There is no doubt about it: granite counter tops are absolutely beautiful. The gorgeous colors and high heat resistance make granite one of the most sought after kitchen materials. Granite is one of the most durable stones, but it does require special care. Since granite counter tops are made out of stone, traditional cleaner are too harsh for the surface. Most common household cleaners cause unnecessary wear on granite, etching and pitting the surface of the counter top.
Safe Cleaners for Use on Granite Countertops
Abrasive or harsh cleaning products can cause permanent damage to a granite counter top. For this reason, special stone cleaners have been invented to care for the unique properties of stone. Most days, it is fine to wipe down counter with nothing but a cloth and warm water. Stone is highly impervious to bacteria, and the hardness of granite increases the effectiveness of this property. Once a week, special stone cleaners that have a neutral pH are to be used to care for the surface. As an alternative to expensive specialty stone cleaners, you can make a homemade mixture in a composed of 1/4 cup of isopropyl rubbing alcohol, a few drops of dish soap, and enough water to fill a quart sized bottle to the top. This can be used to clean up spills as well.
Preventative Care for Granite
One of the best things to do to care for granite is to make sure that the surface is not harmed in the first place. A penetrating sealant should be applied to the counter top once a year to ensure that the surface stays protected. It is important to use a stone sealant that penetrates the counter top surface. Otherwise, a cloudy film may form over the counter top. This can be very expensive to take care of, and very damaging as well. A good indicator of when it is time to reseal the counter top is when water splashed on the surface no longer forms beads. There are many other good everyday practices that can ensure that your counter top will last a lifetime. Refrain from leaving foods and drinks with a high acidic content on your counter. This can lead to etching. Repeat offenders of this crime include soda pop, lemons and lemon juice, and vinegar. Spills should be cleaned up immediately. It is also important to use a cutting board rather than simply cutting on the counter top surface. Cutting on the surface can lead to scratching and denting. Avoid dragging pots or pans across the counter top, as this can lead to scratching and possibly even chipping of the surface. Gray or black marks are sometimes left by pots and pans. Thankfully, such mars can be gently scrubbed out with good steel wool. If a sticky substance gets stuck on your counter top, most of the time, it can be scraped off with a credit card. If any marks result from this process, it might be a good idea to rub them out with steel wool.
Because granite is a natural material, the composition of it varies. Dependent on where the stone comes from, it may have special needs to tend. A good granite counter top manufacturer will include instructions on more specific counter top care with your counter top.
Despite all the options for care given here, granite counter tops are truly low maintenance. Cleaning should not take too long, and you will have a sparkling surface for years to come. Properly cared for granite counter top surfaces can last for many years, so maintaining them throughout a lifetime is well worth a minute or so a day.