Once you make the investment in granite countertops, you want them to last a long time in your home. While the material is hardy as well as attractive, you will not handle it in the same way you do vinyl or even tile counters. Here are six care tips to preserve them and keep them beautiful:
- Wipe up your spills: One of the easiest things you can do to preserve granite countertops in northern MN is wipe up spills as they occur. Wine, coffee, fruit juice and tomato sauces especially add extra acids that could diminish your counters. Even a seemingly harmless substance like milk can eat away at the surface or reduce its appearance. You will eliminate most problems with this simple step, so start this habit now and teach it to your children.
- Use soft cloths or sponges: Dish soap and textured sponges made for scrubbing caked-on food in cooking pans are not good for granite counters. You may use your Dawn dish detergent in a pinch, but making it your primary cleaning solution will cause buildup and dull the shine. Use only a soft cloth or non-textured sponge for those spills. When the counters need a thorough cleaning, use a cleanser designed for stone.
- Protect with coasters and trivets: If you are drinking something acidic that could compromise your counter’s surface, use a coaster. That glass of wine may drip between sips, and a coaster will give you less to wipe up later. Drinks are not nearly as threatening as hot pots and pans, though. Use trivets and hot pads each time you remove something from the stove, and put pads under your crock-pot, too. While cracking is rare with granite, it is possible, and those cracks can lead to other issues.
- Use a cutting board: Granite countertops are tough and it is easy to assume they can stand up to a knife or other implement. However, this is another way to produce scratches that hold in dirt and later sustain damage. Besides being good for countertops, this also preserves your knives. The stone surface will damage knives and require frequent sharpening, unlike using a plastic or wood cutting board.
- Do not sit or stand on countertops: Too much weight in one spot can cause granite countertops to crack. If you need to reach stuff on the top shelf in your cabinets, use a ladder rather than climb on your countertops like a jungle gym. View your countertops as a working surface rather than a substitute step stool or another place to sit.
- Store liquids somewhere else: Olive oil, cosmetics and perfumes can leak and compromise the beauty and strength of the granite. In your kitchen, store cooking oils in your cabinets and only have them out when you are using them. Bathrooms present the highest number of corrosive elements, since many people want their products where they can see them. Invest in wall shelves or an additional medicine cabinet rather than using the counter for storage.
L & L Granite Countertops offers many options in customized kitchen and bathroom granite countertops in northern MN. Call us today to see what we can design for you.