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Granite is the number one most popular type of countertops; it’s installed in 64 percent of new homes. If you fall into that statistic, your new granite countertops are undoubtedly the star of your kitchen or bathroom, so it’s imperative you keep them in the best condition.
There are rules when it comes to maintaining natural stones. You can’t use any kind of cleaner – this isn’t your mother’s laminate – and the last thing you want to do is ruin your new counters.
In this article, we’ll go over how to care for your new granite countertops and maintain their lavish look for years to come.
Whatever you heard about taking care of granite before, get out of your mind because we’ve collected the best tips from granite experts on how to look after your new countertops.
It’s quite simple when it comes to protecting your granite and even easier to clean it. Let’s get started and find out how easy it is.
How to Maintain New Granite Countertops
Natural stone was always used as a building material. Granite is one of the most unique natural stones you can find – each slab is unique, making it the perfect component for a new kitchen.
Although these countertops are notorious for being expensive, check out International Granite and Stone for tips on how to find affordable slabs of granite. With such an investment, you’ll want to preserve your new stone and maintain its natural shine for years to come.
To Seal or Not to Seal, That Is the Question
Many new homeowners either assume their stone has been already treated, or jump to the conclusion that they must seal it immediately. While either could be true, there’s only one way to tell for sure: to test it.
The Water Test – Place a small drop of water on the countertop and wait. If the granite absorbs the water, or the stone darkens, within 10-15 minutes, your granite needs a sealant. Move on to the lemon juice test.
If the water stays on the countertop for more than two hours, the stone either has been previously treated or does not need treatment. Do not treat the stone as an extra precaution as this could lead to a hazy film and ruin the stone.
The Lemon Juice Test – This test is similar to the instructions for the water test, but it checks for more serious problems (if any) in your stone. Place a small drop of lemon on the countertop and wait one minute.
If your stone turns colors, immediately wipe the lemon juice away. Your granite is too porous for treatment and shouldn’t be in use. At this point, it is best to consult a professional.
If the juice is not absorbed, the countertop does not need treatment. If the granite absorbs the juice within 5-10 minutes, continue to seal the countertop. Read on for how to seal your new granite countertops.
How to Seal Granite Countertops
To ensure long-lasting countertops and to preserve the stone’s natural shine, you’ll want to seal your granite every six months to a year. Luckily, it is an easy and affordable process – something you can even do yourself.
With any kind of natural stone, there are hairline cracks and holes and granite is a fairly porous stone. It’s important to seal your countertop to prevent spills and bacteria from entering the pores of the stone.
Remember that sealing the granite won’t prevent spills from penetrating the surface entirely, but will buy you enough time to grab a towel and blot. Granite countertop in four simple steps:
Step One – Start by preparing your granite countertop. Grab a granite cleaner and wipe down the surface with a soft cloth.
Step Two – Apply the sealant evenly. Follow the directions depending on which resin is best.
Experts recommend carbon resin sealers, such as fluorocarbon aliphatic resins, because they’re long-lasting. Note that they are the most expensive options.
Step Three – Wait. Granite sealers need time to soak into the stone and build a barrier. When the first coat is nearly dry, but not entirely, apply the second coat if the instructions say to do so.
Step Four – As per the instructions, wipe up the sealant after it has bonded with the stone.
Congratulations, your granite is now officially sealed. Let’s look into how to keep it clean.
How to Clean Granite Stone
When people think of granite, they think of the strong, hard rock that makes up between 70 to 80 percent of the earth’s crust. Although that is true, when working and cleaning your granite countertops, it’s important to take caution.
The best way to keep your granite countertops looking new is with daily maintenance and the occasional deep clean. Read on for tips and tricks on keeping your granite shiny and new.
A damp, soft cloth or sponge is the best material to use on your new granite countertops. Apply pressure in circular motions.
It’s not recommended to wipe your countertops down using dish soap as it can lead to a buildup of product and reduce the natural shine of the stone. Warm water on a cloth or a granite-specific cleaner is your best option.
When it comes to spills, blot the spill often and quickly. Avoid wiping which only spreads the liquid spilled. Be careful of acidic foods and liquids, such as wine, tomato sauce, and vinegar, as these are most harmful to your stone.
Every once in a while, your kitchen needs a deep clean. Your countertops are no different. A good pH cleaner, specially made for granite, is your best bet.
If you’re looking to treat stains, you can make a paste using baking soda. If it’s an oil stain, mix the baking soda with water. If it’s a water stain, mix the baking soda with hydrogen peroxide.
Apply the paste to the site of the stain and leave it overnight, or even for several days. Gently use a damp cloth and wipe it away.
How Do You Clean Your Granite Countertops?
At this point, you’re well equipped to protect, maintain, and clean your new granite countertops.
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