Granite countertops are a beautiful and sturdy option for the countertops in your kitchen, and here at Precision Granite in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, we carry a large variety of colors and finishes for you to choose from. If you decide on granite for your countertops for the installation in your new home or remodel project, you will pleasantly be surprised with their long lifetime and consistent strength against the elements. However, the care of granite countertops can be quite different from other materials and might require a shift in your mindset when it comes to cleaning and caring for your kitchen surfaces.
A Quick Lesson in Sealants and Chopping Practices
Granite tends to have a fairly rough and grainy texture naturally, and is considered to be quite porous. It is a rock after all! But by the time they get to our customers our granite countertops are smooth and ready for action in your kitchen. Many experts suggest using a granite sealer every 6 months or so in order to continue in the aid of preventing stains and germs seeping into the surface itself.
Although granite is known for its sturdy composure, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is completely immune to scratches and scuffs during everyday use. And one of the biggest mistakes that consumers make is using their granite countertops as their cutting board. This will quickly dull your knives and over a long period of time it will also begin to wear down the integrity of the countertops. So do yourself (and your knives) a huge favor and always use a cutting board when chopping fruits, vegetables, and meats.
The Delicate World of Do’s and Don’ts while Cleaning Granite
Adjusting your cleaning habits for your granite countertops might be the most difficult part of this transition, because it most likely very different from the way you’ve been cleaning your countertops for years. But if done correctly and followed consistently, these cleaning tips will help guarantee the long term success of your kitchen surfaces.
The first rule of thumb for cleaning your granite, is to never use the following household cleaners:
- Anything that contains ammonia
- Lemon or other citrus cleaners
We know, this probably goes against everything you’ve been doing for years, but these substances can do more harm that good for your surfaces. Using these liquids while cleaning your granite will eventually break down the sealant on your granite, which will open up the porous surface even more to germs and stains.
The best way to clean your granite is actually with good old fashioned warm water and a little bit of soap. Wiping them down daily with a damp cloth and small amount of dishwasher soap is basically all of the cleaning that you need to do. Simple right? Experts also suggest cleaning up spills as soon as they happen to prevent the liquids from penetrating the surface. Be especially diligent with the cleanup of substances that stain easily such as wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauces, cooking oils and sodas.
A Few More Takeaways…
Since granite is an igneous rock, it is commonly thought that it can handle any hot object that you throw its way. And although it can sustain high levels of high heat from your pots and pans, it is not recommended to get into the habit of setting these directly onto the countertops all the time. Your granite can handle an occasional hot pan here and there, but for regular usage, put these hot objects on trivets or coasters whenever possible.
It is also a good idea to avoid leaving containers on the surfaces that are wet or might be producing condensation. If left sitting on the granite for long periods of time, these moisture heavy objects will eventually transfer some of their moisture into your countertops. Lastly, avoid working with raw meat directly on your granite countertops in order to prevent any form of cross contamination. Although your granite surface is sealed, it is still possible for germs to enter into the small cracks and holes so it is better to place it safe and avoid this habit all together.
In the end, whatever material you choose for your kitchen upgrade or installation is a personal choice, but now if you choose granite you will be properly informed on the care of this material. Granite countertops are definitely a strong choice for many homeowners and with proper maintenance and upkeep, they will continue to be a very enjoyable part of your home!