Clean Granite Countertops for Lifetime Use
When it comes to beautifying your kitchen, bathroom or any other area where you need a work surface, nothing beats granite countertops manufactured and installed by Bullseye the Granite Guy. Although granite is a hard natural stone that can withstand frequent use, knowing how to properly clean granite will keep it looking good for years to come. Here is what you should and shouldn't do when it comes time to clean your granite countertops.
Before Cleaning Granite
Make sure your granite countertops are sealed. When you have your new countertops installed by Bullseye, you can rest assured that we will seal them before they arrive in your home. Granite is a hard surface that is less porous than marble, yet unsealed or weakly sealed countertops will soak up oils, spills and stains. Experts recommend sealing your countertops every one to two years. Periodically check to see that your counters still have a sufficient seal by sprinkling a few drops of water on the surface. If it beads up, you have a secure seal, but consider getting them resealed if it disappears into the surface. Sufficient sealing will protect your counters from stains. If you recently removed a stubborn stain, you may also want to reconsider resealing the affected area.
Cleaning Countertops Daily
To maintain granite countertops and keep them looking their best, clean the surfaces that you use daily. Immediately wiping up spills and debris will go a long way toward keeping granite surfaces looking shiny and attractive. Assemble what you'll need before doing the job:
- Warm water
- Mild dish soap
- Clean, dry microfiber cloth or terrycloth towel
- Rubbing alcohol
- Spray bottle
Fill your sink with warm water and mild dish soap, wet your cloth, and then do what you would typically do--wipe any spills or crumbs on the counter surfaces. Once clean, dry and buff your countertop thoroughly with a microfiber cloth or terrycloth towel to avoid streaking. It's that simple! Your countertops are ready for more.
What About Disinfecting Granite Counters?
Because this stone isn't very porous, granite does an excellent job of resisting bacteria that could make you ill. However, at some point, such as when you prepare chicken or other food items that frequently carry food-borne illness, you may want to give your counters an extra dose of cleaning. When preparing food, always use a cutting board on top of the surface. This move has two purposes. First, you'll have less of a chance of nicking the counter with a sharp knife, producing cuts that will give bacteria other places to hide. Secondly, the cutting board will prevent some juices that may have bacteria from getting on your counters.
Disinfecting is also simple. Spray rubbing alcohol onto your counters and let it sit for three to five minutes. Rinse with water and dry with a microfiber cloth. Applying rubbing alcohol will also remove soap residue and restore a shiny surface.
Removing Stains from Granite
Daily cleaning is enough to keep countertops in good shape most of the time, but inevitably, you or a family member will spill something that will leave a stain and require a deeper cleaning. You spill something, and it leaves a stain, you need to do a bit more deep cleaning. Kitchens, in particular, are full of stain-causing substances, including tea and coffee spills to oil splashes. Bathrooms also have their fair share of products, which can cause problems. If you know what caused the stain and it's light, you can usually remove it yourself. Remove stains without damaging the natural stone by following these tips:
- Apply a thick paste of baking soda: Odds are, baking soda can help remove the stain, no matter what you spill. For oil-based stains, mix baking soda with fresh water. For water-based stain, mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide. Let the paste sit for several minutes and then gently scrub the affected area with a soft cloth and rinse thoroughly. Repeat as necessary.
- Treating tough stains: If repeated light scrubbing doesn’t remove the stain, reapply the paste, cover the area with plastic wrap, and tape down the edges. Leave this remedy in place at least overnight or even for a few days, and then rinse and wipe with a soft cloth.
- Organic stains: Remove stains from juice and similar liquids with 12% hydrogen peroxide.
If you have deep-set stains or stains from unknown sources, leave removal to a professional to avoid damaging your countertops.
Preventing Stains on Granite
When it comes to keeping your granite from staining, prevention really is worth lots more than the ounce of cure. It's easy to keep your countertops from staining with a few simple precautions:
- Clean up stains ASAP, especially acidic liquids like fruit juice or tomato-based products
- Blot spills, rather than wiping to prevent them from spreading
- Don't store oils or cosmetics on granite countertops, as these items can stain
- Use coasters under glasses to prevent condensation
What You Shouldn't Use on Granite
Several cleaning items and solutions can do more harm than good when cleaning granite countertops. Harsh chemicals and abrasives are the top items you should not use as both can mar the stone's integrity. However, even natural cleaners can cause problems.
Avoid acidic cleaners like vinegar, lemon juice, ammonia or bleach solutions. Using these chemicals will weaken the sealant over time and dull the surface. While you may not notice things immediately, harsh chemicals will break down the sealant more quickly. If you are unsure of what to use, most commercial granite cleaners will do the trick.
Ask Bullseye the Granite Guy for Advice
If you're still not sure how to clean granite counters, the experts at Bullseye will be glad to help. Look to our experts for help with your granite countertop. We fabricate and install granite countertops for customers in Duncan, Crofton, Nanaimo, Parksville, Victoria and other areas of Vancouver Island. Call us at 250-324-3998 for an appointment.