Granite countertops have long been hailed as the best choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and any other surface that needs a durable countertop. Granite is beautiful and elevates any room it’s placed in. It is heat- and scratch-resistant, too. But many people shy away from granite because they fear it will be too much maintenance.
Here’s the truth about granite counters: they are exceptionally easy to clean and require very little maintenance. That’s why this natural stone is such a popular choice for homes and buildings all around the world. So if you’re wondering what it’s like to clean and maintain granite in your home or business, here’s everything you need to know.
Cleaning your granite countertops daily is easy as long as you use the right cleaning solutions and materials. All it takes is wiping them down every day with a soft cloth and a gentle, nonabrasive soap. Dish soap and warm water make a perfect soapy mixture for this task.
If you choose a different cleaner, stick with something that has a neutral pH balance. Cleaning solutions that are too acidic (lemon juice and vinegar) or basic (ammonia, bleach, and baking soda) can etch the stone or dull the finish over time.
Another option for cleaning granite is using a stone-specific cleaner. These can typically be found at your local grocery or home improvement store, but they aren’t really necessary. Warm, soapy water cleans granite just as well as – if not better than – a $7 bottle of granite cleaning spray.
There are a few things you should avoid when cleaning granite. Never use harsh cleaners like full-strenth bleach, ammonia, or vinegar. You should also stick with a soft cloth and leave the abrasive sponges and scrub brushes for more heavy-duty jobs.
Sealing Granite Countertops
The part about granite counters that scare many shoppers away is the idea that it needs to be resealed frequently. This is only partially true. Some granite may need to be resealed every year, while others might last several years without needing to have a sealant applied.
How often your granite needs to be resealed will depend on a few factors. This includes:
- manufacturer recommendations,
- type of sealant used,
- and how heavily the countertop is used.
It can be difficult to tell when your countertops need to be resealed just by looking at them. Try this easy test to see if it’s time to add a new layer of sealant. Simply pour a small amount of water onto your countertops. Wait for about 10 seconds and watch what happens to the water. If it stays beaded up, there is no need for sealant.
If the water begins to seep into the countertop during your test, reseal your countertops as soon as possible. Sealing your countertops can easily be done by yourself. It just takes a little bit of time. Find a bottle of granite sealant and follow the label directions. Many sealers require several applications for maximum effectiveness.
Granite counters that are properly sealed are extremely easy to maintain. They are stain-resistant, heat-resistant, and scratch-resistant. They are extremely durable and hold up well to heavy use. This is why granite is such an ideal countertop material for homes and businesses.
How To Remove Stains From Granite
Sometimes stains can develop on granite that hasn’t been sealed properly. Act promptly if this happens to you. The faster you can treat the stain, the more likely you will be able to lift it completely.
The first step to removing stains from granite counters is identifying the type of stain. Oil stains require different cleaning methods than food or liquid spills. Follow these steps to remove various types of stains.
- Oil stains –Scrub the stain with a soft cloth soaked in dishwashing liquid and warm water. Repeat this step several times. A multipurpose cleaner can also be used.
- Food and liquid stains – Diluted bleach can be a great stain-lifter but use caution. Mix ⅓ cup bleach with a gallon of warm water. Adding more than ⅓ cup of bleach can damage your granite. Use a sponge to apply the bleach solution to the stain and allow it to sit for about five minutes. Then rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.
- Stubborn stains – For more persistent stains, try making a thick paste with baking soda and water. Apply the paste directly to the stain and cover it with plastic wrap with a few holes poked. Allow the paste to sit overnight, then gently remove the paste and wipe the stone clean the next day.
Granite Maintenance Do’s and Don’ts
It’s not difficult to keep your granite counters looking beautiful for years to come. Follow these do’s and don’ts for maintaining the granite in your home or business.
- Do clean your countertops every day with gentle soap and a soft cloth.
- Do protect your countertops from drink stains by using coasters.
- Do use hot pads to keep your counters safe from heat damage.
- Do follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for resealing your countertops.
- Don’t wait to clean up spills from your countertops. Clean them up right away.
- Don’t use abrasive brushes or sponges to clean granite.
- Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice, or undiluted bleach to clean your countertops.
- Don’t cut directly on your countertop. Always use a cutting board.
Intermountain Stone & Marble Can Help
Granite countertops offer a beautiful and lavish feel to any home or business. So if you’re ready to upgrade to stunning and long-lasting countertops today, call Intermountain Stone & Marble. Our countertop experts offer the best selection of granite, marble, and other natural stone countertops at a budget-friendly price.
Our knowledgeable crew can help you find the best countertop materials for your home in Salt Lake City, Park City, or a neighboring city in Utah. We proudly offer top-quality granite, marble, quartz, and porcelain counters at a price that fits your specific budget. Contact Intermountain Stone & Marble to view our extensive color and style options and get your quote today.