Granite countertops are one of the most beloved materials to use in kitchen and bathroom renovations for a pristine, durable finish. And while this unique, beautiful surface offers great durability to withstand heat and resist chips, stains, spills, and more, there are a few mistakes that can cause quite a bit of damage to your stunning stone.
Caring for granite kitchen countertops and avoiding common mistakes that cause damage is key to maintaining the longevity of this surface. While we know life happens, knowing what damages granite countertops is a must to prevent untimely repairs or replacements of your stone slab.
Don’t worry, with these easy tips from our experts at Granite Selection, you can keep your granite countertops strong for years to come. Let’s dive right in!
1. Not Choosing the Right Kind of Stone
The first step in ensuring the durability and lifespan of your stone is to choose the right one. Before making your selection, you must take the time to research the different countertop material options to ensure the characteristics suit your lifestyle.
We love granite and quartz for the kitchen since they are so durable, but they may not make the best choice for another room, like the bathroom. When making your choice, consider more than aesthetics to find the right material that can withstand your daily need
2. Using Harmful Cleaning Agents to Care for Granite Countertops
If you’re wondering, “how do you care for granite countertops?” it starts with the right cleaning supplies. There’s actually a long list of what not to put on granite countertops, and your go-to cleaning solution may be on it.
Certain cleaning products can damage the sealant on your countertops, causing them to be more susceptible to chips, scratches, and spills. For what not to use on granite, we recommend avoiding:
- Glass cleaner
- Bathroom cleaners
- Cleaning supplies with strong acids or alkalis
Instead of these solutions, we recommend grabbing a soft washcloth, warm water, and a mild soap like dish soap to clean your countertops. It’s all about keeping the sealant on your granite strong, and this means avoiding any harsh chemicals. Sometimes, simple is better!
3. Not Cleaning Granite Countertops Frequently Enough
Mistakes are sure to happen, and especially in a kitchen or bathroom, spills are pretty inevitable.
Even with sealed countertops, we recommend you clean up any spills as soon as they happen – whether it’s a simple water spill or a bigger oopsie like wine or coffee. If you haven’t sealed your countertops recently, they may, in fact, stain in the places where the sealant has broken down.
To clean up spills, blot at the area with a paper towel instead of wiping for best results. Then, rinse with water and dry with a cloth. Additionally, when it comes to consistently caring for granite kitchen countertops, we recommend cleaning your countertops often to ensure they stay strong through the years.
4. Not Minding the Heat
So, can you put hot pans on granite countertops? We know in a bustling kitchen, you’ll sometimes have to set a pan or two down. And while granite countertops can withstand a bit of heat, it’s not a good idea to test your limits by frequently placing a hot pan on granite.
Granite countertops are a very durable surface, but repeated exposure to heat can cause a hot pan stain on granite. Instead of placing a pan or another hot object directly on the counter, quickly grab a buffer like table mats or rubber, cloth, and wooden coasters to keep heat from damaging your surface. It may take an extra second or two, but it’s a lot better than paying the price for entirely new countertops once they become damaged beyond repair.
5. Storing Liquids on Top of Granite Counters
Even with a perfectly sealed granite stone, storing liquids, food containers, or personal hygiene items on the surface is ill-advised.
Whatever is stored in the bottles you have on your counters has the potential to leak, and you may not even notice. These liquids – with everything from soap to cooking oils, creams, shampoo, or perfume, can eventually erode the sealant if it provides constant moisture. So, when it comes to what not to put on granite countertops, any liquid formulation should be avoided. Instead, place them on a tray or store them on a shelf for a less cluttered finish.
6. Not Sealing Granite Countertops
We’ve talked about a few of the mistakes that can harm a sealant, but how often should you seal the granite?
In terms of sealing granite, we recommend re-sealing your countertops every 1 to 2 years. This is because the sealant can wear off over time from frequent wear and tear, making the surface more susceptible to damage. Thankfully, sealing countertops is a pretty simple, affordable process – and it’s well worth the effort! This is one of the most essential maintenance tips, beyond frequent cleaning, that can do a great deal to extend the life span of your countertops.
7. Using Your Granite Countertop as a Cutting Board
Granite countertops are most often used in the kitchen, which leads many to ask, “can granite be used as a cutting board?” We don’t recommend it.
Granite countertops can take a lot, but frequently using harsh tools like knives will end up causing some obvious wear. We know – in a busy kitchen, skipping the cutting board (and the washing of it) feels easiest, but this will cause damage that builds up over time to eventually show visible nicks and scratches. And that’s not all. This damage can also lead to entry areas for liquids, causing stains in the long run – and we don’t want that!
8. Sitting on Your Granite Countertop
Granite is a hard, durable surface, yet it cannot withstand the weight. If you’re debating the question of “can you sit on granite countertops,” as expected, our answer is no.
Typically, countertops aren’t installed with a plywood backing to help them take on a human-sized weight, and the added pressure can cause your stone to crack. This may not happen immediately, but over time sitting (or standing!) on your surface will lead to irreparable damage.
9. Exposing Granite Countertops to Acids
Acids are one of the main things to avoid getting on countertops when we talk about what not to put on granite countertops. Acidic solutions, as well as acidic foods and juices (even coffee and milk!), should have a barrier at all times between them and your countertops to avoid harming the sealant. To ensure these substances don’t damage your granite in the long run, be sure to clean up all spills immediately!
Realizing you’ve made some of the typical granite countertop mistakes? That’s okay! Properly caring for granite kitchen countertops takes just a bit of research, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can keep your countertops in perfect condition for the years to come.
From what damages granite countertops to how often you should seal granite, our team at Granite Selection knows all the ins and outs of this stunning (and super popular) stone. For all our granite care tips and to peruse a wide assortment of the best stones, call us at 888-906-3317 today.