Home Tip Tuesday: How to Care for Granite Counter Tops
Caring for granite counter tops really is pretty simple and doesn’t take a lot of time. The first thing to do when the counter is installed is to wipe on a solvent-based sealer called an "impregnator" with a soft cloth. An impregnator is a sealer designed to penetrate and protect medium to dense porous surfaces, such as natural stone. It forms an invisible barrier that is resistant to moisture and stains while allowing vapor to escape. The impregnator solution is not a surface coating and will not alter the natural look. When applying, place one coat on the surface, then wait a day before applying the next coat. This application should last a couple of years.
Proper care in everyday use is the best way to keep your counter tops looking good. Here are some simple Do’s & Don’ts to consider:
Do: Clean up spills immediately. Acidic substances like wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce and sodas could stain the surface. Cooking oils may also leave a stain if not wiped up.
Do: Clean surfaces using a sponge or soft cloth. Granite & Marble Cleaning Spray is available, but simple hot water will do for quick clean-ups. Dish soap is fine to use on granite, but over time the soap can cause a build-up and dull your counter top's shine.
Do: It is a good practice to use hot pads under pots & pans. Granite is able to handle a hot pot off the stove without any problems. However it is possible for granite to experience "thermal shock" and crack, but that is rare.
Do: Use cutting boards. It is possible to scratch granite so protect your counter tops and knives by using a cutting board.
When it comes to cleaning your granite tops, hot water and a soft cloth are best. Some don’ts to consider when cleaning the stone surface are:
Don't: Use generic cleaning products such as bleach, glass cleaners, de-greasers or other common household cleaners. These products typically contain acids, alkalis and other chemicals that will degrade the granite sealer, making the granite more vulnerable to staining.
Don't: Use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange as cleaners.
Don't: Use bathroom, tub & tile or grout cleaners. The powders and even the "soft" creams contain abrasives that will scratch and dull surfaces.
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