Eight Ways to Maintain the Granite Countertops in Your Home

Written by Posted On Thursday, 31 May 2018 12:23

When you buy a new home, you want to make sure that it remains beautiful forever. Imagine if you were buying a home with a kitchen ready for entertaining and parties all year round. Keeping your granite countertops in good clean condition will help them maintain their presence as a focal point of the room. Here are some tips from the experts about how to keep your surfaces in top shape and ready for any party.

Seal Your Counters Every Other Year Or So

To make sure that your bathroom and kitchen counters remain stunning requires regular sealing treatments. Tom Silva, from This Old House, says that he uses a penetrating sealant every two years to protect his counters from water and stain damage. While some experts say that you can go up to four years between sealing, it is advisable to do a thorough check every other year. Silva applies two coats allowing the first one to sit for 24 hours before putting on the second one. Sealing is generally not recommended for a granite product commonly known as "galaxy black". Galaxy black is a special-case granite that is harder than others and typically should not be sealed at all. Galaxy Black is so non-porous that sealant will not absorb. If the granite you are buying for your new home is black, be sure to ask the questions.

Clean Up Messes Quickly

Although the sealer helps prevent stains and moisture from penetrating your granite slab, some foods and drinks are harmful to the surface. Acidic foods like citrus fruits and tomatoes are hard on your counter. Be sure to wipe up marinara or spaghetti sauce immediately if it happens to splatter on your beautiful kitchen island. The sealer helps you keep the counter clean, but it does not prevent staining when foods sit on the surface. Watch out for your pots and pans too. Many metals, if wet, can dry to leave etching in the granite sealant, most noticeable in darker granites. So be careful with acids and metallic ovenware.

Use The Appropriate Cleaning Solutions

Professional real estate agents and contractors alike will tell home buyers to use the right cleaning solution on your granite surfaces. Mild soap and water work wonders for cleaning counters. The pH level of dish soap is safe for the counter and protects the sealer at the same time. DIY says that a half and half solution of isopropyl alcohol and water is an excellent way to remove soap scum, but you will want to use this option sparingly because it does wear down the sealant. There are many commercially available products designed specifically to clean granite, and your major competitive brands will all be good choices.

Baking Soda Paste Works On Stubborn Stains

A more natural way to remove tough stains on your granite surfaces is to soak it in a baking soda paste. Add a teaspoon or two of water to some baking soda stirring until a thick paste forms. Put this mix directly on the stain and use a little elbow grease to remove the marks. You may have to use this paste a few times. A bad stain may require a two or three-day bath in baking soda. To do this, add a fresh layer of paste to the area. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the spot and use masking tape to hold it in place. Leave the cover on the stain until the water evaporates. Wipe the counter clean with a little warm water and dish soap, and you should see a massive difference. This technique should not be applied to very dark granites, as heavy scrubbing can break down your sealant.

Give Guests A Coaster

While this step seems easy, you may not realize how many times you forget to set out the coasters during a party. One way to avoid this problem is to keep a set on your island or bar at all times. This simple step can save your counters from wine stains and moisture marks should glasses drip. Unfortunately, it will not stop a friend from setting his or her drink on the bare granite. Be careful if the fun gets out of hand, though! A glass tipping over from a coaster onto solid granite is almost guaranteed to shatter! Be aware of the activity taking place on your granite and it can help prevent accidents in your beautiful new home.

Trivets Are A Granite Counter Top's Best Friend

Your granite is much more durable than marble, but keeping it looking beautiful requires some forward thinking. When cooking dishes in the oven, you will want to place pot holders, towels, or trivets on the granite to keep the heat from breaking down the sealer. Regular heat protection can help your counters stay beautiful for decades.

Steer Clear Of Abrasive Pads

Harsh scrubbers are no friend to your kitchen and bathroom counters. Make sure to treat your specific granite properly too. Steel wool and green scratch pads will wear away the sealant causing the same problems as acidic items. A soft dishrag is all you need to get most dirt off from the surface of the granite. For stuck-on debris, rinse the cleaning cloth with warm water and leave it lay on the spot for a few minutes. Rinse the rag again, and the stain should wipe away easily.

Keeping Your Counter Shiny

Do you want your kitchen bar or island to shine like the counters in your home? DIY tells us to add some olive or canola oil to a microfiber cloth and lightly coat your counters stopping to buff out the surface as you go. Sealing your counter does not mean it will stay shiny. You have to polish granite like you would a beautiful, classic car. "Wax on, wax off," as Mr. Miyagi says.

Granite Endures with your Life, So Love it Back

No matter what home you choose, or if you remodel your kitchen, granite is a beautiful material to consider. As long as you follow the tips from experts, your counters and bars will remain stunning for decades. Remember that homes for sale with granite countertops often get a higher sales price.  A great return on investment!  When sealing, insure the solution adheres properly and lasts at least two years. Being kind to your granite will let you reap its benefits as long as you live with this beautiful natural product in your home.

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Dean Cacioppo

Dean Cacioppo Credentials

Dean has worked as a real estate agent, real estate instructor and has years of experience working on the technology side for major Real Estate Brokers, Agents and MLS’s.  Dean has sat on the Board of Directors for multiple MLS’s including being elected to President.  Years of serving on a number of MLS Committees for multiple boards, served on the Strategic Planning Committee for Louisiana REALTORS and participated in many task forces and committees for the benefit of all Real Estate Agents in Louisiana.

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