add value to your home, but like everything else, they need to be cared for to maintain their beauty and lengthen their lifespan. If you do not take care of your granite countertops, they will grow dull, develop stains and streaks, and they might also break.
Your countertops do not need much care. If you do not have a granite cleaner, you can use warm water and dish cleaning soap besides learning how to clean granite, learn how to polish granite to maintain its shine. Read on to learn how to clean granite countertops.
Why Granite Countertops Require Regular Cleaning
Simple stains from fruits, oil, soap, and cooking ingredients slowly form on your granite countertop. These stains may not be outright visible until it is too late and they are already permanently fixed. Leaving the water on granite countertops, especially when the countertop is no sealed, will cause watermarks. As such, stains should be wiped off while still fresh.
Even when cleaning, you shouldn’t use the wrong granite cleaner. Avoid household cleaners with vinegar and lemon as they are acidic and will damage your granite countertops. When exposed to acids, the calcite in granite will dissolve. Naturally, granite is porous and might hold some of the cleaning products causing more damage over time. If cleaners destroy the surface of your granite kitchen countertops, it will require professional finishing. Learn more on this topic on Caesarstone.
How to Clean Granite Countertops
Being a natural stone, granite resists the buildup of bacteria and other microorganisms. But, being resistant to bacteria does not prevent the formation of stains. Ensure that you use stone-safe granite cleaner when caring for your granite kitchen countertops. After cleaning, wipe the surface of the countertop with a dry piece of cloth. Here is how to clean granite countertops.
Make Sure Your Granite Kitchen Countertops Are Sealed
Unlike quartz, granite is porous and more susceptible to stains and bacteria. Instead of allowing the bacteria to settle into the microscopic pores of granite, you can seal the pores, so all you’ll be doing is wiping off the bacteria and stains.
If, for instance, you are having a party, guests might pour juices of acidic fruits on your granite countertops. If you do not wipe off the stains within the hour, an unsealed countertop will stain while a sealed countertop will not. Sealers act as a coat of wax that sits on the countertop’s surface as a barrier between stains and your countertop.
Sealing your countertop will take 20 minutes or less. You will need to learn how to polish granite to keep it shiny. To seal your countertop, wash it with a PH-neutral cleanser, buff it, and leave it to dry completely. Sealer bottles come with application instructions for you to follow. However, in most cases, you only need to apply the sealer with a cloth, leave it to sit on the countertop, and wipe out the excess sealer with a piece of lint-free cloth. Only allow the sealer to sit for 10 minutes before rubbing the excess off with a cloth in a circular motion.
You need to seal your granite kitchen countertops immediately after installation. After that, reseal once a year. After sealing, any water or liquid that falls on the countertop should form beads. If you notice that water on the countertop no longer creates beads, reseal your countertop. When buying your granite countertop, you might get guidelines to reseal once or twice a year – however, some cleansers or food products can break down sealers at a faster rate.
Make Granite Cleaner with Soap and Warm Water
The easy way to clean granite is to wipe off fresh stains with a lint-free cloth, warm water, and soap. Once you learn how to clean granite and how to polish granite, you will find cleaning easy. To clean your granite countertops, mix mild dishwashing soap with water and use a soft piece of cloth to wipe off stains, crumbs, and spills. You should use a microfiber cloth that does not create streaks on the countertop.
After cleaning, you can wipe the countertop with a mixture and isopropyl alcohol. Mix water and isopropyl alcohol in the ratio 1:1. Isopropyl alcohol disinfects your granite countertops, removes all soap residue, and restores the shine of granite surfaces. If you have a spray bottle, spray the surface of the countertops and let it sit for up to five minutes. After spraying isopropyl alcohol, rinse with water and dry the surfaces.
Quartz: A More Durable Alternative to Granite Kitchen Countertops
Instead of granite, you can use quartz. A while ago, quartz was only used in high-end projects, but today, it is used on almost all commercial and residential projects. Unlike other natural stone countertops, quartz is nonporous, which means that it does not allow water or other liquids to soak in. Granted, countertops made of quartz do not require sealing at any time, you only need to wipe off crumbs and spills when fresh.
Another advantage of granite is its availability in different colors and patterns. During the manufacturing process, manufacturers add different pigments and various types of resins to create diverse types of quartz countertops. You take care of quartz the same way you care for granite but without the need to seal. So, if you learned how to clean granite and how to polish granite, you are good to take care of granite.
It takes a few minutes to take care of your granite every day. It also takes a few days for a stain to form on your granite countertop. If you take care of your countertop, it will last for a long time and add to the value of your home. Besides cleaning your countertops every day, you need to keep them off hot pans and pots to prevent them from cracking. Again, do not cut food directly on the granite countertop as this will result to cut marks. And lastly, do not sit or stand on your granite kitchen countertops as they are not flexible.