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Cleaning Granite Countertops

The Safe and Proper Way To Clean A Granite Countertop

Granite is the most favored material for countertops because of its exceptional beauty and strength.

Homeowners who chose to have granite for their kitchen countertops have experienced additional bonuses – ease of cleaning and maintenance. Because of granite’s superbly integrated internal structure, it is exceptionally resistant to liquid seepage, scratches and dents. Granite will simply not allow water stains and grime from marring its natural beauty. Therefore, cleaning granite countertops and maintaining their surfaces are very easy, indeed. This is one reason why having granite countertops in your house will boost the value of your home. If you take care of them in a reasonable manner, you can enjoy them for as long as you want.

Precaution in Cleaning Granite Countertops
Given all these wonderful qualities of granite, it doesn’t mean that you can just do whatever you want in your granite countertops and they will be able to take the abuse. You cannot be remise in their proper care and expect them to just stay fresh and clean as when you first used them. If you are an owner of a granite countertop (especially if you’re a first-time owner), you need to be aware of the following when cleaning granite countertops:
• Don’t get the habit of using vinegars, lemons and other acidic substances in cleaning the countertop surface. Overtime, the acid substances will ruin the finish of the countertop surface and will allow these substances to penetrate and destroy the stone.
• Never use bleach, degreasers and glass cleansers in cleaning your granite countertops. They will also damage the polished finish of granite aside from leaving unsightly thin film residues on the surface.
• Avoid using grout cleaners and bathroom cleansers on the countertop surface. They also contain chemicals that will spoil the countertop finish.

Safe Substances You Can Use
The safest substances for cleaning granite countertops are those with a neutral pH. They are non-acidic and will not degrade the surface finish of your countertops. Below are some of the safe substances that you can use:
• Isopropyl alcohol – this item has a neutral pH and it is commonly available in all homes.
• Dishwashing soaps and detergents with no acid content.
• Special granite cleaners in spray bottles – they are safe but rather expensive.
• You can also put a few drops of dishwashing liquid to half-a-cup of isopropyl alcohol and mix them with warm water. Put this mixture in a spray bottle and use when needed.

Daily Use and Maintenance
If you follow these simple daily routine, you will never be faced with stubborn grime and liquid stains that are difficult to remove.
1. You must clean all liquid stains and dirt once you spot them. Watch out especially for stains coming from mustard and spaghetti sauce.
2. Always put coasters under drinking glasses, cups, soda cans and drinking containers. This will prevent accidental scratches on the countertop surface.
3. Protect the surface from hot pots and pans by using hot pads and trivets.
4. Always use a soft sponge, soft cloth, or microfiber cloth in cleaning the surface. With these materials, you will never get accidental scratches from your daily cleaning.

Tips in Cleaning Granite Countertops
• When wiping liquid and dirt, use the blotting technique, not the wiping method. It will prevent stains and dirt from spreading.
• For stubborn oil and grease stains, mix flour with hydrogen peroxide in reasonable amounts. Put this mixture on the stain and cover it with plastic. Let the mixture stand for at least 8 hours. This mixture will cause the stains to be detached from the surface. Then, remove the plastic covering and use a non-abrasive utensil to scrape away the remnants of the mixture.
• For tea and coffee stains, you can mix 2 to 3 drops of ammonia with hydrogen peroxide and use it to wipe the stains off.
• Ink stains can be removed by a nail polish remover.
• Do not use scouring pads, scouring powder, steel wool and other tools that have hard bristles.
• Always finish your cleaning by drying the surface with clean, soft cloth.
• You need to reseal your granite countertop every year or at least once in two years.
• For any major damage in your countertop, call on the professionals. They know what to do for such difficult situations.

Most granite countertops will be able to withstand all the daily activities that you will perform on them. They will not show any signs of wear and tear if you give them their proper daily care. In this regard, be extra careful because granite countertops are usually damaged, not by dirt and stains, but by improper methods of cleaning.