A honed granite countertop is a popular choice for home kitchens. This is partly due to its natural beauty and high durability when its properly maintained. Unlike polished granite which has an attractive shine, honed granite has a soft, matte-like appearance. This is because the stone isn’t polished to the same extent. It isn’t difficult to maintain a honed granite counter, but it easily develops stains if proper care isn’t given. Some guidelines on maintenance are outlined below, so you can keep your countertop in good shape longer.
Step 1 – Clean Daily
Wipe your countertop daily with a soft, damp cloth to remove dirt and loose materials. This is especially recommended after you’re done with preparation of meals. For food that has dried on the countertop, use a spoon to carefully scrape it away and follow up with a damp cloth. Granite is an extremely hard stone and doesn’t scratch easily. Wipe the counter with a soft cloth to absorb moisture and prevent water spots as it dries.
Step 2 – Scrub Dirt Once a Week
You may want to wash your countertop with water and soap once a week, although it is best to use a natural stone cleanser and a soft-bristled brush to clear away stubborn dirt. Rinse the counter with warm water and then wipe dry when you're done.
Step 3 – Remove Stains
A poultice comes in handy when you have to clear stains from granite. While various poultices are commercially available, you may want to make one yourself. Place half a cup of baking soda in a bowl, and add enough warm water to create a thick paste. Mix the contents with a wooden stick until you get the right consistency. Spread the paste onto the stain and cover with a plastic wrap secured with masking tape. Allow the poultice to draw the stain out overnight before removing it with a plastic putty knife. Rinse the counter with warm water and wipe dry. In order to prevent stains, use a damp cloth to wipe acidic spills as soon as they occur, as this helps to prevent infiltration of the liquid into the granite.
Step 4 – Seal Periodically
Obtain a natural stone sealer that is suitable for granite from a home improvement store. Use a soft cloth to apply the sealer onto the countertop in long, smooth strokes. To facilitate proper absorption, it is best to spread a light coat of sealant instead of a thicker one. Allow sufficient time for the countertop to dry before applying a second coat. Due to the porous nature of honed granite, it is best to apply a sealer every six months. This helps to guard against stains, and it extends the longevity of your countertop.
Step 5 – Avoid Abrasives
Although granite is extremely hard and doesn’t scratch easily, be careful to avoid abrasive cleaners. Steel wool and stiff-bristled brushes aren’t a good idea. With frequent use, these can leave your countertop with a scuffed appearance. Acidic cleaners, bleaches, and alkalis can cause your granite to etch, which shortens its durability, so avoid these as well.
With proper care, your honed granite countertop will last ages and look great in the meantime, so do yourself a favor and clean it correctly.