More homeowners are choosing granite countertops for their kitchen counters because they are durable, safe, and resilient enough to last for years. It’s a natural stone that must be cleaned often because it has a porous surface that can absorb liquids and collect germs and bacteria as a result.
However, most granite countertops are sealed which prevents spills from penetrating the surface. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be extremely diligent about cleaning your counters because older granite countertops can have their sealants worn away due to years of use. If that has occurred with yours then your granite has been left exposed and must be maintained more routinely.
Even some granite that has been well-sealed can still absorb bacteria, so if your home has this type of countertop installed, here are some helpful hints for keeping it clean and disinfected from the granite experts at N-Hance of Spokane.
The Right Cleanser
When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting your first inclination may be to reach for one of those heavy solvent-based options that contain bleach, ammonia or other acidic ingredients.
This would be a mistake because those things will only eat away at the sealant and increase the risks of your granite becoming contaminated with germs. The same goes for those abrasive sponges and pads. Resist the temptation to use any of these things on your countertop.
All you need instead is some warm soapy water and a soft cloth. That’s it. Rinse the surface completely and then wipe it dry. If you are really concerned about disinfecting your granite, you can mix a solution of half warm water and half isopropyl alcohol. The extra additive will kill germs without eating away at the sealant that has been applied to the granite for germ and stain protection.
But like we said before, sometimes an older countertop may lack proper sealant and that can leave it exposed to bacteria and stains. If your granite has become stained you can remove these unseemly remnants by adding some water to common baking soda, turning it into a paste.
Apply the paste to the affected area and scrub gently with a soft cloth – again, no abrasive pads! You may need to use a few applications to eliminate it entirely but keep at it until you’re satisfied the stain is completely lifted.
For those particularly stubborn stains, liberally apply the paste to the stain and cover it with some plastic wrap using tape. Be sure the stain has been concealed entirely by the paste and the wrap. Allow the paste to dry in place and keep in mind this could take a day or two until it’s fully dried. When that has occurred simply take your soft cloth and wipe it all away, then rinse the area with warm water. The stain should be fully removed.
Be sure to rinse and wipe down your countertops once a week and be sure to avoid doing any food preparation directly on the granite surface. Cutting boards and plates are far better suited for that kind of work and it will keep your granite countertop looking its best for as long as you own it.