Granite creates one of the most fabulous looking countertops in a kitchen, bath, or just about anywhere you need a countertop. Take care of it properly and it will give you decades of use and be gorgeous every day.
But the homeowner who becomes sloppy and fails to reseal their granite countertop periodically is in for trouble, because certain products and substances will stain granite if they aren’t stopped by sealant and cleaning.
When spills are wiped up immediately from the countertop, it makes it much harder for products to embed themselves into and stain the countertop.
The sealant test
To find out if your granite countertop needs to be resealed is simple, even if you just bought the house and can’t ask when it was last sealed. Sprinkle a few drops of water on the surface of the counter. If they bead up, the sealant is still going strong. If they don’t, particularly if they absorb and turn the spot dark, the countertop needs to be resealed with a quality sealant.
Acidic products are definitely on the list of staining products. Coffee, for example, or any kind of citrus juice. Deeply colored fruits and fruit products such as wine, blueberries, strawberries, and cherries will also stain granite, and may even cause etching. There is an internet story floating around about a person who fixed a blueberry stain with bleach, but we don’t recommend it.
Oil and oily products will also soak into a countertop and leave a dark stain. On a darker countertop, this won’t be as noticeable, but on a lighter countertop, it will show up right away.
Chemical products such as window cleaner, bleach, 409, and even toothpaste will mar or dull the finish of your granite. Using harsh or abrasive products or being rough when cleaning granite is a mistake.
What should I use to clean my granite countertop?
Mild dish soap and warm water will clean your granite countertop. The great thing about granite is that if it’s properly sealed, it won’t absorb or hold any bacteria. But, if you’re still concerned about the surface (and we hope you hid the body well), you can always mix a half-and-half spray of water and isopropyl alcohol (91%). Spray in on, wait a couple of minutes, and wipe it off, rinse, and dry. Drying off your counters after you wash them creates a beautiful shine. It’s worth your while to have microfiber or other soft cloths dedicated for this very purpose.
Granite countertop cleaners are okay if you want to spend the money, but it’s not necessary.
Remember, merely keeping your granite countertop sealed and wiping up spills will keep it looking utterly fabulous. We sell some of the best sealant products on the market for this very purpose.
If you have a home, business or rental property in the Metro Phoenix area and are considering upgrading with granite countertops or other stonework features, call us here at JDM Countertops at 602-461-7559.