Granite countertops in kitchens and bathrooms can quickly become marked up by water stains and coated with other types of debris. Regular cleanings aren't only important to keeping countertops looking great everyday. Cleanings that are done properly also maximize a countertop's lifespan.
To properly clean your granite, avoid the following five common granite countertop cleaning mistakes:
Using any abrasive materials or substances
Granite is a hard and durable stone. However, the smooth surface of a granite countertop is sensitive to scratches and can become dull if abrasive substance are used to clean it.
Avoid abrasive cleaners that include ingredients such as bleach or ammonia. Also, avoid using sponges and always opt for a soft fabric or cloth.
Cleaning by eyesight alone
It can be surprisingly difficult to locate dirt and other debris that has dried onto granite. Sometimes, feeling its smooth surface for irregularities is a better means of detecting dirty spots than inspecting the countertop visually.
Before cleaning, run your hand over the surface to find where dried on debris needs to be removed.
Using a cleaner that's not pH-balanced
Any substance that is highly acidic could cause a granite countertop to look more dull over time if it is repeatedly used for cleaning. While lemon juice and vinegar are commonly used in homemade cleaning solutions, these substances can harm a granite countertop.
It's better to use a mild dish soap and warm water when cleaning a countertop than a typical commercial kitchen cleaner. Alternatively, you can use a commercially prepared granite cleaner as long as you examine the bottle closely and find the words "pH-balanced".
Scrubbing stained areas that aren't wet enough
Properly wetting the countertop surfaces before attempting to remove stains is important. This will help with the sudsing action of the detergent you are using and prevent cleanings from being too abrasive for the countertop surface.
Ignoring the need to reapply sealer
A granite countertop typically needs to be regularly sealed to maintain its waterproof quality and to fight stains. You'll want to check with manufacturer instructions to find out what type of sealer is best for your granite.
There are numerous types of sealer out there on the market, and you need to know whether topical sealer, penetrating sealer, or stone enhancer sealer is best for your particular countertop material. If you want to keep you countertop in the best possible shape, you may want to seal it as often as once per year.
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