Granite Countertops

Know Your Finish
Caring for granite countertops is easy when you know what kind of finish has been put on the stone. Today there are countless options for stone finishes, from an unpolished, uneven stone all the way to stone that has

been polished three or more times. The more the stone has been polished, the easier it is to clean. On unfinished stone, chemical cleaners can leave a stain. It's best to use a damp cloth.
Keep Them Dry
Whether your granite is unfinished or polished, you'll want to keep them as dry as possible. If the countertop extends around the sink, always keep a microfiber cloth handy to wipe down that area when running water.

Your granite countertop won't scratch, but that doesn't mean your stone is meant to be a cutting board. Certain liquids like vegetable acids, wine, and juices from meat can stain the stone, specifically if it leaches into a porous spot.
Cleaning Do's
Do clean the counter top with warm water and a few drops of dish washing detergent or antibacterial detergent using a soft cloth. Rinse the surface thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft cloth. It cannot be emphasized enough--keep your granite countertop DRY. Wipe it down after every meal preparation. Do

buy cleaners that are made specifically for granite. Do ensure that spilled liquids are cleaned up before they can stain the surface. Do use a cutting board for cutting. Another thing you'll want to watch are the high traffic zones. If you have an area of your granite countertop where people frequently eat, watch for fingerprints. Skin oils can dull the finish of your stone.
Cleaning Don'ts
Do not use ammonia on your granite countertop. While a lot of people believe Windex is the only cleaning product they need in their kitchen, granite is an exception. Ammonia won't ruin your countertops after one or

even 10 uses, but it will slowly erode the quality of the crystalline surface, leaving your granite dull over time. Don't let stains sit, and don't keep too many appliances on the granite without a mat or protective surface underneath.
Heavy Duty Cleaning
When granite has been neglected, you will need to use a heavy-duty stone and degreaser to effectively

remove dirt, grease, and grime. These products are concentrated and designed to deep clean without damaging the stone. It's important to follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Long-Term Care
By following the simple dos and don'ts of cleaning granite, your granite countertops should stay beautiful for many years. To keep them showroom sparkling, there are also a few things you can do from time to time to maintain granite's luster. About once a month, use a granite polish, which can be found at any home improvement store. Once a year, use a granite sealer, which acts as a protective barrier and will keep your granite pristine.

Not all granite counter tops require a seal according to the Marble Institute of America but may benefit from a quality sealer product. Most manufacturers place a resin treatment on granite at the factory. The sealant product should last ten to ifteen years and be of an oliophobic (resistant to water and oil based stains) type. Once properly sealed, the stone will be more resistant. Please refer to specific manufacturer’s instructions. Clean the surface thoroughly, removing any stains. Allow the stone to dry for several hours. Then pour the sealer on the surface. Spread over the counter top with a paper towel, foam brush, or rag. Allow the sealer to penetrate 5-10 minutes. If the sealer is completely absorbed in 5 minutes, add more. After 5-10 minutes, blot any remaining sealer, buff the stone dry with a clean terry cloth, and let dry for 12 hours before use. Make sure your work area is well ventilated.

Granite countertops should last a lifetime and are as durable as they are beautiful.

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Anne & Mark Lackey
Atlanta Housing Source at
Solid Source Realty, Inc.
PO Box 923116
Norcross, Georgia 30010



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