How to Clean Granite Countertops for Lasting Shine
Granite countertops are a stunning addition to any kitchen, exuding a timeless elegance that can transform your space. Being known for their remarkable beauty, granite surfaces also elevate the aesthetics of your home. However, to ensure your granite countertops maintain their natural shine and remain stain-free, knowing the right way to clean and care for them is essential.
Today, we'll walk you through the process, covering everything from the supplies you'll need to deal with spills and stains, the dos and don'ts of granite cleaning, and special care for granite countertops. Keep reading to have your guide that will help you have clean and well-maintained granite countertops.
Essential Supplies: What You'll Need for Effective Granite Cleaning
Before we delve into the cleaning process, let's gather the essential supplies you'll need to keep your granite countertops looking their best:
- Warm Water: Start with warm water as your primary cleaning agent. It's gentle on the stone and effective at removing most everyday grime.
- Mild Dish Soap: Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water for a slightly more robust cleaning solution. This will help cut through grease and general buildup.
- Microfiber Cloth: Opt for a soft microfiber cloth rather than abrasive scrubbers or rough sponges, as these materials can scratch the granite's surface.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda can work wonders for tough stains or stuck-on residues. Make a paste by mixing it with a small amount of water.
Now that we have our supplies ready let's move on to the next step, where we deal with spills and stains.
Dealing with Spills and Stains: Quick Solutions for Granite Countertops
Granite is resilient, but it's not entirely immune to stains. To prevent stains from becoming permanent, here's what you should do:
- Wipe Up Spills Immediately: Accidents happen, so when a spill occurs, especially if it's something like red wine or tomato sauce, don't wait. Quickly blot it with a clean cloth. Since granite has a porous surface, it can absorb liquids, causing permanent stains or bacterial growth. Accordingly, it is essential to take immediate action when a spill occurs.
- Gentle Cleaning: Dampen your microfiber cloth with warm, soapy water and wipe down your countertops for regular cleaning. Avoid abrasive scrubbing or using abrasive cleaners, as they can dull the surface's shine over time.
- Tackling Tough Stains: If you're dealing with stubborn stains like oil-based or water stains, make a paste using baking soda and water. Apply it to the affected area and gently scrub in small circular motions. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean cloth.
- Sealing Granite Countertops: To further protect your granite from stains, consider having it professionally sealed. Sealing creates a protective barrier that makes it more resistant to staining. You can test if your countertop needs sealing by sprinkling a few drops of water on the surface. If it beads up, your granite is adequately sealed. If it soaks in, it's time to reseal. Note that granite countertops require regular sealing to be protected from several kinds of damage, like permanent stains, scratches, discoloration, and bacterial growth. Hence, sealing is needed to be an essential part of your countertop care routine.
Dos and Don'ts of Granite Cleaning: Avoiding Common Mistakes
To keep your granite countertops in pristine condition, it's crucial to be mindful of the dos and don'ts of cleaning and maintenance. We can summarize all the essentials as follows:
- Clean Regularly: Routine cleaning with warm, soapy water or a granite cleaner is key to preserving your countertop's beauty.
- Use Coasters: Place coasters under glasses and mugs to prevent water rings and potential staining.
- Use Cutting Boards: Always use cutting boards when chopping or preparing food because sharp knives can scratch granite.
- Dry Thoroughly: After cleaning, make sure to dry your granite surfaces with a clean, dry cloth so that you can prevent water spots.
- Don't Use Harsh Chemicals: Avoid abrasive cleaners, vinegar, lemon juice, or any acidic substances that can damage the stone's surface.
- Don't Use Rough Scrubbers: Stay away from abrasive scrubbers, steel wool, or scouring pads that can scratch the granite.
- Don't Place Hot Pots Directly: Granite can withstand heat perfectly, but it's still best to use trivets or hot pads under hot cookware to avoid thermal shock.
- Don't Store Liquids on Countertops: Keep oils, vinegar, and other liquids away from your countertops to prevent potential spills and staining.
Special Care for Sealed Granite Countertops: Preserving the Shine
If you've invested in sealed granite countertops, you've taken a significant step toward preserving their beauty and durability. However, even sealed granite requires proper care:
- Regular Resealing: As mentioned earlier, periodically check if your countertop needs resealing. This will ensure it effectively repels stains and other kinds of damage.
- Use Granite-Safe Cleaners: Stick to pH-balanced granite cleaners that are compatible with sealed surfaces. These cleaners are gentle yet effective at removing grime. Note that the best cleaning materials are nothing but a soft cloth, warm water, and mild dish soap.
- Avoid Heavy Pressure: When cleaning sealed granite, use a gentle touch. Excessive pressure or vigorous scrubbing can wear down the sealer over time.
- Prompt Cleanup: Even with a sealant, spills should be wiped up immediately to prevent staining, as the sealant isn't guaranteed against all types of stains.
Cleaning and maintaining granite countertops for lasting beauty is easy when you have the right supplies and follow the recommended dos and don'ts. By adopting these practices, you can ensure your granite kitchen countertops remain a stunning beauty in your home for years to come.