Guide to Keeping Your Granite Countertops in Good Condition

If you dream of a dazzling home with shiny granite countertops, you will need to master how to keep them looking new all the time. Otherwise, the glory of your expensive installation will wane into discoloration, stains and cracks. By following some simple tips, you can easily keep your granite countertops looking great for years to come.

Apply a granite sealer    

You could choose to leave your granite countertops unsealed, but in a few weeks, they will be minus the luster, and in a few months an eyesore. Granite countertop sealing is straightforward and affordable. You have no excuse. The first granite sealer should be applied immediately after installation. The sealer will help to shine and protect your granite countertops. Granite sealers are like wax when it comes to cars. Sealing helps to make the granite impervious to moisture and stains. First off, wipe the countertop clean before applying the granite sealer. It could be a tropical sealer; one you have to reapply after every few months or a permanent sealer. You also have the option of a penetrating sealant that is more powerful, sealing all the pores and adding more shine to it.  Another type of sealer known as an enhancer will amplify the shine of your granite countertops. This sealer highlights the countertops with appealing color variations and sparkling effects. If you are not sure which sealant is best for you, drop by your local hardware or stone yard – they will help you chose the right one.

Sealing

Wipe clean

In case of spills, wipe the countertops and ensure they are squeaky clean. This is the only way to stop stains from penetrating the porous nature of granite countertops. By squeaky clean, you don’t have to apply lemon, vinegar or any other acidic or bleaching compounds on the granite countertops. Harsh detergents and bleaching agents will dull and eventually break down the sealant. Just warm water and gentle dish soap with a soft piece of clothing are enough. Do that daily, and promptly in case of a spill, otherwise water will leave an ugly dark spot on the granite.

Already stained?

Several different cleaners can help lift the stains off your granite countertops. When shopping for granite countertop stain removers, look for ones with neutral pH. Some cleaners will corrode the shiny finish off the countertops if it’s not used correctly. To avoid any stains on your counter it’s important to not have beauty products on it. Nail polish remover has acetone in it which can quickly destroy your gorgeous countertop. This compound will eat away your granite sealant and expose the stone.  Also, never place a hot pan on your countertop. Granite has a high tolerance to heat but your counter can ultimately be destroyed if you go from having a very hot object on your countertop to nothing. The sudden contrast in temperature from cold to hot and back can cause shock to the granite and you can end up with fissures and cracks on your stone.

Be cautious about the amount of weight on your countertop

It’s not advisable to place any weights or anything excessively heavy on your countertops. A countertop, whether it is made of wood or stone, can only take a small amount of weight before it gets damaged. In addition, never sit on your countertop. It is intended for placing dishes and utensils on but anything drastically heavy. Exerting undue pressure on a granite countertop will lead to cracking over time.

Repair issues as soon as they occur    

Chips and cracks can occur when bits of the stone become loose or are knocked off. The breakages tend to happen around the edges. On the other hand, corrosion can occur when the granite is in contact with another metal, for instance sliding finger ring along with it while cooking.  You can get this issues fixed by filling the affected area with the right color of epoxy. However, beware that the epoxy will be noticeable. Clear acrylic is the better option- it will blend in seamlessly and remain unnoticeable. A hairline crack can be solved and made inviable with a new sealant. Fissures will need an expert to repair and apply finish to the fixed area.

Erin Emanuel

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