Granite Worktops Maintenance and Cleaning: The Ultimate Guide

Granite Worktops Maintenance MGD

If you’re considering investing in granite worktops for your home, you’re on the path to adding a touch of elegance and long-lasting durability to your space. Known for their unique patterns, natural beauty, and exceptional durability, granite worktops are popular among homeowners.

However, understanding how to properly clean, polish, and care for them is essential to maintain their stunning appearance and longevity.

At MGD, we provide high-quality granite worktops tailored to your needs and believe in empowering our customers with the knowledge to keep their investments in pristine condition.

That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide. It will equip you with all the information you need to care for your granite worktops, ensuring they remain a beautiful centrepiece in your home for years.

Whether you’re still deciding on the suitable material for your worktops or ready to learn how to maintain your new granite surfaces, this guide is for you. Let’s explore the world of granite worktop care and maintenance together.

Cleaning Granite Worktops

Regular cleaning is crucial to maintain the appearance and hygiene of your granite worktops. To clean your worktops effectively:

  1. Use a soft cloth or sponge and a mild dish soap diluted in warm water.
  2. Gently wipe down the surface, ensuring you reach all areas, including edges and seams.
  3. Rinse the cloth in clean water, then wipe away any soap residue.
  4. Use a dry microfiber cloth to buff the surface, removing any streaks and preventing watermarks.

Create a paste using baking soda and water for tougher stains or limescale. Apply the paste to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes before gently scrubbing with a soft cloth. Rinse the area with water and dry it thoroughly.

Polishing and Restoring Shine

Polishing your granite worktops will enhance their natural beauty and provide a protective layer against stains and scratches. To polish your worktops:

  1. Use a high-quality granite polishing compound and a soft cloth or microfiber pad.
  2. Follow the instructions on the product and work in small circular motions, ensuring you cover the entire surface.
  3. Once completed, buff the surface with a clean, dry cloth to achieve a beautiful shine.

For worktops that have lost their shine, consider using a granite enhancer to restore their lustre. Follow the product’s instructions, and your worktops will be gleaming quickly.

Sealing Granite Worktops

Sealing your granite worktops is vital for preventing stains and watermarks. Most granite worktops require sealing at installation and resealing every 1-3 years, depending on usage. 

Choose a high-quality granite sealer to seal your worktops and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, this involves applying the sealer to a clean, dry surface, allowing it to penetrate the stone for a specified time and then wiping away any excess.

Caring for Granite Worktops

To maintain the longevity and beauty of your granite worktops, adhere to the following care tips:

  • Use coasters under drinks and hot pots or pans to prevent watermarks and heat damage.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners and acidic substances that may damage the surface.
  • Clean spills immediately, especially acidic substances like lemon juice, vinegar, or wine, to prevent staining and etching.
  • Use a cutting board to protect the surface from scratches and knife marks.

Repairing Granite Worktops

Repairing Granite Worktops

Even with the best care and attention, granite worktops can sometimes become scratched or chipped due to accidents or heavy use. While minor damage can often be repaired, it’s crucial to consult a professional to assess the damage and perform any necessary repairs. This ensures that the repairs are done correctly and that the beauty and integrity of your granite worktops are preserved.

At MGD, we have a team of skilled professionals fully qualified to perform repairs on your granite worktops. We understand the unique properties of granite and have the right tools and techniques to address various issues.

A polishing compound may be sufficient to restore the surface for minor scratches. This process involves applying the compound and buffing the area until the scratch is no longer visible. It’s a delicate process that needs to be done carefully to avoid further damage, and our team at MGD has the expertise to do it right.

A more involved repair process may be necessary for chips or more significant scratches. This could involve filling the chip with a colour-matched epoxy or resin, then smoothing and polishing the area to blend it with the rest of the worktop. Sometimes, a section of the worktop may need to be replaced. Our team at MGD can assess the damage and recommend the best course of action.

Remember, attempting to repair granite worktops yourself can often lead to further damage. It’s always best to consult a professional when your worktops need repairs. At MGD, we’re committed to helping you keep your granite worktops looking their best for years.

Preventing granite worktop damage

Preventing Damage to Granite Worktops

While granite is a highly durable material, it’s not invincible. Certain practices can help prevent unnecessary damage and prolong the lifespan of your granite worktops.

Avoid placing heavy objects on your worktops, especially near the edges. The edges are the most vulnerable and can chip or crack under excessive weight. If you need to store heavy items, ensure they are placed in the centre of the worktop and not on the seams.

Despite their solid appearance, granite worktops are not designed to bear people’s weight. Avoid standing or sitting on your worktops, as this can lead to cracks or even cause the worktop to dislodge from the supporting cabinets.

Heat can also damage granite worktops. While granite can withstand heat better than most countertop materials, prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause discolouration and weakening of the sealant. Always use trivets or heat-resistant mats under hot pots, pans, or baking trays to protect your worktops.

These preventive measures can keep your granite worktops looking their best for years.

Discolouration of Granite

Dealing with the Discolouration of Granite Worktops

Granite worktops, while durable and resilient, can sometimes discolour over time. This discolouration can be due to various factors, including prolonged exposure to sunlight, heat, or certain chemicals. Here’s how you can prevent discolouration and address it if it occurs:

Preventing Discolouration

Protecting your granite worktops from excessive sunlight and heat is essential to prevent discolouration. Consider using blinds or curtains to limit direct sunlight exposure if your worktops are near a window. For worktops near stovetops or ovens, use trivets or heat-resistant mats to protect the surface from high temperatures.

Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners on your granite worktops. Some chemicals can react with the granite, causing discolouration. Always use a mild, pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for granite.

Addressing Discolouration

If your granite worktops have already discoloured, the best course of action depends on the cause of the discolouration.

Professional re-polishing may help restore the original colour for heat or sun-related discolouration. This process involves removing a thin layer from the surface of the granite to reveal the undamaged stone underneath.

A poultice may be effective if the discolouration is due to a stain. A poultice is a paste made from a porous material that can absorb stains. Apply the poultice to the stained area, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit for 24 hours. Then, remove the poultice and clean the area with a granite-safe cleaner.

Making a poultice for granite stain removal

A poultice for removing stains from granite is typically made from a mixture of a porous material and a liquid substance. The porous material absorbs the stain, while the liquid helps to draw out the stain from the granite.

The specific ingredients can vary depending on the type of stain. Here are a few examples:

  1. Baking Soda and Water: This is a common poultice for general stains. Mix baking soda with water to create a thick paste, then apply it to the stain.
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide: For organic stains (like food, coffee, tea, and wine), a poultice made from hydrogen peroxide can be effective. Mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda or talc powder to create a paste.
  3. Acetone or Mineral Spirits: For oil-based stains (like grease or tar), a poultice made from acetone or mineral spirits and baking soda or talc powder can be used.

To use a poultice, apply the paste to the stained area, covering it with a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Cover the poultice with plastic wrap, and tape down the edges. Allow it to sit for 24 hours, remove the poultice and clean the area with a granite-safe cleaner.

Always test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure the poultice does not discolour or damage the granite.

It may be necessary to consult a professional for severe discolouration or stains that don’t respond to these methods. They can assess the damage and recommend the best course of action.

Remember, the best way to deal with discolouration is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Regular cleaning, careful use, and proper maintenance can help keep your granite worktops looking their best.

pro cleaning granite worktops

Choosing the Right Cleaning Products for Granite Worktops

Choosing the right cleaning products is crucial to maintaining the beauty and longevity of your granite worktops. While granite is a durable material, it can be sensitive to certain chemicals and abrasive cleaners. Here’s what you need to know:

Safe Cleaning Products for Granite

It’s best to stick with mild, pH-neutral cleaners when cleaning granite. These cleaners are gentle on the granite but effective at removing dirt and grime. Many manufacturers offer cleaners designed for granite, which can be a safe choice.

A simple solution of mild dish soap diluted in warm water can also be effective for daily cleaning. After cleaning, rinse the surface with clean water to remove any soap residue, then dry with a soft cloth to prevent water spots and streaks.

A baking soda and water paste can be used for tougher stains. Apply the paste to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly and dry.

Cleaning Products to Avoid

Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners on your granite worktops. These include products containing ammonia, vinegar, lemon or other citrus, bleach, or scouring powders. These substances can break down the sealant on your granite, leading to stains and discolouration.

Abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads can scratch the surface of the granite, dulling its shine and making it more susceptible to stains.

Potential Damage from Harsh Chemicals and Abrasive Cleaners

Harsh chemicals can etch the surface of the granite, causing dull spots or discolouration. They can also strip away the sealant that protects the granite from stains and damage.

Abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads can cause tiny scratches on the granite surface. While these scratches may not be visible to the naked eye, they can catch the light and dull the granite’s shine. They can also create tiny crevices where stains can seep in.

Choosing the right cleaning products is vital to keeping your granite worktops looking their best. Always opt for gentle, granite-safe cleaners, and avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive materials. Regular cleaning with the right products can help your granite worktops maintain their beauty for years.

Cleaning your granite worktops

DIY vs Professional Cleaning and Maintenance of Granite Worktops

While homeowners themselves can often handle regular cleaning and maintenance of granite worktops, there are times when it’s best to call in a professional. Here’s a guide to help you decide:

DIY Cleaning and Maintenance

Routine cleaning and essential maintenance of granite worktops are tasks that homeowners can typically handle themselves. This includes daily cleaning with a mild, pH-neutral cleaner, removing minor stains with baking soda and water poultice, and using coasters and trivets to protect the surface.

Regular sealing of granite worktops is another task that homeowners can often do. Most granite sealers available on the market are easy to apply. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Professional Cleaning and Maintenance

In some cases, it’s best to call in a professional. This includes:

  1. Deep Cleaning: Professional deep cleaning may be necessary if your granite worktops have not been cleaned for a long time and have accumulated dirt and grime.
  2. Stain Removal: For stubborn stains that don’t respond to a baking soda poultice, a professional may be able to use specialized products or techniques to remove the stain.
  3. Repairing Damage: If your granite worktops have chips, cracks, or deep scratches, a professional should be called to repair the damage. Attempting to repair this damage yourself can often worsen the problem.
  4. Resealing: While homeowners can often do regular resealing if their worktops have not been sealed for a long time or if the sealant has been damaged by harsh chemicals, a professional resealing may be necessary.
  5. Polishing: If your granite worktops have lost their shine, professional polishing can restore their lustre. This process often involves specialized equipment and expertise.

While homeowners can handle many cleaning and maintenance tasks, don’t hesitate to call a professional when necessary. Whether DIY or professional, proper care and maintenance will help ensure your granite worktops remain beautiful and durable for many years.

Cleaning products for Granite worktops

Long-term Maintenance of Granite Worktops

Granite worktops are a long-term investment, and understanding the long-term maintenance requirements can help ensure they remain beautiful and functional for many years. Here’s what homeowners can expect:

Resealing Granite Worktops

One of the critical aspects of long-term granite worktop maintenance is resealing. The sealant that protects granite from stains and damage can wear away over time, and resealing helps maintain the stone’s resistance to moisture and stains.

The frequency of resealing can depend on several factors, including the granite type and colour, the sealant quality, and the amount of use the worktops see. On average, granite worktops should be resealed every 1-3 years. However, some darker granite types may not require resealing as frequently, while lighter granites might need it more often.

Signs That It’s Time to Reseal

There are a few signs that can indicate it’s time to reseal your granite worktops:

  1. Water Test: This is a simple test where you sprinkle a few drops of water on the surface of the granite. If the water beads up, the sealant is still effective. If the water spreads out or soaks into the granite, it’s time to reseal.
  2. Stains or Discolouration: If you notice stains or discolouration that weren’t there before, it could be a sign that the sealant has worn away, and liquids are penetrating the granite.
  3. Dullness: If your granite worktops have lost their shine, it could be a sign that the sealant has worn away. Resealing can often restore the lustre of the granite.

Long-term maintenance of granite worktops involves regular cleaning, periodic resealing, and being attentive to signs that the granite may need professional care. With proper maintenance, granite worktops can retain their beauty and durability for many decades.

Frequently Asked Questions About Granite Worktop Care and Maintenance

1. How often should I clean my granite worktops?

For daily maintenance, cleaning your granite worktops after each use is best. This helps prevent the build-up of dirt, grime, and potential stains. Use a soft cloth or sponge with a mild, pH-neutral cleaner for best results.

2. Can I use vinegar or bleach to clean my granite worktops?

No, using vinegar, bleach, or other acidic or harsh cleaners on granite is not recommended. These substances can damage the sealant and etch the surface of the granite, leading to dull spots or discolouration.

3. How often should I seal my granite worktops?

On average, granite worktops should be resealed every 1-3 years. However, this can vary depending on the granite type, the sealant’s quality, and the amount of use the worktops see. Perform a water test regularly to check the effectiveness of the sealant.

4. Can I cut directly on my granite worktops?

While granite is a hard stone that can withstand cutting, cutting directly on your worktops is not recommended. This can dull your knives and potentially scratch the granite. It’s best to use a cutting board.

5. What should I do if I spill wine or other acidic substances on my granite worktops?

If you spill wine, lemon juice, vinegar, or other acidic substances on your granite worktops, clean it up immediately. These substances can etch the granite and cause stains. Use a soft cloth or sponge with a mild, pH-neutral cleaner to clean the spill.

6. What should I do if my granite worktops become chipped or cracked?

If your granite worktops become chipped or cracked, it’s best to call in a professional. They can assess the damage and recommend the best course of action. Attempting to repair the damage yourself can often make the problem worse.

7. Can I stand or sit on my granite worktops?

No, standing or sitting on your granite worktops is not recommended. While granite is strong and durable, it’s not designed to bear people’s weight. This can lead to cracks or even cause the worktop to dislodge from the supporting cabinets.

troubleshooting granite problems

Troubleshooting Common Problems with Granite Worktops

Granite worktops are known for their durability and longevity but can still encounter some common problems over time. Here’s how to troubleshoot and address these issues:

Dull Spots

Dull spots, or “etching,” can occur when acidic substances come into contact with the granite. This can happen if acidic foods or cleaners are not cleaned up immediately. To restore the shine, you can try a granite polishing powder. Follow the instructions on the product, and test it on a small, inconspicuous area first. If the dull spots persist, you may need to call a professional to re-polish the surface.

Chips

Small chips in your granite worktops can often be repaired using a granite repair kit, which includes a clear light-curing acrylic (LCA) and a curing light. The LCA is applied to the chip; then, the curing light hardens it. Once set, the excess can be scraped off and the area polished to blend in with the rest of the worktop. For larger chips, it’s best to call in a professional.

Cracks

Similar to chip repair, minor cracks can sometimes be repaired with a granite repair kit. However, a professional should assess larger cracks or cracks affecting the worktop’s structural integrity. They may be able to fill and repair the crack or recommend replacing the worktop if the damage is severe.

Stains

Stains can be tackled by making a poultice with baking soda and water. Apply the poultice to the stain, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit for 24 hours. Then, remove the poultice and clean the area with a granite-safe cleaner. For stubborn stains, a professional may be able to use specialized products or techniques to remove the stain.

Regular cleaning and maintenance is the best way to prevent these common problems. Using coasters and trivets, cleaning up spills immediately, and resealing your worktops regularly can help keep them looking their best.

In Conclusion

Following these guidelines, you can effectively clean, polish, and care for your granite worktops, ensuring they remain a beautiful and durable addition to your home. Regular maintenance and proper care will help your worktops maintain their shine, resist staining, and provide you with many years of enjoyment.

However, we understand that life can get busy, and sometimes, despite your best efforts, your worktops may need professional attention. Whether it’s a minor scratch, a chip, something more severe, or simply time for a routine resealing, you can trust MGD to take care of it. Our team of professionals is fully equipped to handle any repairs or refreshes your granite worktops may need, ensuring they continue to add value and beauty to your home.

Remember, investing in granite worktops is not just about the initial installation. It’s about ongoing care and maintenance to ensure longevity and sustained elegance. At MGD, we’re committed to being your partner in this journey, providing high-quality granite worktops and the services and knowledge you need to keep them in pristine condition.

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