Your granite countertops will look and feel new for many years, provided that you give it proper care. Do not be too careless when using your countertop – even though granite is one of the toughest materials around and is almost always unscratchable because it is harder than a stainless steel knife, it can still get discolored and if you do not take care of it and clean it regularly.
How to clean your granite countertops
It is best to use a neutral cleaner on anything granite – stone soap and water will do the trick jut fine. You can purchase stone soap from almost any hardware store. If you are having a hard time finding one, stick to warm water and mild dishwashing liquid. Avoid using products with lemon-based or vinegar-based ingredients in it. As a general rule, you should avoid using acidic compounds that can harm limestone or marble to make sure your granite does not get discoloured. Also stay away from corrosive liquids, strong detergents, dry cleansers, 'soft' cleansers, and scouring powders, as they can strip away the granite’s natural shine.
Don't use abrasive cleaners such as never combine strong cleaning products like bleach and ammonia together, as the combination can be poisonous.
Remember to use only clean, soft cloths when wiping your granite countertop. Do not leave it wet – always rinse after washing and dry the surface with a soft cloth.
How to remove stains on you granite countertops
Do not panic if you stain your granite, because you can easily clean off stains with a few household items. Depending on the kind of stain, you may need to use different mixtures.
- If the stain is heavy and cannot be removed by simple warm water and mild dishwashing liquid, then create this sure-fire formula – combine together about one to two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid, one cup of flour, and just enough water until the solution becomes thick (about the same consistency as paste). Simply put this solution right over the stain. Cover the area with a plastic wrap. Leave it overnight. You can then scrape the mixture away gently, preferably using a wooden utensil. Rinse. The stain should be gone.
- Oil stains such as grease stain, oil stain, or milk stain requires a different solution altogether. Combine together hydrogen peroxide (in place of dishwashing liquid), a cup of flour, and enough water to make a paste. You also need to put this solution on the stain, cover the area with plastic, and leave for about 12 hours. The stain should be gone when you scrape off the mixture in the morning.; If this does not work, replace the hydrogen peroxide with ammonia.
- Is the stain organic (such as tea stains, coffee stains, or fruit stains)? Then you need to combine hydrogen peroxide (about 12% will do) with about two drops of ammonia. This solution should take organic stains off immediately.
- If your child left marker stains from working on his artwork right on your countertop, do not worry – you can still remove them. Try either acetone or lacquer thinner – they are great for wiping marker stains off dark granite stones. Is your granite on the lighter shade? Then switch to hydrogen peroxide. If these chemicals do not work, then try a stronger formula – combine pure bleach and molding plaster to make a paste and then spread it over the ink stain (this also works for wine stains). Let it sit for about half an hour, then remove the paste and rinse the area.
Granite care and maintenance
In order to preserve the shine and color of your granite countertop, make sure to blot up any spills as soon as possible, to make sure that they do not break in the surface.
Avoid placing very hot items right on your granite countertop’s surface. If you can, place mats; or trivets under very hot dishes. Use placemats ceramics, china, and silver. Be sure to use coasters especially under glasses that contain citrus juices and. These acids can dull the surface of your granite countertop. In some cases, certain acidic food and beverages can even etch the surface.
If you see a scratch or scratches on your granite countertop, do not attempt to fix it yourself – call a professional. Making a mistake when trying your hand at removing the scratch if you do not have any experience working with stone countertops can cost you a lot of money.