Granite is an incredibly durable stone. With the proper sealing technique, granite countertops will last for years. Proper care and cleaning can also contribute significantly to your countertops’ anticipated lifespan. However, granite countertop maintenance isn’t always as simple as it seems.
What Not to Do
Certain habits, cleaning supplies, or lack of proper care can lead to your granite countertops becoming damaged. Even if you take good care of your countertops otherwise, a few mistakes could cause damage and cost you more money in the long run. Let’s look at a few things to avoid:
- Harmful cleaning supplies
- Improper storage on your countertop
- Standing or sitting on the countertop
- Food preparation hazards
1) Harmful Cleaning Supplies
Several go-to cleaning supplies that are perfectly safe for elsewhere in the house could cause damage to your granite countertops and their sealant. NEVER use these products to clean granite:
- Glass cleaner
- Generic cleaning supplies with strong acids or alkalis
- Bathroom, bathtub, or tile cleaners
Acidic or abrasive ingredients in many household cleaners will eat away at your countertop’s sealant, making it more susceptible to staining and further damage. The best supplies to clean your granite countertop are warm water, a soft washcloth, and mild soap (such as dish soap) when necessary.
2) Improper Storage on Your Countertop
Even completely sealed granite can be damaged over time by leaking bottles of liquid stored on the countertop. Hair products, cooking oil, lotion, or other bottled liquids can constantly apply a layer of grease and oil to the countertop. While they may not erode the sealant, they may be able to seep through it and stain the granite if stored there too long. For a better storage option, keep bottles in cupboards under the counter or on a tray to keep them elevated.
3) Standing or Sitting on the Countertop
The good news is, granite is incredibly hard. The bad news is, granite is also brittle when exposed to a high concentration of weight all at once. A sudden influx of weight can cause a slab of granite to crack or split. Save yourself the trouble and use a stool instead to reach the high shelf.
4) Food Preparation Hazards
Obviously, you’ll be preparing food on your kitchen countertops. But don’t assume that a solid stone countertop can stand up to all the abuse food preparation requires. These mistakes could damage your granite countertop:
- Don’t put a hot pot or pan directly on the countertop without a hot pad. The stone can withstand the heat, but the sealant can’t.
- Don’t cut directly on the countertop. Use a cutting board instead, especially if you’re cutting meat.
- NEVER leave unwrapped meat sitting directly on your countertop. Not only does this leave you with a mess to clean up and potentially a stain, but it also allows bacteria to work their way into the countertop over time and get into your other food.
Pro Tip: If you spill something on your granite countertop while preparing food, immediately clean up the spill with warm water, mild soap, and a soft washcloth to prevent damage or staining.
Caring for Granite Countertops
Proper granite countertop maintenance is not difficult. With the proper cleaning supplies and basic care for the stone, your countertops are sure to last for years to come.
Connect with us to learn more about stone care for your kitchen countertops.