Upon moving into our custom home, the prospect of maintaining and caring for all the new surfaces and materials became our responsibility. Our granite countertops were one of the bigger materials investments. But online advice for cleaning and care vary widely. Many manufacturers make special (and often expensive) cleaners for granite and stone countertops, but do you really need to make such an investment to keep your stone countertops looking good?
In order to keep our granite countertops looking as beautiful as the day it was installed, I asked Gary Facer, our sales rep with Premier Marble & Granite, how to clean our granite countertops. Here is the advice he gave:
The recommended way to clean it is with warm soapy water, followed up by a soft cotton cloth.
Simple and inexpensive! We've been having a glitch with our new water conditioning system, so our water has been much harder than it will normally be. This has tended to leave a cloudy film on the granite countertops. In order to remedy that problem, I recommend very hot water because it evaporates more quickly and leaves less water to discolor the countertops. To clean, we simply fill the island sink with hot water and add a couple of drops (yes, that's all!) of dishwashing liquid. Then, as we wipe the granite, we follow with a drying/buffing cloth. They look gorgeous.
When asked about sealing, Gary said Premier always seals the granite as part of installation. But resealing is the one big disadvantage with granite. Still, the process is straightforward. He said:
Resealing becomes necessary over time as you notice the luster begin to fade from use. The interval will vary based on how heavy the use is. Any of the home centers carry stone sealers. Just follow the manufacturers directions.
Stone sealers are not inexpensive, but remember a little goes a long way. And the process is simple. Generally it's something like this:
- Clean surface of dirt and debris.
- Allow surface to dry.
- Apply sealant to a dry cloth until damp.
- Apply to stone, immediately wiping off excess with a dry cloth.
- Allow seal to cure overnight.
The process of sealing granite countertops isn't much more involved than everyday cleaning. Just keep an eye on your countertops for wear and take these few extra steps when they begin to dull.
Cleaning and sealing your stone countertops as directed will extend their life and keep them looking great for years and years to come.