Granite countertops are some of the most popular and easy to maintain. But in order to care for granite properly, you need to be careful about how you go about doing it. That’s because, while granite is safe to use in any kitchen environment, you can damage it to the extent that the material is no longer sanitary for use with food and utensils.
This is due to the fact that granite is a material that is porous in nature. In order to utilize this material in the kitchen, your countertop has been carefully sealed to prevent those pores in the stone from absorbing liquid. If the sealant on the stone is compromised in any fashion, you run the risk of bacteria and germs becoming trapped inside those pores and that’s not a healthy situation for you and your family.
The only way to solve that problem is by removing the granite countertops that have been infected. You might guess at how costly that job can get. Your wallet won’t be pleased and neither will you. So, let’s review how best to care for your new granite countertops to ensure they remain healthy and intact for as long as you own them:
The Properties Of Granite
More homeowners are choosing granite for their kitchens because it offers unmatched durability and resilience in any kitchen environment. It’s ideal for homes with couples and homes with large families. But above all, it’s important to remember that this material is completely safe despite its naturally porous surface.
The sealant process is critical to that safety. After all, the porous nature of granite can allow it to absorb liquids. That can make your fairfax granite countertop a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. But with the granite properly sealed, none of that absorption can take place. However, you still need to clean and maintain the material cautiously so as to preserve the sealant and prevent it from being worn away.
The Best Method for Cleaning Your Granite
Your first inclination may be to reach for the harsh and abrasive cleansers to get those countertops clean. But anything that contains ingredients like ammonia or bleach can be harmful to the sealant of your granite. These will only serve to weaken it and help wear it away.
Avoid using anything that contains chemicals that could eat through the sealant and go with milder alternatives instead. The same goes for the type of cleaning tools you use to get the job done. Skip the steel wool and bristled textures in favor of soft cloths.
All you really need to care for your new granite countertop is some warm water and some mild dish soap. That’s it. You simply mix them together, clean the counters with it, rinse the surface and wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Sometimes your granite countertop might need something a little stronger to eliminate bacteria and germs that might be left behind from food prep. No problem, you can still clean and disinfect the granite without eating away the protective sealant.
You still use warm water, but mix in just a little isopropyl alcohol at a ratio of half and half. With the alcohol component added to the mix, you can eliminate all forms of bacteria that can be left behind no matter what you’re prepping on your counters.
Additional Care Recommendations
Caring for your granite goes beyond merely cleaning it properly. You should also implement other routines and behaviors that also allow for the granite to remain in the best shape possible by refraining from any actions that could exacerbate the wear and tear of the sealant.
For starters, never cut any food directly on the countertop. You should always do this prep work on a cutting board instead. You run the risk of dulling your knives and chipping away at the granite sealant.
Be careful about placing anything extremely hot on a granite countertop. Always use a pot holder or silicone pad under a pot or pan that has come off the stove or from the oven. High temperatures can also be damaging to the coating of your granite.
Testing Your Granite
It’s a good idea to ensure that your sealant is still intact. A smart way to do that is to test the coating by pouring liquid on your countertop. Some clean water should suffice. Allow it to sit on the granite and watch to see if the liquid begins to disappear into the stone surface. If so, your countertop is no longer properly sealed and it must be coated once again before you can use it.