Granite Countertop Care: Best Practices for Cleaning, Sealing, & Maintaining

Granite Countertop Care: Best Practices for Cleaning, Sealing, & Maintaining

Over the last 15-20 years, granite has become the stone of choice for kitchen countertops. And for good reason: Granite is one of the toughest stones found in nature. Granite is virtually stain and scratch resistant. Unlike marble, limestone, and travertine countertops, granite will not etch when it comes into contact with acidic food substances.

However, as many of our clients have experienced, granite will dull over time and lose a lot of its shine and luster as it ages. The good news is that granite, like any natural stone, can be brought back to a high degree of reflectivity with the right process and also can be maintained to keep its shine for the long term.

Fun and Interesting Facts About Granite

Granite is possibly the most common igneous (solidified from magma) rock type known to the general public. The minerals that are found in granite are primarily quartz, plagioclase feldspars, potassium or K-feldspars, hornblende, and micas.

Quartz is usually the last mineral to crystallize and fills in the extra space between the other minerals. Quartz's hardness, lack of chemical reactivity and near lack of cleavage give granite a significant amount of its desirable durable properties.

Granite has Been One of the Most Popular Building Materials for Centuries

Granite, which is named for its "granular" texture, has crystals that tend to be easily seen, although they are generally small. It is a rock that has been used for centuries for many different purposes such as building material. Granite was used with limestone as a building material for the pyramids of Egypt. Its durability, beauty, and abundance make it a preferred choice of stone over most others.

What Causes Granite to Become Dull?

Although granite is sold as a virtually maintenance-free surface, it still requires proper care. The daily use that a granite countertop experiences in your kitchen is the main culprit.

First off, granite gets exposed to many substances in your kitchen that are acidic in nature. Think orange juice, vinegar, ketchup, lemons, etc. If you can name it, it is probably acidic. Acidic substances cause tiny micro abrasions that, over time, will cause the granite to lose some of its reflective properties.

Your Daily Cleaning Routine of Granite Countertops Doesn't Help

What does your daily cleaning routine look like? If you're like most of us, you'll use a dish rag with some dish soap to rub a mixture of hard water and alkaline cleaning detergents all over your countertop.

With hard water being rich in all kinds of minerals such as calcium you have the recipe for a perfectly dull and lifeless granite countertop.

How to Restore your Granite Countertop's Shine

Assuming your granite counter top has suffered enough and that you're done abusing it (just kidding), you're now ready to bring it back to life. What are your next steps? If you're an adventurous DIY type, and have some extra time on your hands to become a trained stone professional, contact me and I can point you in the right direction.

Turning to a Skilled Professional

However, for the rest of us it will mean turning to a skilled professional. Your professional should follow a process that includes all of the following steps:

  • Stone scrub
  • neutral rinsing
  • re-crystallization process
  • stone sealing
  • final buffing.

And I can't stress enough how important the sealing process is. A high-grade, specialty granite sealing product will set you up for long-term peace of mind. Check out the video below for an overview of how the team at Zerorez SoCal cleans and restores granite countertops.

How to Prevent your Granite Counter from Becoming Dull Again

Once your counter has been restored to its former glory, and has regained its luster and reflectivity, you will want to make sure you keep it that way.

Maintaining your granite from day to day can be easy. Clean your counters with a daily stone cleaner and a high-grade, micro-fiber cloth. I can't tell you what a difference that will make. Use less liquid than you think you will need, as true micro-fiber works better that way.

Buffing your Granite Counter Will Keep them Shining

Be sure to always have a clean and dry micro-fiber cloth handy. Nothing will make your counters shine like a dry-buff with a dry, high-grade micro-fiber cloth. For some corrective work on soap scum, and hard water deposit build-up around your faucets, buff them out with very fine, 0000 grade, steel wool. Check you local hardware store for this kind of steel wool.

If you feel we might be able to help you restore your granite countertop to its former glory, please contact us. And more information about cleaning rugs, carpet and hard surface flooring such as tile, grout, stone and hardwood, please call the Zerorez office at 949-387-2222 or visit www.zerorezsocal.com. We have many specialized products and services designed to tackle any imaginable floor cleaning challenge using our natural and pure cleaning solutions.

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