Granite countertops are extremely durable and provide a luxurious and natural aesthetic to your kitchen. However, despite their natural durability, they are still susceptible to damage if they are not properly taking care of. Thankfully, maintaining a granite countertop is a fairly simple process that only requires the right knowledge and a little bit of effort.
How to Maintain a Granite Countertop
Use Cutting Boards: Though able to withstand a great deal of pressure without cracking or chipping, the finish of granite countertops can be easily nicked or scratched by sharp edges. This means that you should always make use of cutting boards to avoid damage, and take care with knives and objects with sharp corners or edges while cooking.
Make Use of Hot Pads: While granite is able to withstand direct heat without becoming damaged or cracking, placing a hot pot or pan directly on the countertop can still damage the finish. Small pieces of food, grit, and other debris can become trapped underneath the pan, scratching the granite. Making use of a hot pad will help prevent this from happening. Additionally, this is an important safety feature, as the countertop will not be dangerously hot when you remove the pot.
Use Specialized Granite Cleaner: When cleaning the surface of your granite countertop, you should avoid all-purpose cleaners and make use of a solution that is specialized for use on granite. This is because granite is susceptible to damage from acidic chemicals, which can cause discoloration to the finish of your countertop.
Clean Acidic Spills: In the same vein as the above tip, you should clean up spills of any acidic foods or drinks on your countertop immediately. While the acid in lemon juice or a similar substance isn't powerful enough to damage your granite countertop immediately, long term buildup can eventually lead to stains or discoloration, which can be difficult or expensive to fix.
Regularly Seal: Granite countertops can be resealed to replenish the protective barrier of the countertop while also refreshing the appearance of the granite. You should have your countertop sealed regularly, though the exact length of time between applications will depend on how often you use your countertop and how well it's maintained. A good rule of thumb would be to have the countertop resealed once you begin to notice signs of wear, such as faded color or an increased amount of small nicks on the surface of the counter. Consult with a contractor for additional info or to see if your countertop should be resealed any time soon.