Granite countertops can beautify just about any kitchen or bathroom, but unless you properly take care of them, their shine will eventually wither away. Unlike quartz which requires minimal maintenance, granite is a little more needy. However, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you’ll keep your granite countertops looking great for years to come.
Tip #1: Seal your granite countertops
In order to keep your granite countertops shining, you’ll want to seal them at least once a year. When granite isn’t protected with a quality sealant, its extremely vulnerable to scratching, chipping, cracking, and permanent staining. By taking the time to seal your countertops, you’ll keep them in fantastic condition.
Before you seal your granite countertops though, you’ll want to make sure that they actually require it. Some kinds of granite don’t need to be sealed. These are typically the darker and more dense kinds of granite. If you’re unsure if your countertops needs sealing, you can always perform a quick water test to find out.
To perform a water test, take a little water and pour it onto the surface of the countertop. If the water beads up, then your countertop has already been sealed, or it simply doesn’t need it. On the other hand, if the water forms a dark spot and begins to soak into the surface, then you’ll definitely want to seal your countertops as soon as possible.
Once you know that your granite does in fact needs sealing, then it’s time to choose a quality product. One of the main things that you’ll want to look for in a product is whether or not the sealant has penetrating properties. Another words, a sealant that will penetrate below the surface of your countertops and offer better protection than non-penetrating sealants.
If you’re having a hard time deciding, check out the products listed below. These are 5 sealants commonly used by professionals. They include:
- TriNova’s Granite Sealer Protectant
- Black Diamond Nex-Gen Natural Stone Penetrating Sealer
- Weiman Granite Cleaner & Polish
- Supreme Surface Granite & Quartz Cleaner and Polish
- Granite Gold
Once you’ve purchased the granite sealant of your choice, it’s time to add your first coat. If you’ve never sealed a countertop before, don’t panic. It’s not a tough job. The only things that you really need to remember is to always apply your sealant evenly and make sure you don’t miss a spot. To seal your granite countertops:
- Start by cleaning your complete countertop with a non-abrasive cleaner and then letting it air dry.
- Once your countertop is fully dry, lightly shake your bottle of sealant and apply your first coat.
- Wait approximately 5 minutes to apply your second coat.
- After the second coat has been applied, wait approximately 30 minutes.
- Take a microfiber cloth of some sort and wipe the countertop off. You can find these cloths at most home improvement stores.
- Inspect the countertop to make sure that it’s dry and all excess sealant has been wiped off.
When you seal your granite countertops on a regular basis, you’ll keep them shiny while also protecting them from getting scratched, stained, or dinged. It’s a small price to pay to keep your granite looking spectacular.
Tip #2: Properly clean your countertops on a regular basis
Knowing how to properly clean your countertops is an essential part to keeping your granite looking great. For instance, there are several products you should never use to clean your countertops. They include:
- Acidity cleaners like lemon, line, or vinegar
- Cleaners with bleach or ammonia
- Other harsh cleaners
So, what should you use to clean your countertops? The first option is to use warm water, a mild dish soap, and a very soft cloth. A microfiber cloth works the best. In addition to this method, there are a number of granite cleaners on the market too. Some of the best products available include:
- Granite Gold Daily Cleaner
- Black Diamond Stoneworks
- Weiman Granite Cleaner and Polish
- Weiman Granite Wipes Method Daily Granite Cleaner
All the granite cleaners listed above are great products. However, there’s many other options to choose from. When picking a product, always pay attention to reviews, and if possible, choose a cleaner with a built-in polisher. This will give your granite surfaces that extra shine.
In addition to a mild dish soap and the products listed above, there’s a third option that works really well. By filling a spray bottle with half isopropyl alcohol and half water, you not only have an effective granite cleaner that’ll leave your countertops looking shiny, you also have a powerful disinfectant that’ll keep your surfaces free of germs and other bacteria.
If you do decide to choose the alcohol and water mixture, wait 3 to 5 minutes after you spray the surface. This will give the alcohol time to kill all the bacteria and disinfect the entire surface. You’ll now want to wipe the surface down with a soft towel or a microfiber cloth. Disinfecting your surfaces is important, especially during the flu season.
Tip 3: Use a razor blade to remove the built-up grime
After you clean your granite countertops, you may run your hand across the surface and feel little bumps. These bumps are dirt and other grime that have built up overtime. Although cleaning your surface will remove most of the filth, you may need to take an extra step to get your surfaces completely clean. What’s the solution?
Take a clean, straight razor blade and position the blade flat on the surface. With easy, smooth strokes, run the blade up and down the length of the countertops. This will remove the built-up dirt and grime. It’s important to note that in order to use this technique, your countertops must have already been sealed. If you remember, granite won’t scratch once a coat or two of sealant has been added. By removing this layer of dirt and grime, your countertops will shine even more.
A few things to keep in mind
To add to these 3 tips, there are a few other things you should consider to ensure your granite countertops keep their shine and stay in good condition. These include:
- Never cut meat, veggies, or other food directly on the surface. Always use a cutting board. Even though you sealed your countertops, you don’t want to take any chances. If your sealant is running thin, you could damage your surface with a sharp blade.
- Always clean up spills as fast as possible, especially if you spill an acidity drink like orange juice, grape juice, vinegar, or another abrasive solution. These liquids can eat away at your sealant and eventually damage the surface if the countertop is not resealed again.
- Keep your granite out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can fade the color of a granite countertop that hasn’t been sealed. Consistent sunlight can also diminish the sealant that you’ve already applied. If your granite countertop is by a window, you can either tint your windows or put up curtains to block the sunlight.
By sealing your granite, cleaning it properly, and using a straight razor to remove the built-up grime, you’ll keep your countertops looking great while also holding their value too. In fact, countertops that look beat up or worn out can really diminish the overall value of a home by quite a lot. Not only that, when you properly clean and disinfect your granite, you’ll make your home a much cleaner and healthier place to live.