With its combination of attractiveness and practicality, granite is a popular material for kitchen counters. Granite countertops have a warm, textured appearance and each stone is literally one of a kind. Granite also stays cool, making it a great surface for rolling out dough and performing other tasks that require a cool surface. The downside to granite is that it is fragile. If you don't properly clean and care for your granite, you can scar the surface, which can be costly to fix.
Protect Your Stone
Granite may be stone, but it can be damaged by many substances that would not damage much softer materials. Never expose granite to lemon juice, abrasive cleaners or anything else acidic. These liquids can pit the granite, permanently damaging its surface. If you do spill an acidic liquid, immediately clean it up. You should not leave any spills on granite for an extended length of time. Coffee, wine and many other liquids can stain granite if they are not cleaned up fairly quickly. Even the type of cloth you use can damage your granite. Only clean it with a soft cloth, paper towel or the soft side of a dish sponge. The hard side may contain pumice, which can damage your countertop.
Know Your Options
According to Granite Shorts, there are two principle ways to clean granite countertops. The least expensive way is with dishwashing soap. Put a few drops of dish soap in a small bowl or bucket and add warm water to dissolve the fluid. Dip in a clean cloth and wring it out. Then, wipe it over the whole counter to clean it. Rinse it, wring it out again and wipe the granite a second time to remove the soap. Finally, dry it with a piece of paper towel or a dry cloth. A more professional method is to use granite cleaner. Granite cleaner has a small amount of granite sealant mixed in, which helps to keep the surface of the countertop protected against spills. Spray one side of a paper towel with the cleaner and wipe it over the whole counter. Then, dry it with the back of the towel or with a second paper towel.
Seal Your Countertop
Granite counters do not need to be resealed frequently, but they do occasionally need the treatment to keep them protected. Reseal your granite countertop every two years or whenever water ceases to bead on the granite when you spill drops on it, whichever comes first. To reseal the countertop, buy a bottle of granite cleaner and pour a small amount into a spray bottle. Clean the granite with granite cleaner and dry it. Then, spray an even coat of sealant all over the countertop and let it sit for at least 15 minutes to soak into the granite. Wipe it up with a paper towel and allow it to sit for an additional 2 to 3 hours to dry completely.
- Photo Credit Marble texture image by Viacheslav Anyakin from Fotolia.com
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