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Granite Countertop Maintenance

Taking Care of Your Granite Countertop

Granite countertops are gorgeous additions to a home, each piece is literally a unique work of art.  Granite is also very durable and resists heat.  Like all stones, certain care must be taken to give you a beautiful countertop that will last more than a lifetime.

Cleaning Granite Counters

Granite is porous material. In addition to being porous, some of the many minerals in it’s makeup have various properties that make them weaker or stronger than neighboring particles. To avoid removing the weaker particles from your stone and etching or dulling its surface, always use a clean your granite countertop with a mild, neutral detergent. Never use products that contain acids such as lemon. Quickly wipe up spills to avoid absorption into the stone.

Stain Removal

Your best defense against stains is to have your granite countertop sealed with a quality sealer. If your granite has absorbed such things as oil, juices or impurities from water, use a stone poultice to help restore the stone. A poultice can be made of a cup of flour or baking soda and 5 tablespoons of dish soap. Add water to make it the consistency of sour cream or yogurt. Place the solution directly on the stain and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit overnight before washing the poultice away. The poultice draws the stain from inside the granite to the surface so it can be removed.

Sealing

Because by nature, granite is porous, granite requires sealing to protect it from moisture absorption. A good test to tell if your stone needs sealer to be applied is to place some drops of water on the surface. If the water beads on the surface, you have a properly sealed countertop. If the water doesn’t bead but is absorbed into the stone, you need to seal it. Use an impregnating sealer with a silicone base for sealing. This fills the invisible holes in the granite without changing the stone’s appearance. The sealer is brushed on and wiped off after 10 minutes. It’s important to examine your granite at least once a year. Inspect areas to make sure there is no cracking or shifting at the seams. Inspect for stains and scratches as well. If there are stains or damage, contact a stone-care professional for repair.

Chip Repair

Some granites have weak spots known as fissures or pits. If a crack or chip appears on one of these weak spots, fix it with a granite repair epoxy kit. The kits come in colors to match most stones. The epoxy can be applied in minutes, strengthening the stone and protects it from further damage.

Basic Cleaning

Use a microfiber cloth when needed to dust off the surface and wipe down your granite countertop using water. For deeper cleaning, use a damp cloth and a stone cleaner formulated with a neutral pH. You should never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on granite. They can scratch, pit, and etch the surface of the stone.