In recent years, the use of granite as a material for countertops has become a popular option for kitchens and bathrooms. Since granite is not as porous as marble, it is easy to clean because it is less susceptible to soaking up spills, oils, and stains. Also, granite is quite resistant to bacteria, which is a very important concern, especially for kitchen counters.
Granite is quite pricey so you will want to show off the countertops in your kitchen. To keep them looking clean and at its best, knowing how to clean your granite countertop with the right products is very important. If your countertops are always clean and in great shape, naturally, your kitchen will look newer and more attractive. Your kitchen appliances and cabinets will also look really good in a kitchen that has well-maintained, clean, and shiny granite countertops.
While granite is quite sturdy and can handle a fair amount of rough use, you should clean your granite countertops carefully and regularly to retain their glossy shine. You must wipe clean all the crumbs and spills from foods and liquids that can stain as soon as they occur and protect the surface from heavy pots and pans that can chip the surface.
Also, after doing a thorough cleaning, the granite countertops should be sealed to make them resistant to stains and easier to clean in the future.
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Cleaning your Granite Countertop
Granite is a natural stone and each slab used to make the countertop is unique. Although granite is fairly non-porous, several manufacturers seal the slabs before they are shipped. But this does not mean that they no longer need cleaning or maintenance.
Remove the Water Spots and Stains
To remove and clean dark spots, rings, and oil stains, you can use a thick paste of baking soda and water as homemade cleaners. Place this granite cleaning paste over the stain and cover it with a plastic wrap. Let it sit for 24 to 48 hours. The baking soda paste can help clean and absorb the stain.
If the baking soda paste does not remove or clean the stain, then you can try sprinkling some corn starch on the stain directly. Cover the area with plastic wrap and let it stay for a few minutes. The corn starch may clean and absorb the remainder of the stain.
You could also use other methods for removing stains such as:
Cleaning the Surface
You can use a solution of warm water and a mild dish detergent cleaner, which does not have any citrus or lemon extracts. Using a cleanser that is highly alkaline or acidic can damage the granite and cause it to lose its shine and become very dull.
Wipe clean the countertops with a solution of soap and water. Once this is done, dry the counters with a soft cloth completely. Do not allow the water to sit for a long time because it will form a water stain that you will have to clean again.
Resealing your Countertop
Maintaining granite means you must reapply the granite sealer occasionally and clean with the right granite cleaner regularly. The sealers applied in the factory can last for several years, depending on the wear and tear of the countertop.
You can either ask your manufacturer to check if your countertop needs to be resealed or you can perform the water bead test yourself. To do the water bead test, pour a few drops of water on your granite countertop. If the water beads up, this means that the countertop is fine and does not require sealing. If the stone absorbs the water or it leaves a watermark, then the countertops need to be sealed after you do a thorough cleaning.
There are several types and brands of granite sealers available in the market and they are quite easy to apply and clean.
Buffing and polishing
Buff the surface every day by using a clean and dry microfiber cloth. You can make your countertops really shiny by applying granite polish occasionally after cleaning.
Some Do’s and Don’ts
You can add shine to your granite countertop by adding a few drops of cooking oil on a soft cloth and wiping clean the surface and then buffing it gently. This not only gives your countertop a lovely shine but also makes it stain-resistant. Take note that even if you know how to maintain granite properly with the right cleaners, you still need to seal the granite countertops periodically.
Regular use and wear and tear can erode the sealer over time leaving your countertops dull and prone to staining. It is a good idea to have your granite countertops resealed every 2 to 4 years. Regular maintenance can help make the sealer last for a long time and will keep your kitchen looking beautiful and attractive for years to come.