When it comes to durable countertops, granite is one of the toughest materials you can use when renovating or designing your kitchen. While it is a reliable material that can resist all sorts of damage and harm, there are still things that it is particularly susceptible and vulnerable to.
With the right care and regular maintenance, you can make your granite countertops last as long as you will be living in your home, which is why understanding how to maintain them is vital for their longevity. Here are seven things you should keep off your granite countertops to prevent damage, ensure they last a long time, and avoid costly repairs.
While granite might seem impervious to damage and the perfect surface to work with a knife, it is still susceptible to chips and scratches. Not only will it damage your countertop, but it will also dull your knives and increase the risk of hurting yourself while working in the kitchen. To prevent any harm to your granite countertops and knives, use a large cutting board instead of cutting food directly on top of the stone surface.
While the granite stone can withstand the heat from a hot pan without any lasting damage, the sealants necessary to prevent stains and other forms of damage can weaken from excessive heat. Rather than placing hot pans and items directly atop the granite surface, remember to place a protective barrier or sheet down first. That will prevent the sealant from deteriorating and help your granite last longer.
While you should always handle raw meat carefully, you may not realize that granite can absorb any bacteria present in meat – creating a hazardous cooking environment when you place things on top of your counters. To avoid this, never place raw meats, fish, and poultry directly on top of your granite countertops, and use a cutting board when preparing meals.
While cleaning your granite countertops once a week or twice a month is good practice, using particularly acidic or abrasive cleaning solutions can harm the stone surface. Not only can they accidentally dissolve the protective sealants in the granite, but they can also lead to discoloration. Avoid any cleaners that use abrasives, bleach, acetic acid, and ammonia to protect your countertops.
In addition to abrasive cleaners, avoid working with vinegar on your granite countertops. Although it is a common cooking ingredient, vinegar contains acids that can harm the stone surface, even when diluted. To prevent damaging your granite when cooking with vinegar, avoid working directly over the granite or use a cutting board.
Similar to vinegar and abrasive cleaning agents, you should avoid pouring wine directly over the granite in case of a spill. Granite is a porous material that absorbs liquids, leading to staining whenever you accidentally spill your drink over it. The same is true with other highly pigmented liquids like grape juice, sodas, and sports drinks, so be careful when pouring drinks. If you accidentally spill a drink, try to clean it up quickly before it stains the stone surface; while the sealants work to protect the stone, it is not a guarantee.
Finally, while granite is tough and durable, dropping a heavy item or standing on top of it to fix a light bulb can still damage the stone surface. It also means you should avoid storing heavy cooking appliances and items on your countertops. These measures will prevent damage and small chips from forming due to repetitive stress.
If you are in the process of planning or renovating your kitchen and would like to include granite countertops, hiring a team of professionals will ensure you get the best results. Tops Kitchen Cabinet offers myriad cabinet options, countertops, and accessories for kitchens. To learn more about how we can help build the kitchen of your dreams, contact a member of Tops Kitchen Cabinet today!