Hi! Welcome back to Emily’s Maids blog! Today, we’ll give you tips on how to properly clean and maintain your granite countertops.
Granite countertops are one of the most popular choices for homeowners. You may see them on your kitchen, your bathroom and your laundry room.
Granite countertops are not only beautiful and elegant, but they are also durable, as long as you take good care of them. If you clean and maintain them with the right supplies, your granite countertops will remain in excellent condition for many years to come.
In this article, we’ll give you our secrets to clean granite countertops without damaging the surface.
Don’t forget to visit Emily’s Maids of Dallas if you need a house cleaning service in the Dallas area! We’ll take good care of your granite countertops. And the rest of your house too.
Now, without further ado, let’s get those granite countertops squeaky clean!
What Is Granite?
First of all, it’s always good to know where your material comes from to understand how you should treat it.
Granite is a type of rock that was once magma and then cooled down and turned completely solid.
The process is quite simple: you grab a giant rock of natural stone, and cut it into slabs with gang saws, cover it with resin and cure it using an industrial oven.
Most natural stone countertops are imported from Italy, Spain, Brazil, and China.
Why Cleaning Granite Countertops is Important
Natural stone is sensitive to stains, scratches and humidity overall. Although resin protects granite, if you use the wrong cleaning product or technique, you can damage this protective coating.
If you take good care of your granite countertops, you will see they stay as shiny as ever.
Besides, cleaning any countertop or surface is important. By cleaning your granite countertops, you are removing dirt and bacteria accumulating on the surface.
Last but not least, granite countertops are always a plus in a home or property. They add value to any kitchen or bathroom.
But if they look worn out or dull, it can decrease your entire property’s value and discourage potential buyers.
Clean Spills Immediately
Cleaning spills is one of the most important things you can do if you want to preserve your granite countertops.
This is because, besides leaving permanent superficial stains, spills can slowly penetrate the surface. If they are acidic compounds such as lemon juice or vinegar, they are going to eat away at the surface.
This leaves dull spots or marks known as etching. Definitely something to avoid.
At this point, you might be wondering the most effective way to wipe spills. If you have microfiber or cotton kitchen cloths, you will have to be constant and clean them right away, and they will still harbor bacteria after some time. And if you use napkins, you will spend too much paper.
A happy medium would be to get yourself reusable (washable) napkins or paper towels. They are cheaper than regular microfiber cloths but can also last for +2 weeks. This is the perfect time window for you to use them several times and then throw them away.
Besides, you can use them to wipe your sink after each use. Just remember to rinse and hang them dry after using them!
Prevent Damage Before Having to Clean
The best strategy for cleaning is not having to clean at all. It’s best to find some affordable solutions to prevent using your countertops directly. You have anything from trivets, mats, coasters, and cutting boards.
As we were mentioning earlier, acidic or oily substances can etch or stain the stone. Some examples are orange or lemon juice, tomato sauce, coffee, wine or cooking oil. Even if it’s just cold water dripping from a glass, it will create a watermark with time.
Do not place hot pots or pans directly on the surface, because they can crack the stone.
If you protect your granite countertops, they will last much longer and you will also save on cleaning products.
Avoid Harsh Cleaners
For example, even though white vinegar is extremely versatile and a great cleaner, it doesn’t work as well with granite. As we were mentioning earlier, this will be more of a problem than a solution. The same goes for ammonia, bleach, or citric acid.
You have two options here: either a specialized natural stone cleaner, or just a mild dish soap. Whatever it is, make sure it is pH-neutral and non-abrasive.
Green multi-purpose cleaners can work on many different surfaces and they are usually more gentle than other commercial cleaners.
How to Seal and Polish Your Granite Countertops
Besides regular cleaning, you will have two more extra tasks that you ned to do to preserve your granite countertops.
The first one is sealing. As we were mentioning earlier, granite is a natural stone that is sealed with resin during its creation. You can test the current state of your sealant by sprinkling some water on the surface. If water sinks in and the granite darkens, it’s time to replace your sealant.
You can buy a granite sealer online or in a home improvement store. It’s very important that the surface is clean and dry and that you follow the instructions on the label. Therefore, make sure you use a handheld vacuum cleaner, microfiber cloths or whatever you need to ensure the surface is spotless.
You will often have to wait 24 hours before using your countertop again. You should reseal your countertops every 1 – 3 years.
The next task would be polishing. Polish your granite countertops with a soft cloth and a granite polish. You need specialized polish, as they are designed to enhance the color and shine of the stone.
If your countertops are clean but with fingerprints or smudges, you can use rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth to remove them. Avoid using wax or oil-based products because they leave a residue that attracts dirt and dust.
There it is! Your granite countertops will remain nice and shiny for a long time. Make sure you follow our cleaning blog and stay tuned with our tips!