Your granite countertop will be fairly low maintenance and easy to clean, but it will require looking after if you want to keep it in pristine condition. Day to day use will naturally have an effect over time but you can guard against wear and tear with some simple precautions.
Sealing the Surface of your Countertop
You may want to make your granite countertop surface more resilient against stains by applying a sealer to help protect it. Not all granite surfaces require sealing – in fact, granite is far more naturally resistant to stains than stones such as marble, limestone and travertine – but you may still want to apply a sealer early on to give that extra bit of protection.
As no two stones are the same, they will differ in how porous they are. The more porous a rock is, the more tiny holes it contains through which liquid or air may pass. Some slabs of granite will be more porous than others. You can test how porous your granite surface is by subjecting a small sample area to a mixture of water and lemon juice. If, after an hour, the surface has darkened or discoloured at all, it is porous and will need to be sealed.
A sealer will provide an extra layer of protection to your surface and is easy to apply. Good sealants can be found in most hardware stores, last a good 10-15 years and are oleophobic (resistant to water and fat-based stains). Simply wipe the surface thoroughly clean, ventilate the area and apply the sealer to a dry surface using a paper towel, cloth or paint brush. Make sure you cover the entire surface area, leave for around 10 minutes to allow the sealer to penetrate the stone and then buff the surface using gentle, circular motions.
Cleaning and Daily Maintenance
Give the surface a daily wipe down with a soft damp cloth and a ph neutral cleanser. Avoid using acid-based cleaning products or abrasive objects such as wire scourers as these can damage and scratch the surface. It’s important to wipe up any stains or spillages straight away. If your countertop has been sealed, this helps prevent liquids being absorbed into the stone but you don’t want to risk any damage by leaving spillages unattended for long periods. After removing the stain, wipe over with a dry cloth immediately afterwards.
For a deeper clean on any stains that have been left to set, you can use water and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or a good quality kitchen cleaner from your local hardware store.
Avoiding Natural Stone Damage
Take care not to cause cracks or stun marks in surfaces by avoiding sudden hard contact and making sure you don’t place any hot objects (e.g. dishes straight from the oven) directly onto granite countertops. Minor stun marks can be treated and refinished but others can cause more lasting damage.
See here for more information on how to look after and maintain your stone surfaces.Questions? Contact Us Today!