How to Care for Your Counter Tops

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Do’s & Don’ts of Cleaning Granite Countertops

 

The easiest way to keep your stone looking great is to avoid creating bad habits that may damage it. Granite, marble, travertine, limestone, soapstone, and quartz are similar in many ways, but their differences require varying degrees of maintenance. However, if you utilize the granite countertop care and cleaning procedures that follow for all of your countertops, you will eliminate the most common problems without ever having to think too hard or worry that you may be causing damage.

 

DO: Blot up spills immediately.

Acidic substances like wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce, and sodas will not etch granite like they do marble, but they could potentially stain the surface. Cooking oils may also leave a stain if not quickly wiped up.

DO: Clean surfaces using a sponge or soft cloth

Using a specially formulated natural stone and granite cleaner that is recommended to keep your surfaces in the best condition and protect the sealer, but hot water will do for quick clean-ups.

DO: Use coasters under all glasses, bottles, and cans.

Again, granite won’t etch and using coasters on dense and/or properly sealed granite s not an absolute necessity like it is with marble, but using coasters is just a good practice to protect all bath and kitchen countertop surfaces.

 

DO: Use cutting boards.

A great way to avoid scratching your surfaces, while also protecting your knives, is to use cutting boards instead of cutting directly on the stone. Cutting on the stone will dull and damage your knives edge very quickly.

DO: Use trivets and hot pads under pots and pans.

Yes, you typically can take a hot pot off the stove and put it right on granite countertops without any problems, however it is possible for granite (or any stone) to suffer “thermal shock” and crack. This is a very rare occurrence, but still a possibility You should avoid putting hot pots and pans on a hard surface other than soapstone.

There are also other things to consider with it comes to placing pots on your stone surfaces. Grit that gets trapped between the pot and countertop, may scratch the sealer and surface. Granite is very hard and can take a lot of abuse without any significant damage, but it can develop light surface scratches or pitting in high-use areas around the sink and cooktop. It is not common, but it does remain a possibility. All other surfaces are softer than granite, so better safe than sorry!

 

DON’T: Use generic cleaning products such as bleach, glass cleaners, degreasers, or other common household cleaners.

These products that you buy at you buy at your local store contain acids, alkalis, and other chemicals that will disseminate the granite sealer (and will etch marble) leaving the stone more vulnerable to staining. Trying to save money by using these chemicals only ensures that you will spend a lot more time and money on stone care in the long run.

 

DON’T: Use vinegar, ammonia, lemon, or orange as cleaners.

Again, most common and name-brand household products are not good for cleaning granite countertops and cannot be used for marble, travertine, or most other stones.

 

DON’T: Use bathroom, tub & tile, or grout cleaners.

These powders and even “soft creams” contain abrasives that will scratch and dull surfaces.

 

DON’T: Sit or stand on your countertops.

Unlike laminate countertops, granite, marble, and quartz countertops are not flexible and do not have a plywood backing. Too much weight in one spot could cause a crack.

 

DON’T: Store liquids or toiletry products directly on your stone surfaces.

Cooking oils, hair products, perfumes, colognes, nail products, lotions, and potions tend to leak and go overlooked. Even when sealed, a substance that remains on the surface for an extended period may stain granite and etch marble or other soft stones. Practice proactive granite countertop care by storing the products on a shelf or decorative try!

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