5 Things You Should Never Use on Granite Countertops
Along with appliances, granite countertops are one of the largest investments you can make in your kitchen. A gorgeous granite countertop is also usually one of the first things a visitor or potential buyer notices when they walk into your kitchen, so it is important to care for that investment like you would the rest of your house. While the granite itself is tough, the sealants used to give it that nice, smooth shine are more susceptible to wear and tear. Here are some things you should avoid placing or using on your granite countertops to help them stay as beautiful as the day they were installed.
It’s nearly impossible to walk down the cleaning supply aisle at the store and not see a product with lemon in it. In addition, there has been a rise in the popularity of DIY cleaners that include vinegar as an ingredient. While these products may be fine for the rest of your home, avoid using them on granite. The acidic natures of lemon juice and vinegar, as well as ammonia, can wear down the sealant more quickly. Instead, use a cleaner specifically designed for granite. Or, if you’d prefer a more affordable alternative, plain soap works well, too. If you tend to use harsher cleaners with acidic chemicals because you feel like you can’t sufficiently clean surfaces without them, avoid placing raw meats and other foods directly on the counter. Instead, use a cutting board or another surface that you can wash with a harsh chemical and replace it more easily than granite.
Liquids, especially those acidic in nature, such as sodas, citrus fruit juices, and nail polish remover, can greatly damage the sealant if left alone. Even water can eat away at the sealant if left long enough. For that reason, be sure to always wipe up spills right away with a clean, dry towel. Use coasters to avoid letting the condensation from drinks and other containers seep into the sealant to prevent stains from appearing.
Granite itself is more than capable of handling hot pans that are straight out of the oven. However, in order to prevent marring the sealant and losing that smooth surface, be sure to keep hot pots and pans off the countertops. Brief exposure to heat most likely won’t cause damage, but use trivets and potholders if it’s going to be any longer than a moment.
Sharp knives won’t hurt the actual granite. They will probably put tiny scratches in the sealant and wear it away over time. The most likely outcome, though, is that the knives will dull more quickly. For that reason, always use a cutting board, and you can be sure to protect both your cutlery and countertops.
Granite is incredibly strong. It does, however, have weak spots that are more susceptible to breaking under tension. Avoid standing on the countertops, especially a breakfast bar or some type of extended piece. Also, granite can be slick, so it is best to use a more secure surface with a grip that is intended for standing on.
Bonus: Washing Kids in the Sink
It is common for sinks to be mounted underneath a granite countertop, giving it a sleek look. While it may be tempting to wash your toddler in the sink, doing so can loosen the mounting. In order to prevent the sink from pulling away from the countertop, avoid putting anything too heavy in the sink (such as a child).