Caring For Your Counters
Countertops are generally low maintenance. But there are several things you should be doing on a regular basis to prevent your countertops from becoming damaged or worn.
First and foremost, granite countertops need to be properly sealed. Unlike quartz, granite is a porous material that will absorb liquids relatively easily if not properly sealed. Improper sealing is one of the main reasons why granite countertops become damaged. Granite sealer is pretty easy to find at your local granite countertop supplier.
How to seal your granite
Determine if your countertops need to be sealed. An easy indicator is the water droplet test. Pour a small amount of water onto your countertop. The water should form a tight rounded edge and sit on top of the stone. If not, it’s probably time to reseal your counters.
Make sure your countertops are perfectly clean and dry. We recommend letting them dry overnight. Specks of dirt, water, or food can become problematic with the sealing process.
Liberally spray a small section of the counter with granite sealant. Side note: When sealing a large surface, apply the sealant in small sections to ensure an even coating.
Lightly smooth out the excess liquid with a lint-free cloth or latex glove.
Wait 15 minutes. This allows the sealant time to penetrate and bond to the stone. After 15 minutes, come back and wipe the counter with a cloth to remove any liquid remaining on the surface.
Don’t touch the counter for at least 4 hours. The sealant will need some time to sit and absorb into the countertop to create a proper seal.
Sealing your natural stone can double or triple the lifespan of your countertops. As a general rule, granite countertops may need to be sealed every 9-12 months, but quality professionally installed sealants can last as long as 15 to 25 years. You can always seal countertops on your own, but if you feel the need for a little help, we can come to your home and seal the counters for you.
Remember: Quartz does not need to be sealed. Only Granite and similar natural stones need sealing.
Wiping down your countertops at least once a day will go a long way to keeping stains and blemishes from forming on the stone.
- Wipe any excess water off the counter. Water will start to calcify around faucets and fixtures if left unattended. This calcification can spread to the rest of the counter.
Keep a blunt, plastic scraper on hand for stuck on food and grime. Stone can scratch another stone, so be cautious with rough stoneware pieces on your countertop.
Only use certified granite cleaners or mild soaps on your stone countertops. Anything with acidic content will shorten the lifespan of the sealant and dull the surface finish.
Things To Avoid
Liquids with color of any kind like red wine or grape juice, will discolor countertops is left unattended.
Avoid using harsh soaps to clean your counters. Check labels for recommended use on stone.
Avoid using Windex, vinegar, or bleach products to clean your counters.
Set potentially wet containers onto a shelf away from the countertops. Things like olive oil or butter containers can leak and cause discoloration on the counter.
- Avoid leaving hot containers on the counter for extended periods of time. Granite and quartz can stand the heat for a short time, but things like slow cookers can leave unsightly discolorations. These stains are easily preventable with the use of hot pads or mats. Quartz is especially prone to be damaged by rapid changes in temperature.
Don’t stress out. If your countertops are damaged, odds are it’s a pretty simple fix.