Brief encounters of granite and your hot pans won’t hurt, but you need to use a trivet regularly. A barrier between your countertop and hot pans reduces the weakening of sealants, cracks, and stain. Protecting your culinary investment will help keep it new and shiny for several years to come.
Although granite is amongst the toughest igneous rocks found deep in the earth, you cannot just get away with placing everything on your countertops.
How to Keep Your Granite Surface in Good Condition
Granite is tough, but you will need to avoid some activities to keep it in good condition for long. Here’s what to and not to do.
- Don’t chop raw meat on a granite countertop.
Well-sealed granite prevents bacterial from entering into the microscopic cracks of your countertop. However, chopping your meat on a granite surface may lead to contamination of your food with salmonella.
Meat does not hurt granite, but its remains may end up contaminating your other food. You might be tempted to cleanse your surface using harsh disinfectants after chopping raw meat on the granite countertop. Most grocery-store cleansers can damage or make the sealant dull or even discolor the granite itself. You can use a cutting board to chop your meat and then clean up with soapy water and a microfiber cloth.
- Avoid acidic items
Acidic substances such as vinegar, soft drinks, citrus fruits, and other items such as lotion, nail polish, acidic soaps, and perfumes can scratch the surface and spoil the seal on your granite and stain it. If your bathroom has granite, place personal care products in a basket or a cabinet with a safe base that will not leak if there is a spill.
Ensure that you also use a cutting board in the kitchen to prepare food and coasters for your drinks.
- Wipe away any spills
If any oily or acidic substance splatters on your granite countertop, be sure to clean it up fast using a suitable but mild cleanser or hot soapy water. A spill that is left to stand for long can etch the seal and also stain the surface.
- Avoid using knives on granite directly
Granite is tough and can spoil your knife if you use it directly on the surface. Using your knife to slice foodstuff on a granite counter will make it dull and damage its blade. Always use a chopping board instead of the surface.
- Do not place hot pots on granite
Although granite is an igneous rock that can briefly handle excess heat, avoid putting hot pans on it since excess heat will weaken sealants. Always use potholders or place trivets on your countertop. Ensure that you also clean up any drips or spills immediately.
- Never sit or stand on your countertop.
Granite is a natural rock with charming fissures and fantastic striations that can be vulnerable to cracking if exposed to excess weight. Avoid sitting or standing on your countertops, as doing this may lead to cracks.
Use your ladder or a strong stool when reaching for items, painting, changing light bulbs, or doing other activities.
- Your under-mount sink is not a bathtub for kids.
Under-mount sinks are usually fixed securely to the bottom of a granite countertop. But it would be best if you never used these sinks to bath your kids as doing this may loosen the mounting. Although granite is tough, it has natural pores in its surface with striations. It is good to know how to manage the countertop properly without damaging it.
Can heat damage granite
Granite can resist heat damage and it can withstand a hot pan up to 1200oF even if you place it directly on the countertop. Ordinarily, you can’t spoil the granite countertop with a hot pot or pan. However, if you subject granite to excess heat for a longer period, it could damage the surface. Granite could slightly become soft, leading to discoloration or even cracks.
Granite materials absorb heat from items, and if you place a hot casserole dish on its surface, it will cool down faster. But it is not advisable to place hot dishes on your kitchen surfaces. Instead, use heat coasters to place your hot pans on the kitchen tops.
Exposing granite to extreme temperatures, such as heat during the summer or cold in the winter, could spoil it. If you intend to use your counters for outside kitchens, opt for high-density granites.
How to Clean Granite Countertops
Granite is a popular material for countertops since it does not soak up oils, stains, and spills because it is sealed. This material is also resistant to bacteria making it perfect for your kitchen. You need to clean your kitchen surface regularly to maintain its glossy shine. Here’s how to clean;
Wipe your kitchen surface with warm, soapy water, then rinse carefully. You can mix isopropyl alcohol and water in the ratio of 1:1 and use a microfiber cloth to clean. Avoid bleaches, vinegar, or Windex as these acidic substances will weaken the sealant and dull your granite.
Avoid abrasive pads or cleaners, too, as they can scratch the granite.
- Removing stains
If your granite top has stains, make a paste of water and baking soda, then use it to scrub the spot gently then rinse thoroughly. For a tougher stain, place the paste on the spot then cover with a plastic wrap taped down the edges. Let the paste to sit until it dries, wipe with a clean, soft cloth then rinse with warm water. The paste may take a few days to dry.
- Putting a shine
If your granite counter is dull, place a little cooking oil on a soft clean cloth and wipe across the surface. Buff the counter gently to make it stain-resistant and provide it with a glossy shine.
Your granite needs resealing periodically as it becomes dull and susceptible to stains due to normal wear and tear. Call a professional to reseal your granite top after every two to four years and don’t do it on your own.
Granite is among the best materials for countertops and which gives your kitchen a glossy appearance. Avoid subjecting it to harsh conditions such as extreme heat, which may soften it hence making it dull.
Place trivets on your granite top to protect it from direct heat and avoid placing acidic substances to keep it shiny for many years.