Granite countertops are very durable, but they aren’t indestructible. Because this natural stone is very porous, it absorbs moisture and stains quickly if it isn’t sealed properly. As such, granite countertops are covered with a shiny, protective sealant that must be replaced periodically.
To keep your granite countertops looking great, here are the steps to cleaning and maintaining them.
Step 1: Cleaning
You can make your own granite countertop cleaner by combining water and a small amount of mild dishwashing soap or you can buy a commercial cleaner at the store. Both are applied using a small circular motion and then rinsed away thoroughly using a soft microfiber cloth.
Avoid using any scrub brushes, harsh chemicals, vinegar, and citrus-based products as these can damage the sealant surface or etch the natural stone.
Step 2: Stain Removal
Stain removal is part of keeping your granite countertops in good shape. Make a paste of baking soda and water for oil-based stains or baking soda and peroxide for water-based stains. Apply the paste and rub gently with a soft cloth. Rinse the area and dry it well.
If the stain remains, re-apply the paste, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, scrub with a soft cloth, rinse, and dry. If the stain remains still, it’s a sign that the sealant has deteriorated and you’ll need to hire a professional to get the stain out, after which, they will reseal the surface.
Step 3: Sanitizing
You can sanitize your granite countertops easily by mixing equal parts isopropyl alcohol and water in a spray bottle and covering the surface with it. Let it sit for several minutes before wiping it dry with a soft dish towel.
Step 4: Maintenance
Granite countertops can be expensive to install but they add value and beauty to your home. Keep your granite countertops looking great by following some simple maintenance tips.
- Clean up spills immediately, especially acid-based ones like tomato juice.
- Reseal the countertops at least once a year.
- Avoid wiping spills. Blot them instead.
- Avoid getting cooking oils on your granite countertops.
Granite countertops are very durable, but only if they are cared for properly. Follow the cleaning and maintenance tips above to keep your granite countertops looking great for a long, long time.