Regardless of the material, countertops are expensive. And granite countertops are especially costly. So if you have a granite countertop, you have an investment that’s worth protecting. Now, often, folks think that granite is impervious to damage. On the contrary, granite can be damaged by a variety of things. Granite can be stained, cracked, chipped, and weakened depending on how you treat your countertop. Fortunately, you can take measures to ensure that your countertop remains pristine for decades on end. Here’s what you can do:
First things first, it’s best to avoid anything that can damage your granite. Yes, granite is one of the strongest materials available for your counter (alongside composite solid-surface materials, stainless steel, and other countertop materials), but you’ll need to take some caution to keep your counters in tact and beautiful. Our advice: Take care of spills properly; avoid leaving water standing on your countertops; and use potholders with hot pots and pans.
Take Care of Spills
While a spill won’t damage your granite right away, spills can stain and damage granite if they’re allowed to sit or if they’re pressed into the granite by wiping spills across the counter. Instead of wiping a spill, strive to soak up a spill into a cloth or paper towel. Then you can utilize a granite-safe cleaner to clean the surface. Water and soap may be sufficient, just be sure to dry your countertop after cleaning the surface. Be especially cautious of spilled liquids that are not pH balanced (like bleach), and tend to them right away!
Avoid Standing Water (And Other Liquids)
Along the same lines, you don’t want water or other liquids to rest on your countertop. Be especially cognizant of your sink. When you wash dishes or prep food, it’s likely that you’re leaving behind water. Now, a drop or two won’t do any harm to your countertop. However, given enough time, stagnant water can seep into the surface of your counter, and it can produce bacteria, which may cause further damage.
Use Potholders for Your Pots and Pans
While granite can withstand high temperatures, sustained high temperatures can still damage your countertops. Heat can discolor your counter, and, under extreme conditions, it may even cause your counter to crack (especially if the countertop is cold, and high heat is applied for a long time).
With a bit of care, your granite countertop will remain pristine and perfect for life. Granite is naturally resistant to bacteria, stains, and damage, yet you can further improve the integrity of your granite with sealants, cleaning, and by remaining wary that your granite could move.
Consider a Sealant
Did you know that there are special sealers that are designed to protect granite countertops? If you’re especially concerned about the durability of your granite, you can invest in a sealant that’ll make your countertop even more resistant to damage. Sealants protect against staining and damage from bacteria. However, they won’t do much to prevent chipping and cracking caused by force.
Now, you don’t have to use a sealant on your countertop. Some folks prefer the natural look and feel of granite. If you choose to leave your granite unsealed, simply be more cautious to follow the tips we’ve listed.
Clean Your Counters
Grime can slowly discolor your countertop, and it makes your surfaces unsanitary. On the other hand, clean granite countertop surfaces can remain unchanged for years on end. For most clean-ups, you can simply stick with soap, warm water, and a rag—just be sure to dry off your counter after you’ve scrubbed it down. You can use a solution of 50 percent alcohol and 50 percent water to disinfect your countertops if you’re concerned about bacteria on the surface. If you have any stained surfaces, you may be able to lift the stain with a solution of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Mix the two chemical solutions into a paste, apply the paste to the affected surface, cover the paste with plastic wrap, and let the solution sit overnight. You should be able to remove most water-based stains in this manner.
Look for Signs of Settling
Granite is extremely heavy. As such, it requires ample support across the entire base surface of the countertop. Unfortunately, homes can shift, and your supporting cabinets and structure can fail. Keep a keen eye on your countertops. Look underneath the ledge of your granite to see if there’s a gap between your countertop and your cabinet. You can use a flashlight to see if a gap has formed over time. If your countertop isn’t supported, it can crack under its own weight. You may be able to provide support to your whole countertop with shims, just be cautious not to lift the countertop too high, as you may lose support elsewhere.
Here at MaxiMaids, we strive to make your abode as homely as possible. That’s why we keep you posted with tips and tricks here on our maids blog. Count on us for all of your cleaning and professional organizing needs, and check back for more home care tips!