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Over the past few decades, granite countertops have become a staple of many homes. The surfaces are known not only for being beautiful, but for being very durable and easy to care for as well. This guide will provide you with all that you need to know about granite maintenance.
Maintaining Your Granite Countertops
Among the many options you have for natural stone countertops, granite is one of the easiest to maintain. While you will have to put in some effort, the amount required is not as much as is needed with other materials. By following the information explained in this guide, you will know how to properly maintain your granite countertops and keep them looking as good as new for years to come.
What is Sealing and Why is it Necessary?
Sealing is a very important part of keeping your granite countertops in great shape. Granite is a porous stone, meaning that liquid and stains can work their way down into the surface. To combat this problem, you need to seal your countertop. Sealing involves applying a sealant product that will fill the pores of the stone. Once these pores are filled, liquid and stains will not be able to penetrate the surface of your countertop.
If you do not seal your granite countertop, you are leaving the surface exposed to various damages. Considering that the sealing process is not difficult by any means, there is truly no good reason to not seal your granite countertops and ensure that they are protected.
How Do You Seal Granite Countertops?
Sealing granite countertops is a relatively quick and simple process. Before you begin to seal, you must first clear off any items from your countertop and clean the surface. You can clean the countertop using a granite cleaner, like this product. Once the surface is clean, you are ready to apply the sealer. There are many sealers available on the market, so finding a product that is ideal for your granite countertop will not be difficult at all. Apply the sealer to your countertop using either a brush or spray it on if it comes in a bottle. After this, wait for 15 minutes. If you see that all the sealer has absorbed in this time, apply an additional coat. Wipe off any excess sealer that remains on the surface. Lastly, let your countertops sit without being used for at least 24 hours.
|Step 1||Choose a sealer|
|Step 2||Clear off and clean the countertop|
|Step 3||Apply the sealer and wait|
|Step 4||Wipe off the excess sealer|
|Step 5||Let the countertop sit for at least 24 hours|
How Often Do You Need to Seal a Granite Countertop?
The specific answer to this question will depend on the type of granite you have. Some types of the stone require re-sealing more often than others. In general, you should only need to re-seal your granite countertops about once every year.
How Do You Know it is Time to Re-Seal a Granite Countertop?
There is a simple test that you can perform to determine if you need to re-seal your granite countertop. Pour a small amount of water on a small area of the countertop. If the water has absorbed within 15 minutes, you need to re-seal your granite countertop immediately. On the other hand, if the water beads on the surface, your current seal is still effective.
|Step 1||Pour a small amount of water on a small area of the countertop|
|Step 2||Wait 15 minutes|
|Step 3||See if the water absorbs or beads|
What Sealer Works Best for Granite Countertops?
Maintaining Granite: What to Do and What to Avoid
This section will help sort out what you should be doing to care for your granite and what you should avoid. You may find guides online that tell you various home cleaners that you can create and use on your granite countertops. However, many of these products are in fact not safe to use on your granite countertops and can cause damages.
Maintaining Granite: What to Do
The following is a list of helpful tips for keeping your granite countertops in terrific shape.
Keep Up on Cleaning
Making sure you regularly clean your countertop will go a long way in keeping it in great shape. While you can use warm water, mild dish soap and a paper towel, this is only recommended for a quick cleanup. If you want to get a deeper and more effective clean, use a granite cleaner like the one mentioned above. It is a good habit to clean your granite countertop every day.
Clean Up Spills Immediately
You must clean up any spills as soon as they occur if you want to keep your granite looking great. Even if the surface is properly sealed, it is never a good idea to leave any spills sitting on your countertop. Spills that are particularly hazardous include coffee, wine, juice, soda, tomato sauce and cooking oil.
Use Trivets and Hot Pads for Meal Prep
Although granite countertops are heat resistant, you do not want to get in the habit of putting hot pans or hot pots on the surface. While doing so will not cause damage, it is in your best interest to play it safe by using trivets or hot pads.
Use Cutting Boards
Granite is one of the hardest natural stones you can have in your home. It can actually dull any knife that is used on the surface. To be careful, use a cutting board when you are preparing food.
Use Coasters Under Drinks
If the surface is properly sealed, you should not have issues with staining or liquid damage. But as with the trivets and hot pads, it is in your best interest to be as cautious as possible. If your countertop is not adequately sealed, condensation from drink glasses can work its way down into the stone.
Maintaining Granite: What to Avoid
There are several things you should avoid when it comes to maintaining your granite countertops. The following list will help you keep in mind what you should stay away from when caring for your granite.
Do Not Use Abrasive Cleaners
Granite should only be cleaned using products designed for use with the stone (or warm water and mild dish soap for a quick clean). Products such as bleach, ammonia, Windex, Clorox and vinegar should not be used on your granite countertops. In addition to these, never use any cleaner that has a lemon or orange scent, as these will contain citric acid that can damage your countertop.
Stay Away from Generic Cleaning Products
Even if a product is labeled as a multi-purpose cleaner, it is likely not safe to use on your granite countertops. Many of these generic cleaning products can cause unwanted damages to your granite.
Keep Liquids Off the Countertop
Storing liquids on your countertop is not a good idea. Try to keep products such as cooking oil, perfume, creams and lotions stored in a different location. These products can all leak or spill and compromise your granite.
Do Not Act Reckless
While this may sound obvious, it is not a good idea to act reckless around your granite countertop. Never sit, stand, kneel or jump on the surface. While rare, these are some of the few scenarios that can cause a granite countertop to crack.
|What to Do||What to Avoid|
|Keep up on cleaning||Do not use abrasive cleaners|
|Clean up spills immediately||Stay away from generic cleaning products|
|Use trivets and hot pads for meal prep||Keep liquids off the countertop|
|Use cutting boards||Do not act reckless|
|Use coasters under drinks|
Granite maintenance is a significant part of granite care. For a full guide on how to care for granite, check out this article.