Granite worktops or counters make for stylish and functional additions to any kitchen.
They add a touch of class and rugged elegance.
However, when compared to marble or wooden counters, they may need more upkeep. Afterall, stone can be chipped and can suffer water damage just as much as any other material and having spent so much money on it, you don’t want it to age. This is a quick guide on how to look after your granite counters in 3 easy steps:
1. Daily Cleaning
One of the reasons granite is popular, as well as looking great, is that it is relatively easy to maintain compared to other materials. While this is not a challenge, it is pretty difficult to damage via heat, dents, or scratches.
Daily cleaning should involve a damp cloth with a couple of drops of washing up liquid. Give it a rub down with this cloth then do the same with a dry cloth. Be careful when cleaning up spills to avoid large scale staining and be restrictive when it comes to how much washing up liquid you use as it can leave a haze on darker stone.
2. Deep Cleaning
In addition to the regular clean, you are going to want to deep clean your granite worksurface so it remains safe to use. This could mean using a more powerful cleaning agent or disinfecting the surface; especially if you have kids. However, there are some products which you should not use.
There are several types of specialty granite cleaners which will provide a deeper clean – just make sure they are not too acidic. In addition to monitoring acidity, granite is one of the few things you should never clean with vinegar. Green cleaning is great where possible, but using vinegar on granite will etch and damage the surface while removing its natural sheen. The same also goes for using lemon juice. Where possible, keep it non-acidic.
3. Regular Sealing
You must, must, must seal your granite countertop. This is because water naturally seeps into the porous surface of granite stone. As a result, the surface will be easily stained unless it is sealed and made both waterproof and easy to clean. While granite can be left unsealed, it is at the mercy of luck and nature.
Sealing granite is actually a fairly easy process. Start by buying a good sealant. You can talk to your granite supplier or by enquiring with a local stoneyard for more information. Many will either have the product you need to show or sell to you or will know where to buy it from.
Ideally you ought to get a non-toxic sealant which is easy to spray and wipe off. Naturally, the higher quality the sealant, the better the finished worktop looks. Prior to applying the sealant, do open all windows and give the top a thorough wipe down along the same lines as the simple, daily clean. You do not want to seal in dirty and grime after all.