By Contributing Editor, Jane Sandwood
Your Guide to Cleaning Granite Countertops
Granite and stone kitchen countertops are a beautiful way to add texture and depth to your kitchen. But they are expensive and prone to staining and cracking. With the right products and a little extra care, natural stone can be a practical and even durable choice that will enhance the look and value of your home for decades. But how to clean them without resorting to specialty cleaners and labor intensive polishes?
Stone is naturally porous and is therefore more susceptible to staining and marks than their man-made options like Corian, or tile. We love stone for its natural beauty, but harsh cleaners can destroy the surface and reduce the lifespan of your costly surfaces. If you decide to invest in granite or stone kitchen counter tops, swapping out your regular supermarket stuff to something without bleach, ammonia or the usual chemical nasties is a really good idea.
The First, Most Important Step
Granite is a natural material. It’s a stone that’s been used for building for a long, long time. Before it arrives as a ready to install bench top, it’s been quarried, cut, and polished. Since it is a stone, however, it must be sealed. There are a couple of ways to do this. Professional and DIY options abound. We recommend having it done professionally at installation before going it alone with an at-home sealant.
You should always check with your manufacturer to get full instructions on sealants and how often to reseal, but typically, granite should be sealed about once a year. Sealing helps to protect your lovely countertops from heat, spills and standing water that might mark the surface. Good to know: When water stops beading on your granite surface, it’s probably time to re-seal.
Let’s Get Cleaning
First of all, don’t stress about it. Cleaning granite is actually incredibly simple. If you choose the right cleaning products, you can clean as often as you like without worrying about harming the finish.
For light, everyday cleaning, use a mild, non-abrasive cleaner like our Counter Safe All-Purpose Cleaner. Just spray and wipe with a dry, lint-free cloth and you’re done. Easy.
For a more serious deep clean, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and gather your materials. Here’s what you need:
Start by taking everything off the counter. Don’t skip this step (seriously). If you do, moisture can gather under things left on the counter and if allowed to sit there, can damage your surface.
Granite worktops are durable, practical, and beautiful. If you use the right products, they can also be deliciously easy to clean. Preventative sealing, followed by daily maintenance using gentle, naturally made products, and the occasional deep clean, will keep them looking gorgeous for years to come.