Tips for How to Care for Granite

Granite Countertops are touted as being both uniquely beautiful and quite durable, often lasting for decades or longer. They can only maintain these impressive benefits if they are provided with adequate care, though, so it's important that homeowners who have recently installed new countertops to take some time to learn how to care for them. Read on to find some helpful tips for maintaining the beauty and longevity of granite countertops below.

Clean Up Spills Immediately

While granite is not prone to etching when exposed to acidic substances such as wine, coffee, and vinegar, these and other substances may wind up staining the stone's surface if they are left to sit, even if the countertop is sealed. Keep an eye out for cooking oils too, as these can wind up leaving unsightly stains.

Use the Right Cleaner

While using dish soap and a soft rag to clean a granite countertop is unlikely to cause any kind of permanent damage, repeated use of soap can wind up leaving its surface looking dull and dingy. Instead, use hot water for minor cleaning and a specially formulated granite cleaner for bigger jobs. Be sure to use a soft cloth or a sponge rather than a cleaning pad that features chemical cleaners.

Use Coasters and Trivets

Try to remember to use coasters under all glasses, cans, and bottles and to place a trivet or a hot pad under pots and pans. The reasoning behind providing a barrier between hot pans and a granite countertop is not that the granite will be damaged by the heat, as this is extremely rare, but that it's possible for any grit that gets trapped between these surfaces to scratch the surface. It's rare for anything but a light surface scratch to occur, but it's not worth the risk.

Don't Place Excessive Weight on Countertops

It's a bad idea to sit or stand on countertops made of granite and other natural stones. These natural materials are quite hard, but they're not flexible and they don't tend to come with any kind of plywood backing to support excess amounts of weight. All that weight in one concentrated area can wind up cracking the stone.

Correct Resealing

While experts agree that granite should be resealed periodically, it's difficult to pin down an exact schedule as the frequency with which these countertops must be resealed will depend on a variety of factors such as how often they are used and cleaned. To determine if a countertop needs to be resealed, just drip a small puddle of water onto it and observe. If the puddle darkens very quickly, it's absolutely time to have the stone resealed; if it takes thirty minutes or longer to absorb and cause the stone to darken, there's no need to reseal quite yet.