Granite kitchen countertops are designed to last a long time. However, this is partially dependent on how well you take care of them. Dulling of the surface and scratching are just two types of damage that can occur when you aren't taking care of your granite countertops properly. Here are just some of the things you want to avoid to keep your granite in good condition.
Allowing Stains To Set
Whenever you see a spot on your granite, clean it up promptly. This is especially the case if the stain is from an acidic substance like tomato sauce, coffee, wine or soda. These types of substances can etch the granite and leave a permanent stain on the surface. The risk of staining is also present with cooking oils.
If you spill any of these substances, gently wipe them up right away to avoid permanent damage. When wiping avoid pressing too hard as this will only push the substance into the granite and further increase the risk of it causing a stain.
Using All Purpose Cleaner
Even if your countertop has been sealed, using an all-purpose cleaner isn't a wise choice. The reason for this is that many of these types of cleaners contain high levels of alkalis, acids and other ingredients that can actually cause the sealant to deteriorate.
Once the sealant starts to degrade, this leaves it wide open for staining and other damage. It is best to use a cleaner specifically labeled as safe for granite. As an alternative you can also clean and disinfect your granite with a mild dish soap, isopropyl alcohol and a few other items you likely have around your home.
Overlooking Thermal Shock
One of the things that makes granite so popular is the fact that it is not subject to burning, so placing a hot tray or pan on the surface isn't thought to cause much damage. This statement is true.
However, granite is not absolved of the risk of thermal shock. Particularly if the granite is cool and the pan is very hot, this can shock the granite and cause it to crack. A crack would likely result in you needing to replace the entire slab of granite. Although granite is an especially heat-resistant material, using pot holders and trivets is always the safest bet.
Make sure you are not engaging in any practices that could potentially damage your granite kitchen countertops.