How to Clean and Maintain Your Granite Countertops

If you’re considering granite countertops for your kitchen renovations with DF Hughes in Vestavia Hills, AL, you might be wondering how to properly take care of them so they stay looking as gorgeous as the day they’re installed. This would also apply if you’ve just moved into a house that has granite countertops. Granite will require a little more special treatment than maybe other materials, but less than other natural stone like soapstone. However, they do still require maintenance and cleaning in order to get the most from your granite. Here are 3 ways to take care of your granite countertops:

1. Seal them once a year

The easiest and least time-consuming way to maintain your granite countertops is ensuring that they are sealed annually. Granite is a porous stone, so it can soak up spills and stain if not properly sealed. The last thing you want is tea or coffee stains in your beautiful kitchen. We will discuss (in just a minute) how to prevent wearing down the sealant on your countertops. How do you know when it’s time to have it sealed? Do this simple test- leave a few drops of water on the surface for several minutes then check to see if the water has soaked into the granite. If it has, then it’s time to reseal the stone. If the water droplets are still there sitting on top, you’re good for now. You can seal the granite yourself with a solution designed specifically for that or hire someone to do it for you. The solution should only be about $15-30 at a home improvement store. You may need to polish it as well. While sealing and polishing your granite is an occasional event, how do you care for your granite daily? 

2. Clean using gentle materials

Thankfully, you don’t have to buy special products in order to keep your granite countertops wiped clean all day every day. All you need is warm water, mild soap, and a microfiber cloth. A gentle, microfiber cloth is key when wiping down and cleaning your granite countertops. Avoid using dishwashing sponges or anything abrasive that can potentially scratch and/or wear down the stone over time. What if you need something a little stronger on occasion? Are disinfectant wipes ok to us?

3. Avoid harsh cleaning products

Unfortunately, anything harsh or acidic could wear down the seal on your countertops, some more quickly than others. While you’re probably expecting us to tell you to stay away from popular disinfectant wipes and sprays, you may be surprised to hear us say that you need to avoid more “clean” options like vinegar and lemon as well. Popular household cleaners (especially if they contain bleach or ammonia) or vinegar, may be tempting to use but should be avoided if you want to enjoy your countertops longer without damage. We’re talking about regular use though, not about if you accidentally get raw chicken on your counter once or twice. Regular use of acidic cleaners will cause your countertop to lose its shine and will quickly weaken the sealant. Like we said earlier, warm water, mild soap and a microfiber cloth will work perfectly for cleaning your granite countertops daily! Thankfully, there are many different granite-safe cleaners available if you find yourself needing to use a product. Please just remember to do your research and choose one that will be safest. Don’t reach for the cheapest option first. We’re not saying that you can’t ever use a traditional cleaner on your countertops ever again, but follow these particular guidelines to keep your countertops clean, help them last longer, and save you from having to reseal your countertops more frequently (read: more money)!

At DF Hughes in Vestavia Hills, AL, we think granite countertops are a great idea for your kitchen renovations. But we’d love to sit down with you and go over all your countertop material options first to make sure you get exactly what’s best for your space. We hope this was a helpful look into what granite countertops require and are ready to answer any questions you may have about them! Contact us when you’re ready to get started on a kitchen reno project- we would love to help design and create the kitchen of your dreams! Make sure to check out previous kitchen project pictures for ideas and inspiration. 

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