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Donít Take Them for Granted: How to Care for your Granite Countertops

Caring for granite countertops does not have to be a tiresome chore or difficult task. In fact, because of their excellent durability you can care for them fairly easily with just a few items. Remembering a few tips and practicing common sense will ensure that your beautiful granite countertops last as they should. Consider the following recommendations to care for your kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

Initially, you want to be sure that your granite countertops are sealed with a high quality sealant. This should be done upon installation and then ideally once a year. The sealant keeps the look beautiful while protecting it from stains and wear. You will want to check to see if there are any warranties that require certain cleaners and sealants to be used, and follow those recommendations carefully.

When you clean, use a soft sponge or cloth (like microfiber) and warm water to clean up spills and general messes. You should avoid using common household cleaning preparations as these can wear down the sealant and lead to future problems. Also, avoid substances like vinegar, lemon juice or products containing oil as these can cause additional problems with the sealant or even stain the surface. When needed, you can use a specialty stone cleaner that has a neutral ph. These types of cleaners do not affect the sealant nor do they damage the surface in any way.

Kitchen and bathroom surfaces generally see a lot of use, but it is important that you take some precautions to protect these surfaces. While they are difficult to scratch, grit that gets trapped under trivets and cutting boards can cause small scratches over time so it is a good idea to double check before placing these items under pots, pans and other kitchen implements.

Be sure not to sit or stand on your granite countertops. Their strength is amazing, but they can crack if undue pressure is applied. Also, in rare instances thermal shock has occurred when hot pans have been placed directly on the surface. This is unusual, but not impossible, so be sure to place a hot pad or trivet under any hot pots, pans or baking sheets.

It is important to make sure that spills are blotted up immediately. Liquids such as soda, wine, juice, and coffee are acidic and can stain if left on the counter. Oils can also stain, so care should be taken to clean up any spills or drips as soon as possible. Toiletries (perfumes, makeup, facial and hair products) should not be stored directly on the counter. It is best to place a tray or basket beneath for protection. If spills do occur, clean them up quickly with a soft cloth and water.

Your granite countertops can be a wonderfully beautiful addition to your home. Caring for them can be a little extra work, but the end result is stunning and oh-so-worth-it! Realistically speaking, these types of surfaces in your home take about the same amount of work as other surfacesScience Articles, you just need to know how to treat them well.

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