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A shiny and spotless granite countertop makes your kitchen look clean, bright and attractive. It’s pretty much the star of a sparkling kitchen. However, the challenge is to keep it that way for years to come. In order to maintain it well, you need to learn how to clean granite countertops.
Granite countertops are attractive and durable. Often, all you need to do to keep it clean is wipe it with a soft cloth dipped in mild dishwashing liquid and wash it off with warm water.
However when you encounter oil stains, cracks and other mishaps, you need to be equipped with the knowledge on how to deal with them.
In this article you will learn simple and effective methods on how to clean granite countertops, and preventive measures you can take in order to ensure their lifelong maintenance.
Granite is a very hard stone and its durability is unmatched. So there is nothing really horrible that can happen to a strong granite countertop that cannot be managed. At worst, you may have to deal with relentless stains or chips at the corners of the counter. These are eventualities you will have to be prepared to deal with.
Read on to find different methods on how to clean granite countertops.
How to Clean Granite Countertops – 4 Easy Ways
1. Removing Basic Spills
You generally don’t need a magic product where granite countertops are concerned. However, in order to make sure you maintain it well, it’s good to know how to effectively deal with common spillage and stains.
You can use a microfiber granite cleaning cloth or any microfiber cloth.
The rule of thumb is to wipe anything that’s spilt on the stone as soon as it happens, so you prevent any further damage.
Whether it’s water, ink or any other liquid, simply wipe it off immediately with warm water and dishwashing liquid.
Then pat it dry with tissue or a clean white cloth. It’s really as simple as that.
2. Removing Oil Stains
Oil stains are a little more challenging than other liquid stains. If you think you have spilled cooking oil, which has formed a dark patch, it means that your sealant has worn out.
Mix a cup of baking soda in warm water to form a thick paste and apply the solution over the stain. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wipe the surface with water and dishwashing liquid.
If the stain is deep, cover the baking soda mixture with a plastic sheet and leave it on the stain overnight. Clean it the next morning. As soon as possible you may have to inspect your countertop for sealant damage. If there is some, you will have to seal it up.
3. Removing Stains that are Organic
If you are dealing with organic stains such as coffee, tea or juice, then you can use hydrogen peroxide (12%) on the stain to remove it completely, without causing further damage to the stone or the sealant.
4. Dealing with Chips
Another common problem with granite countertops is that over time the corners of the counters tend to chip. You may find that a piece has fallen off. Normally, you can fix it with epoxy glue. You also get granite repair kits for this purpose. Just apply the epoxy glue on the part that needs to be stuck back in place, let it dry as per the instructions, and remove any excess glue. Leave it on overnight and it should just be fine after a day. If you still continue to face issues, you can call for professional help.
Granite Sealant – how to know when it’s worn out
A granite sealant is a layer or coating that protects your granite countertop from dirt, water and other stains and also gives the stone that amazing shine. Granite is a porous rock, so water or other liquids can be absorbed by the stone and into the pores, thus making the rock weak over time, and damaging it.
To prevent this from happening, most granite countertops come covered with a sealant. The sealant is nothing but a resin-like substance that is dissolved in water or petroleum based solvent.
You also get it in the form of a spray in any grocery shop or online. Once you spray it, the resin gets into these pores, sealing them so that liquids and stains are not absorbed by the stone. Depending on the usage of your countertop, how often you need a sealant varies. In general you may have to reseal it around once a year.
To know if your granite countertop needs a sealant, there is a simple test you can perform. Spray some water on to the surface of the countertop. If you see water droplets form a bead and stay on the surface, the sealant is intact. If you see the water disappear and a wet patch forms over the surface, then the sealant is worn out and the stone needs to be resealed.
Preventive Measures and Maintenance Tips
- Wipe your granite countertop with warm water and dishwashing liquid once a day to keep it clean.
- Never place a super hot pan on the granite surface directly. Use a hot pot stand to place your pans and dishes taken off of a hot stove.
- Do not sit on the countertop or encourage people to do so. Excessive weight can cause chipping.
- Use a slight alcohol based disinfectant to spray on the surface once in a while, so that you keep insects and dirt at bay.
- Do not use anything acidic to clean the stone— by doing so, you will only cause further damage. Avoid vinegar, lemon, bleach or any other similar product.
- Reseal the countertop as and when needed.
These are some effective tips on how to clean granite countertops. Try them next time your granite countertop needs cleaning or is chipped.
How do you care for granite countertops?
Granite countertops are quite durable by nature and require only minimal maintenance that includes wiping the surface with a mixture of warm water and dishwashing soap. If you have dried up food or oil stains you can use baking soda or 12% hydrogen peroxide on the stains.
What cleaners are safe for granite countertops?
There are special granite countertop cleaners available online or in your grocery store. It’s definitely not mandatory for you to use them, however, you can consider it if you are keen about using a granite-safe cleaner. In general, warm water and dishwashing soap is perfectly safe to use on the granite surface. What is not safe is acidic solutions like vinegar, lemon juice, bleach, which can cause damage to the stone. Do not use them.
Granite countertops are a fantastic addition to your kitchen. They are an embodiment of everything awesome — no heavy maintenance, highly durable, incredibly attractive and definitely aesthetic. However, even these solid rocks can get worn out due to poor maintenance. If you are wondering how to clean granite countertops, here are some quick tips.
If you have relentless stains on the surface caused by oil, water, coffee or juice you can either try baking soda, hydrogen peroxide or a granite-safe cleaner. Make sure you reseal your granite countertop as and when needed to ensure that the liquids do not get absorbed by the stone.
If you place hot pans directly on the surface for a long time, or sit on it, they can cause the stone to chip, in which case you can try to epoxy glue it back in place before going for professional help.