If you tell a dozen people that you are considering granite countertops for your new kitchen, you will probably have at least one who will regale you with a horror story. The truth is that granite is durable, and it doesn’t take much to keep it looking great for a lifetime. You do not need to treat it with kid gloves, but you do need to avoid a few bad habits and pay attention to maintenance when needed.
Cleaning – Avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning your granite countertops. The best choice is to use a granite cleaning spray, but be sure not to use bleach, ammonia, vinegar, citrus cleaners, powder cleanser, soft creams or bathroom cleansers. Even regular dish soap cleaning is not recommended, as it can build up over time.
Bad Habits – Treat your granite countertops like you would any type of material. Wipe up spills and always use coasters, trivets and hot pads, and cutting boards. While granite countertops can usually handle a bit of abuse, if you avoid bad habits, you won’t have any odd occurrence happen. For example, granite can generally handle a hot pot being put on it, but thermal shock can occur on rare occasions and you’ll end up with a crack, so it’s best to not take the risk.
Maintenance – Every few months, you should put a few drops of water on the most-used part of your granite countertops to see if it soaks in or beads up. If it doesn’t bead up, it is time to reapply a granite sealer. This is actually rarely needed because the initial sealer put on quality granite countertops these days is practically impenetrable.
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