Granite countertops lend aesthetic value to kitchens and bathrooms. It is a hard substance that is not vulnerable to scratches. It resists heat so it is best for cooking. It does not absorb liquid or oil, if sealed properly. Nevertheless, there are a few tips to be followed in maintaining granite countertops.
- Due to its porous nature, it can absorb juice, oil, wine and cause stain that can be impossible to get rid. Problems can arise when countertops are not sealed properly. A poorly sealed countertop gives rise to bacteria in the pores. Go for denatured alcohol, which is 1 part alcohol and 4 parts water. The alcohol will kill the bacteria and keep the granite surface clean. The product dries up leaving no residue behind. It is less expensive and can be used for other housecleaning purposes too. Check with the granite dealer as to how often the countertops need to be resealed.
- Bleach, window cleaners, can damage the sealant. Get a pH balanced cleaner which will help remove dirt. Take a squirt bottle, put a pH balanced dishwashing soap with water, shake it well and then use it to make the surface germ and dust free. You can also add ¼ cup of isopropyl rubbing alcohol to the mix. It is an economical way to get a shiny granite countertop.
- Using hot pads and stands for placing hot pans on the granite countertop could easily leave scratches. It is not ideal to work on because it can dull knife blades. It is susceptible to wear and tear. Any spills can be wiped using soap dish and water.
- Stains from oil can be removed by mixing either acetone, bleach or ammonia in water. Always mix it with water because these contain acids, which can etch the surface and reduce the sealing properties. Coffee or tea stains can be removed using hydrogen peroxide which should be mixed with ammonia drops. Then wipe with soap dish and water, dry and rub with a soft fabric, especially fiber clothes. This will give shine to the countertop.
- Water stains caused by hard water can be rubbed using oo steel wool. In the case of minor scratches, steel wool can be used to remove it.
If scratches are deep or stains cannot be removed, then contact your nearest local granite contractors who will help you deal with the problem. The local stone dealer can also give tips on how to maintain a granite countertop.