Granite benchtops are a stylish investment for your kitchen. You may have chosen them for their fabulous user qualities, such as heat and scratch resistance and hygiene. If cared for properly, they can be a great durable asset that you'll have for many years to come. Use this guide to get a long life out of your stone worktops.
Address Spills Immediately
Granite makes a robust and durable benchtop. However, it is a natural material and as such is porous and can be stained. Don't leave spillages on the counter for too long.
Cleaning Solutions for Stone Benchtops
No chemical solutions are required for cleaning. Avoid bleach and cleaning agents high in chlorine or with high alkaline levels. Always avoid abrasive cleaning sponges.
Clean the benchtop with warm water and if a soap cleaner is needed, use one that's pH neutral. Wash the surface then wipe with a clean, soft cloth. When it's dry, you can polish the stone with a chamois leather to remove streaking and create a shine.
What Not to Do on Your Benchtop
Granite is hardwearing and unlikely to be marked by a knife, but sharp knives and acidic foods could cause scratches. Use a chopping board and don't take a chance. Likewise, use a heat resistant stand for hot pots and pans. While granite is heat resistant, the combination of concentrated heat and food residue can potentially damage the stone surface. Additionally, the granite will absorb heat, making the area very hot to the touch. You should be careful with drinks -- use coasters to avoid stains and dullness from acidic drinks and strong coloured fluids.
Reseal Your Granite Surfaces When Needed
Stone benchtops will need resealing during their lifetime. There is no definitive timescale for when this should be done -- it will depend on factors like the type of stone and your usage. You can test when your granite needs resealing by performing the following simple test:
Drop a few droplets of water onto the benchtop and wait for five minutes.
If droplets remain on the surface, the sealant is still protecting the stone.
If the droplets have gone, it's time to reseal your benchtop.
Sealing Your Benchtop Yourself
Many online tutorials can walk you through the sealing process if you feel unsure about tackling it yourself. However, the process is quite simple and done in the following way:
Clear the bench completely.
Wash with a mild soap cleaner.
Wipe the benchtop with acetone.
Apply the sealer -- it may need spraying or simply spreading.
Allow the sealer to sink into the granite for the sealer's recommended time.
Wipe away any remaining sealer with a clean cloth.
Wait 24 hours before using the benchtop.