Granite makes for a beautiful countertop and bathroom. However that beauty comes with a price: added maintenance. So what is granite? Granite is a super tough stone that is formed from volcanic magma. Granite has earned a reputation as a great building stone. It ranges in color, but is known for how beautiful it is, especially for countertops.
There are many great reasons to go with granite:
- Widely available
- Available in thousands of colors
- Durable and resists heat
There are also some downsides to granite
- Requires regular cleaning
- Resealing is required periodically
- susceptible to cracking
Many people will buy a water softener or filter system in an attempt to reduce their cleaning efforts with granite but that alone is not the answer to solving your problem. Darker granite can show water spotting easily especially in places where water sits or drips down off of faucets like in the kitchen or bathroom. A properly cleaned and sealed granite countertop will clean up any water spotting with little or no effort. Here are some tips to keeping your granite in good working order.
To keep granite countertops clean, use a microfiber cloth to dust off the surface. Wipe down the granite countertop daily and as needed using water. Once a week wipe down with a damp cloth and a stone cleaner formulated with a neutral pH. Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. They can scratch, pit, and etch the surface of the stone. For oily stains, try a poultice made of a cup of flour or baking soda and 5 tablespoons of dish soap. Add water to make it the consistency of sour cream or yogurt. Place the solution directly on the stain and cover with plastic wrap overnight, before washing away the poultice.
Do not clean granite with acidic ingredients such vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice, as they can be abrasive, and avoid obviously abrasive products such as scrubs and steel wool pads. Also avoid cleaning products that contain bleach, degreasing substances, or ammonia. Dish soap should be used sparingly, because it eventually will dull the countertop appearance.
For a good cleaner to use on your granite contact the manufacturer for a granite cleaner or ask your countertop specialist at your local store on how to get some. You can also use “green” cleaners that don’t contain harsh chemicals. A DIY, inexpensive, safe cleaner you can do at home: equal parts water and alcohol in a spray bottle. Gently scrape along the surface to remove any remaining dirt. Use a soft sponge to wipe, then buff dry to a shine with a soft cloth.
Regardless of your water conditions, a well maintained granite countertop will last you a very long time.