Granite Countertop Care

Granite Countertop Care

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Wipe Down Daily

One of the facets that draws people to granite is its ability to maintain its character amid a spill crisis. Soda, coffee, tomato sauce, fruit juice all can cause problems with stone surfaces like marble but are a little less caustic than on granite. Oil is known to cause issues so it’s best to clean up oil spills immediately but for the most part a good wipe down after each meal is really all that is necessary.

Storage of condiments should always be on a rack. Items like Tabasco sauce are notorious for leaving little red circles where the liquid runs down and pools at the bottom.

Granite Cleaner, What’s the Deal

Standard household cleaners contain chemicals that could potentially break down the granite sealer causing more maintenance than necessary. Although granite cleaner can be more costly than simple glass cleaner the payoff is worth it. Plus, granite cleaner doesn’t need to be used daily. Standard cleaning procedure is simply hot soapy water before and after a meal. It is recommended though to use granite cleaner at least once a week to keep a good shine. Dish soap creates buildup over time and eventually will dull the glamor of a granite countertop if not properly cleaned occasionally.

Orange, Lemon, Ammonia and Vinegar – These should never be used to clean a granite countertop.

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Is this really the best way to fight against bacteria?

Truly. Think of granite countertops like washing hands. Soapy water will eliminate risk, but scratches and dings need a little deeper clean.

Best Practice – preventative care overview

Daily wipe with hot water. Weekly clean with granite cleaner. Check annually for needing to re-seal. If you have an area that uses grout along the sides it is good to check around to ensure the grout is still sealing.

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When to Seal

The lemon drop test is well known for testing out granite slabs before buying. It is as simple as dropping a couple drips of lemon on the stone, waiting a couple minutes and seeing if there’s dark spots that appear. If this is the case on a new slab it’s definitely not one to buy. When dark spots appear on a countertop at home, it’s time to reseal.

Another method that is less caustic is the paper towel test. Essentially the same thing. Place a wet paper towel on the granite for about 5 minutes and look for dark coloration.

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Granite doesn’t typically need to get resealed annually but it is good to make a habit of testing every year.

What is a Granite Polish

The polish is worked into the granite at the factory and is what gives it that classic shine. The name can be a bit misleading since it is something that can’t be replicated with product. Think of it like polishing a car when using product. While character can really be brought back to the surface, it is really only enhancing what is underneath. That being said, polishing kits can be an excellent way to spruce up a countertop. They are especially good to have in the cupboard in case big events are coming around the corner.

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Cutting Boards, Coasters and Hot Pads

It can be misleading to think of granite as the scratch-proof, heat resistant surface that it is. Thermal cracking is a thing albeit under extreme temperatures or with faulty stone. And even though scratches are less of a worry there is almost always residue under pans and sliding them back and forth just isn’t a good idea. A couple hot plats are a cheap investment compared to the granite countertop that will turn heads come time to sell.

Heat transfers as well. So, if a hot pan is placed on the countertop the surface will retain that heat for sometime. Best to be aware or at least have the kids be aware to ensure there aren’t any accidents.

Cutting Boards are Essential – Stone is very hard and will cause knives to dull over time. It’s likely to happen in a pinch and is important to note that light chops like mincing garlic is okay. But best to keep a steadfast rule of always using a cutting board.

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