Granite countertops are a major investment for most homeowners. In fact, most owners make the investment without taking the time to understand a few very basic granite countertop problems and how to avoid them. Not knowing the basics when it comes to properly caring for your granite countertops can be a very costly mistake.
The first thing you should realize and keep in mind is that granite is a stone that is by no means invulnerable to damage of any kind. Just as Superman had Kryptonite, granite has weak defenses against acid. This is not limited to acidic cleaning products but includes common kitchen items such as vinegar, alcohol, and orange juice.
To avoid these types of granite countertop problems you should always use coasters beneath your drinks, wipe up any spills immediately, and use mild neutral cleaning products on your countertops.
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When considering granite countertop problems, acid is not the only thing that mars the lovely surface of our shiny granite countertops. You should also take great care to avoid setting hot pots, plates, coffee pots, or baking pans directly onto your countertops. Use trivets to absorb the heat and avoid costly repairs.
You should also avoid placing china and other objects that may scratch and/or dull your service onto your countertops as well. If you do find that your granite has been scratched it is probably in your best interest to either consult a professional in order to remove it or simply learn to live with it.
Keeping Your Granite Countertops Clean
One of the most common granite countertop problems is actually keeping them clean. We live in our kitchens and so much occurs on these countertops daily that they require constant cleaning and care on our parts. The good news is that this is no problem if you are using the proper cleaning products and avoiding abrasive cleaners. The downside is that if you do not take care when cleaning you may actually damage your countertops.
The first thing you should do is make sure to clean up all spills quickly and completely. Allowing liquid to sit on your granite countertops is simply inviting them to penetrate the surface where they will be nearly, if not completely, impossible to remove.
You should also take great care that you are using only mild detergents that have no acidic properties (this means no vinegar or citrus based cleaners), no scouring properties (this means cleaners like Comet powder cleaners), and soft clean cloths in order to get the job done.
I strongly recommend that you discuss cleaning options and recommendations with the manufacturer of your countertops and follow their instructions. Many countertop makers design their own line of cleaning products that are designed specifically for the purpose of maximizing the life and beauty of their products. This may be a little more expensive than some of the other cleaners on the market but is far less costly than purchasing a new granite slab in order to replace your countertops.
Proper care can go a long way towards avoiding common granite countertop problems. If you take small steps each and every day to protect your countertops and prolong their life and good looks you will save yourself a lot of money, time, and effort down the road by eliminating the need to replace your countertops as frequently.