Choosing the right granite countertop cleaner is key to maintaining the integrity of your countertop. If you’ve been browsing around lately, you may have noticed that there are tons of cleaners on the market. So how do you know which one to choose? Knowing the difference between the cleaners that you see on the shelves can help demystify the granite cleaning process. Here’s what to look for when you’re shopping for a granite countertop cleaner.
What To Look For In A Granite Countertop Cleaner
First and foremost, keep in mind that not any old cleaner will do when it comes to maintaining your granite countertops. Unlike engineered quartz countertops, granite is a natural stone that requires specific maintenance. Harsh chemical cleaners containing ingredients such as bleach, degreasing agents, acids, alkalis and other chemicals can actually erode the sealant on your granite countertop. Switch to something more appropriate if you’ve been using a questionable all-purpose cleaner on your granite countertops.
Specialty cleaners that are made specifically for granite countertops are the way to go. These cleaners have been formulated to cleanse and protect your natural stone countertop without posing a threat to the integrity of the sealant. Granite countertop cleaners also vary by purpose and frequency of use, so choosing a cleaner will depend on how you use your countertops.
Choosing A Daily Granite Countertop Cleaner
Cleaning your granite countertops is probably a daily chore, especially if you’re an avid cook. When choosing a daily cleaner, choose one that is specifically formulated for granite. Some daily cleaners include polishes that may actually cause residue build-up on your kitchen countertops, so you’ll want to avoid those. Also avoid cleaners containing vinegar, lemon, ammonia, orange, and baking soda. Abrasive ingredients can degrade the countertop sealant, leaving it susceptible to stains.
Granite Countertop Polishes & Sealers
Over time you may notice that your granite countertop is losing some of its shine, causing it to look dull and dingy. A granite polish can help bring the shine back while also providing added protection against greasy marks and stains. About once a month is enough to maintain your countertop’s sheen. This is not the same as resealing your countertop.
If your granite countertops are due for a sealing, you’ll want to find a product made specifically for this purpose. Granite countertop sealers are composed of a resin dissolved in a solvent that actually sink into the pores of the stone to help protect it from wear and tear.
Contrary to popular belief, granite countertops do not need to be resealed often. It all depends on how much wear and tear a countertop has experienced. Avid chefs may need to reseal on a yearly basis. Countertops that are rarely used can wait upwards of three years before resealing. You’ll know that your granite countertop is ready to be resealed when it starts to darken when wet. This is a sign that water has begun to sink into the stone.
Quick Granite Countertop Maintenance Tips
- Do not use abrasive cleaners on your granite countertop, as they can degrade the sealant.
- Do not use tile cleaners, grout cleaners or other bathroom products on your granite countertop.
- Use coasters when placing beverages on your countertop.
- Never slice or chop food directly on your granite countertop.
- Use a mat for hot pots and pans coming directly off of the stove.
- Do not store liquids directly on your countertop. Long term exposure to liquids can stain sealed granite.
- Do not sit or stand on your natural stone countertop. They do not have plywood backing and therefore can crack or break under too much weight.