Developing Your Home and Garden

Kitchen Surfaces: Maintenance and Care Practices for Granite Countertops

Granite is an ideal material for kitchen benchtops. This natural stone is highly durable and can withstand mechanical pressure and impact. Also, the surface has an authentic appeal which cannot be completely duplicated. If you install this type of countertop, you can expect extended service and preserved beauty. On the other hand, a granite surface is not a maintenance-free feature. If you neglect it after the initial purchase and installation, you will experience losses due to accelerated degradation. Here are some maintenance and care guidelines to help you improve the performance and prolong the service life of your granite countertop.

Cleaning the Benchtop

Cleaning the granite benchtop is an easy task. You will only need a microfiber cloth to wipe away the built-up dust and grime. This type of fabric will not leave lint on the surface, unlike standard kitchen towels. If there is no prominent dirt or spill on the feature, you can clean the countertop with a wet or dry cloth. However, if you use your kitchen frequently, you will probably need to handle sticky and oily spills. In this case, you should obtain a stone cleaning agent from your local store. This material should have a neutral pH for the best performance. This solution should remove the dirt, allowing you to wipe the surface clean and restore the benchtop.

Sealing the Granite

Granite is a porous, natural stone. Therefore, it can become stained when beverages and food spill and soak into the structure. This process will compromise the aesthetic appeal of the feature and even lower the value of your home. Therefore, you should perform periodic sealing of the stone. This practice is designed to block the pores on the countertop such that the stains remain on the surface where they can be wiped away. If you are uncertain whether it is time to seal the benchtop, sprinkle some water on it. If the drops do not bead up, the granite will require treatment. You should note that some granite tops have special factory sealing, and they do not need regular resealing. 

Protect from Damage

Countertops, even resilient and sturdy types like granite, will sustain damage if they are handled poorly. Therefore, you should improve your practices when working in your kitchen to preserve your benchtop. In general, you should avoid using the counter as a workbench; invest in a chopping board. Encourage your family to use coasters and mats. Also, you should protect the surface from hot pots. Additionally, you should never use abrasive cleaning tools or acidic detergents on the granite.