Natural materials are a popular choice for use as work surfaces as seen in recent times with the inclusion of granite countertops is certainly seen as a wise choice. The magnificent strength and superb performance of granite is incomparable. In having granite kitchen benches in one’s kitchen, there is nothing to worry about hot pots or frying pans. The mirror-like finish of granite is not like other solid surface materials which are affected by hot objects.
The close to diamond like hardness of granite makes it highly resistant to abrasions. It makes great kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, fireplace mantels and other different surfaces within your home. Most public, commercial buildings and monuments use natural stone extensively. Being highly durable and having a strong resistance to acids, granite has superseded marble and limestone as an option for use. These great qualities has made it a popular choice for kitchen countertops. Granite countertops provides a kitchen with ceaseless performance and timeless beauty and not to mention the value it can bring to your home.
Caring and maintaining granite surfaces is simple if done correctly and with preventive care. It certainly makes a great option amongst different natural stone types. An approved cleaning product is all that is required alongside a good microfibre cloth when caring for granite countertops.
Following some of our guidelines below will keep your countertops lasting a lifetime while keeping to its brand new appearance.
Basic Cleaning and Maintenance
Being generally resistant to household acids including alcoholic beverages, granite surfaces are generally hard and almost impossible to scratch. Wiping up spills immediately as a preventive measure will not allow liquids to sit and potentially stain your countertops. Some granite types are porous and stain easily with oil and food colourants. Any pots or pans with traces of oil should not be placed directly on the countertop. Soaking up spilled oils immediately will help however it is best to have the surfaces sealed with a reputed penetrating sealer altogether to avoid staining.
It is not common to see a granite countertop chipped as it rarely happens as compared to other softer stone types. It is best not to hit your granite countertops with something hard or drop a sharp object on it. Physical assaults will cause damage to any surface regardless. Careful handling of pots and pans near your granite tops is advisable as they can cause a chip on impact especially along the edges.
One of the most common questions we encounter about granite countertops is whether to seal them or not. We must insist that sealing any stone surface is beneficial and will give you the peace of mind assuring some level of stain protection. There is a simple test to determine the absorbing nature of your granite surfaces. Leave a water soaked paper towel on top of your countertop for 30 minutes. Upon removal of this and observing the area for absorption will determine whether your granite surface needs sealing or re-sealing accordingly. Darken spots will suggest that immediate sealing is required. Using a high quality reputable granite penetrating sealers as a preventive measure helps preserve your granite countertops while keeping them stain free.
Do's & Don'ts
In wanting your stone surfaces to look great at all times, the best way is to understand the surface requirements and caring for it with the correct practices.
Wipe up any spills at once. Liquids and beverages like wine, fruit juices, sodas, etc.. has the potential to stain unsealed granite.
When cleaning, use a high quality microfibre cloth alongside an approved stone cleaning product like Lithofin MN Easy-Clean from Stone Doctor Australia. This combination is great for daily use and is suitable for all stone types. You will never need anything else once you learn to appreciate using these two.
Any other products including dishwashing detergents and soaps are not ideal and can cause more harm than good in the long term.
Using well placed coasters under glasses, bottles and cans are a good practice. The biggest secret to the longevity of any stone surface is to keep them dry at any given time.
Whenever you place hot pots or pans, using trivets and hot pads are certainly essential. Granite having high heat resistance does not mean we can place hot items directly ignoring the fact that all stone products are somehow affected by heat and there is a chance of getting the surface burnt as well. Besides this, trapped grit under your hot pots may just cause unwanted scratches.
However hard granite is, it can still develop light scratches on the surface if abused. Always use a cutting board over the surface when cutting or chopping food stuffs.
Never use bleach, glass cleaners, degreasers, household cleaners as these generic products may contain acids, chlorine and other harsh chemicals that will damage your granite surface. You may end up spending plenty more money on having them restored as compared to purchasing approved products which may be a little dearer as compared to generic cleaning products. Never use vinegar, ammonia or citrus blended products which are found in common household cleaning chemicals. Abrasive or particle cleaners will also damage the natural polished look of granite and should not be used.
Never sit or stand on these surfaces as they can be easily broken. Do not place or store any products like toiletries, oils, perfumes, creams and colognes on these surfaces. Prolonged storage on your countertop may cause staining even if your granite is sealed.
With over 20 years of collective experience in the natural stone industry, Stone Doctor Australia offers you free consultation. Should you need any assistance in caring and advice on maintaining your granite countertops or if you have any questions in regards to restoring & sealing these surfaces, feel free to call us at 03-9429-1223 or email us at email@example.com.