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Cleaning Do's and Don'ts: Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are a great addition to any home and, when taken care of properly, can age beautifully and last for many years. The best way to keep your granite countertops looking beautiful is to avoid bad habits that could potentially damage the surface. Check out this list of Do’s and Don’ts to keep your countertops looking radiant for years to come.

What are Granite Countertops?

Granite is a natural stone quarried from large igneous stone deposits found in places all over the world. The process begins when molten magma flows into rock structures and cools over a long period of time. Naturally, granite is rough and very textured, however, when polished during the process of making countertops, it takes on a smooth and shiny surface. Granite has many different types of minerals in it that gives each piece a unique look. To some, the variations in granite countertops are what gives them character and ultimately makes them more appealing.

Do: Clean up Spills Immediately.

Any type of acidic substance such as wine, fruit juice, tomato sauce, soda, or even coffee could potentially stain the surface of your countertops. Even cooking oil can leave behind a nasty stain, so be sure to clean up spills right when they happen.

Do: Use a Sponge or Soft cloth to Clean

Although granite countertops are made of stone, it’s always a good idea to be gentle with them and only use a sponge or soft cloth to clean spills. This prevents you from accidentially scratching the sealant from the surface.

Do: Use Hot Pads

While you are able to take a hot pan off the stove and put it directly onto a granite countertop, it’s probably best not to. Although extremely rare, it is possible for the granite to suffer from a thermal shock and crack. Also, any grit that gets trapped between the hot pan and the countertop surface can scratch or chip the granite.

Do: Use Cutting Boards

To avoid excess wear and tear on your countertops, remember to always use a cutting board. Over time, repeated scratching on the surface will scratch off the sealant and leave your counters looking dull.

Don’t use Bleach, Glass Cleaner, De-Greaser, or other Household Cleaners

These products contain acids and other chemicals that will degrade the granite sealer leaving the stone vulnerable to staining. Click here for a safe to use DIY Marble and Granite cleaner that helps eliminate germs from your countertops, dries quickly, and has the correct pH balance (neutral) so you don't have to worry about it damaging the surface.

Don’t: Use Vinegar, Ammonia, Lemon or Orange as Cleaners

Due to the acidity in vinegar, ammonia, lemon, and orange, they should not be used to clean your marble countertops as, over time, the acid will eat into the countertops and dull the stone.

Don’t: Use Bathroom, Tub & Tile or Grout Cleaners

These cleaners (including “soft” creams) often contain abrasives that, after repeated use, will scratch and dull the surface of your countertops.

Don’t: Sit or Stand on your Countertops

Although granite countertops are made of stone, they are not flexible and they don’t contain a plywood backing, so, too much weight in one spot could cause your countertops to crack.

Don’t: Store Liquids or Toiletry Products Directly on your Countertops

Cooking oils, hair products, perfumes, colognes, nail products, creams, lotions, etc. all have a tendency to spill or leak onto your counters and potentially get overlooked. Even when your countertops are sealed, any substance that remains on the surface for an extended amount of time has the possibility of staining the granite. Be proactive and store these products elsewhere.

Have any other great tips for keeping your granite countertops in pristine condition? Share them in the comments below!

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