Granite countertops are often the subject for bad advice when it comes to maintenance. Granite is a natural material and responds well to simple care and attention.
Outdoor granite countertops are not always cleaned as often as they should be. Clean your countertop every day with plain water and a sponge or soft cloth. Don’t be tempted to use generic cleaning products like bleach and glass cleaners. The acidic nature of these products can often eat into the granite surface and make it more vulnerable to staining. While you are cleaning be aware of the danger of small particles of grit being dragged over the surface of the granite. Always dust the countertop before washing it.
Protect from Overloading
Although very tough, granite is not unbreakable. Do not stand or sit on your granite countertop. Putting a lot of weight in one place can crack it because granite countertops seldom have an underlying wooden backing.
Clean Spills Immediately
To keep your granite countertops clear as long as possible make a habit of cleaning spills as soon as they happen. Many substances like wine, cooking oil, and fruit juice can stain granite. Mop the spill up with absorbent paper towels and then wash the area carefully with plain water.
Avoid Using Soap
Apart from being unnecessary, soap will slowly create a surface build-up that will take the shine off the granite top and require granite cleaner to remove it.
Don’t Drop Things on to a Granite Counter Top
Hard objects, especially if they have a solid edge that comes into contact with a granite countertop can chip or scratch the top. It is possible to repair these chips or scratches but much better to prevent them in the first place.
Don’t Put Hard Objects Directly onto the Granite
Although granite will take some abuse it is best to treat it carefully for long term benefits. Always use coasters under glasses and hot pads under pans. The heat from a pan will probably not be a problem for the granite but grit under the pan can be. Granite is not easily scratched but it does contain weak spots in the matrix that are.
Don’t Slide Things Across a Granite Counter Top
This comes back to the risk of scratching the top. Even if what you are dragging has a smooth or soft bottom, it can collect grit and scratch the surface.
Always use a cutting board with a granite countertop. The knives can damage your countertop and the countertop will blunt your knives.
Many toiletries and hand cleansers can leave bad marks and even etch into the surface of a granite counter. Always keep such items on a special tray to protect your countertop.
If your countertop requires sealing (and some black granites do not) have the sealant checked every year. Keeping granite countertops in the best condition really is only a question of keeping things basic.