People love their granite countertops. This is in no small part because they can be richly colored and deeply beautiful, but it’s also because they’re practical. Granite is the hard stone that can stand up to regular life. It’s harder to damage than most countertops, and people love that. Still, even with that legendary toughness, granite does need some care from its owners. These tips will show you how to give your granite the TLC it deserves, and the good news is that it’s not a difficult checklist.
Keep ’em Clean
The first step to care for any countertops is to know how to keep them clean. Granite is different from other common countertops, and cleaning procedures will have some specifics you need to know about. For the most part, it’s pretty easy, but a few dos and don’ts can help.
Things That Work Well
The first tip is to wipe spills immediately. Anything acidic or basic (which includes most drinks) can stain the granite. Granite can’t be nicked easily, but stains are bad.
When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting the granite, sponges and soft cloths are ideal. As for the cleaner itself, you can get special granite spray. Dish soap won’t hurt the granite, but it can leave a film that, over time, becomes very difficult to remove. A specialized cleaner will leave the finish shiny and beautiful.
Things to Avoid
You want to avoid using household cleaners on your granite. They can bleach the seal, and that can make stains and other problems more prevalent over time. Even more than cleaners, abrasives are the enemy. While the granite itself is hard, the seal is not. Once the seal is compromised, you’re at a significantly increased risk of developing vulnerabilities in your granite. Your last thing to avoid is storing cleaners on the granite. They can leak, and we don’t want that.
Maintaining granite is about as easy as it gets for countertops. You should clean it every day, but that mostly means wiping it down with warm water. You only need to break out the specialized cleaner once a week (or after a particularly messy event). Those two processes alone will keep your granite clean, relatively germ-free and promote lasting health.
Still, there’s a little more. Once a month, you want to polish the granite. This will help protect the seal and help it last longer. Speaking of sealant, you want to test it once a year. The test will let you know when it needs to be resealed (which it eventually will). If you follow these steps, your granite can stay in pristine condition indefinitely. Clean it daily, clean it deeply weekly, polish it monthly, and test the seal annually. It doesn’t get much easier.
Despite how hard you work to care for your granite countertops, they might encounter damage. When that happens, you need to know your repair options.
Stains are by far the most common issue for granite (although on properly sealed granite they aren’t excessively common). Prevention is your best friend, which is why you learned about cleaning and sealing first. Still, if you come up against a stain, there are things you can do. Essentially, you’re going to have to find a way to chemically break down the staining agent. This means research; there is no hard-and-fast rule. If the stain is from coffee, you need a different chemical solution than if it is from red wine. When you have the right concoction to remove your stain, you’ll use a poultice to apply the chemical to the spot. Let it sit, and then wipe up the mess. It’s a low-labor job, as long as you do your research.
If you get a chip in the granite, you can’t fill it with replacement granite. That’s not a thing. The most common chip repair methods are to fill it with epoxy or acrylic. With epoxy, you can match the color of the granite, but the texture and grain won’t be the same. With acrylic, the chip becomes harder to see because it’s filled in with a clear substance. Still, there can be a noticeable texture mismatch. It’s ultimately a judgment call as to which should be used for a given chip.
Cracks can be the very worst thing to happen to granite, but it depends on the crack. Hairline fissures sometimes happen — the weight of the granite alone is enough to cause tiny stress fractures. The good news is that you can ignore the hairline cracks. They don’t get worse over time.
For significant cracks, your best bet is to involve a specialist. It’s not an easy task to restore the integrity of the rock and make it look good.If you think you can handle this level of maintenance, then you can look at the selection from Wholesale Granite Direct. Get your dream countertops and enjoy the benefits of going with granite.