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How to Care for and Clean Your Granite Countertop

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Did you stand in awe at how beautiful your new granite countertop was when it was installed? It’s okay, we understand. A kitchen or bathroom countertop is the icing on the cake of a remodel. However, getting a new countertop is immediately followed by: “Now how do I clean this thing?”

Have no fear! We’re going to walk you through what to do, and what not to do, to keep your granite countertop looking as gorgeous as the day it was installed.

Regular cleaning

There are a plethora of products in the cleaning aisle, and it can get overwhelming very quickly. Some of those will claim to be safe on a granite countertop, but to be safe, we always recommend sticking with as natural and gentle as possible. Mild dish soap and warm water will work with most daily spills and accidents. Just be sure to rinse the area thoroughly after cleaning to keep from getting soap build up on the counter.

Stubborn Food Stains

cleaning granite countertops

The best way to clean stains in granite is to avoid them all together and to clean up spills immediately. Granite is a porous substance and will absorb that grape juice or wine if you leave it sit too long. But we get it. Life gets crazy and if a spill is missed and is left overnight there is still hope to get that purple ring out of your beautiful top. Here’s how you do it!

  • Carefully pour a small amount of Clorox bleach onto the stain
  • Lay plastic wrap over the stain and let it sit overnight.
  • Come in the next morning to the stain that is completely gone!
  • Remove the plastic and wipe off the area and you’re good to go!

Dried Spills

Do not use abrasive cleaning pads such as steel wool or rough sponges on a granite countertop. This will damage and dull the finish. Use a plastic putty knife to scrape off any dried food then clean the spot as normal.

Metal Marks and Rust

If the unthinkable has happened and a metal can, or object has been left to rust on a granite countertop, don’t panic. Just follow these steps:

  • Pre-clean the area with soap and water.
  • Then use a rust remover like Iron Out and mix it with flour to create a paste. Of course the more significant the stain, the more paste you’ll need.
  • Cover the stain with the paste and cover that with plastic wrap for 24 hours or until the paste is completely dry.
  • Once it is dry, scrape it off and see if the stain is gone.
  • Repeat if the stain is still there, but do a happy dance if it’s gone!

Chemicals & Cleaners to Avoid

Windex and acidic cleaners such as vinegar, lemon, lime are all things you should avoid using on your top. Avoid ammonia and only use bleach in desperate situations. Using these types of cleaners over and over will weaken and dull the finish of a granite countertop and make it more susceptible to more stains and fractures in the future.

Heat Resistance

cleaning granite countertops

Granite is very heat resistant, but it is not heat proof. Because different patterns are created with varying types of stone, some are more resistant than others. However, a more ornate patterned granite could crack over time if exposed to extreme heat regularly. So though it probably won’t hurt your granite to set a hot pan down every once in a while, it’s best to protect your top with heat pads or a towel if you plan to set hot stuff down all the time.

Sealing

Granite is a porous substance and will need regular sealing. How often sealing is required will depend on the type of sealant used and the actual stone’s porosity. There are some sealers that require it once a year, but there are newer products on the market that will guarantee a sealer for a lifetime. Do your research and find the best fit for you and your family.

It doesn’t matter if it’s brand new or already in your home, a granite countertop needs special attention to stay looking its best. Follow these rules, and you’ll be sure to enjoy your top for many years to come. If you have any questions about specific stains that we didn’t cover, don’t hesitate to give us a call or shoot us an email.

SMART PEOPLE MAKE SMART CHOICES

Our goal with these pieces is to help you get the information you need to make educated choices for your home and family. If you’ve found this helpful, share it with others. If you have questions or would like to request other topics to be covered, please use the comment section below and we’ll make sure you get you the answers you need.