Congratulations on considering (or having already opted for) one of the most durable and beautiful kitchens possible – granite countertops are famous for being that magical element that immediately creates a positive and warm ambiance. The exquisite and unique look of granite attracts homeowners – and yet some worry, quite legitimately, about cleaning their granite countertops incorrectly and thus spoiling or even ruining the product. Fortunately, there are a few methods that can help you confidently avoid these dangers and return to enjoying your new kitchen.
First things first
One of the first things you need to double-check is whether your countertop is, in fact, made of granite. This is especially true if you did not pick out and install the stone yourself: some new synthetic products have been designed to look exactly like granite countertops when they are, in fact not natural stone and therefore fall outside of the topic of the discussion here. If you are confident that you are about to be cleaning granite countertops and not a substitute, read on.
The shortest path to clean granite countertops
One of the simplest ways to ensure that your natural stone countertop retains its great look for the longest possible time is, of course, cleaning the granite countertops on a regular basis – more precisely, as soon as anything is spilled. Granite countertops are more difficult to clean, because you cannot use regular abrasive chemicals on them. Spilling wine or leaving stains long-term is definitely not something you would want to do on or near your natural countertop for fear that the surface may be irreparably damaged. If cleaning your granite countertops during and after each time you cook does not sound like you, continue reading for some advice on methods and cleaning supplies to use.
Some basic tips
If there is no red wine stain or stain that has been left untouched for a long time, cleaning granite countertops is not too much different – you just have to be more careful in your choice of cleaning materials and techniques. A microfiber cloth (with or without water) can be used to quickly wipe the surface at least daily to preserve the great look of granite. At least once a week, use either a specialized natural stone cleaner or a properly self made one (see below) to wipe down the countertop: remember, using strong chemicals and abrasives will almost certainly ruin the surface.
How to make and use your own granite countertop cleaner
While there are a few good and customer-tested products for your granite countertops available commercially, it is also possible to make an efficient yet simple cleaner yourself. The elements to immediately scratch off the list of ingredients are ammonia, lemon, vinegar and anything else that does not have a balanced pH level. The right ingredients would be some warm clean water, a mild dish detergent and rubbing alcohol. Simply mix three parts of the detergent with one part of alcohol in a bucket of water. Once the mix is ready, soak a microfiber cloth in it, wring the cloth and then wipe down the whole surface of the countertop. After you have finished, run your hand over the surface to ensure you have removed all of the debris – the pattern of granite may make it difficult to see some stains. Follow up the cleaning immediately with some buffing and drying using a fresh microfiber cloth: the brilliant look of your granite countertop will return.
A few words about sealing
If cleaning your granite countertops after every spill and every time you cook seems like too much of a hassle, consider investing in sealing the stone once every couple of years. Sealing can be done by a professional company or by using a commercially available granite sealant: the choice is up to you. What is important is ensuring that the whole surface is covered, and the easiest way to check is by observing if the water beads up when splashed on the granite countertop surface. Cleaning granite countertops and keeping them sealed are guaranteed methods of preserving the great look and feel of your kitchen for years and years to come. Don’t forget about these two simple solutions when considering granite.
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This article was written by Jenny Sawyer, who believes that granite countertops are a great choice for your kitchen.