Countertops are a big industry - topping $80 billion worldwide annually. Natural stone, like granite, is still the (you’ll excuse the expression) biggest slice of that huge number. Anyone who’s had a granite countertop installed knows they don’t come cheap, but considering their durability and looks they’re an excellent investment, provided you keep them properly maintained.
While some granite countertops come with a limited warranty, most of those warranties are limited to things that hardly ever happen. Bottom line, especially if you’re not the original purchaser, you’re kind of on your own. So… the first rule of granite countertop maintenance is; be prudent and deliberate. Don’t rush into grabbing just anything to clean and polish with.
Signed, Sealed & Delivered
Pretty much all granite countertop installations come with the granite pre-sealed and the sealant can last from two to four years depending on the quality of the place you got it from. Most folks will tell you to reseal every year or two – more often if it starts developing dark spots. If your granite was already installed when you got the place, you’ll know generally it’s time to reseal when water stops beading up or spill are tougher to remove.
While properly sealing granite can be done by the DIYer, it’s not generally recommended. Between surface prep and ensuring you’ve got the right tools and supplies, you may find it a lot easier to have it done by a pro. The average cost for professional sealing tends to run from $0.70 to $1.50 per square foot. The average job takes about four hours. Your mileage may vary. It’s your call.
Keeping Granite Clean
That sealant keeps things from seeping into the stone. Despite it’s hard looks, granite is porous and liquids will soak in. To help preserve your granite and your sealant, it’s best to get after spill and messes right away. Despite what some well-intended companies will tell you, a specialty cleaner really isn’t required for cleaning. In most cases, mild soap, warm water and a good microfiber should take care of most everyday spills and messes. Wipe up water and dry your granite with a fresh, dry microfiber as quickly as possible to keep spotting to a minimum.
A Must To Avoid
Just say no to harsh cleaners, acid-based cleaners and abrasive scrubbers. That means no vinegar! Vinegar is acetic acid and a definite non-starter. Be extra careful with anything like a ScotchBrite™ Pad. Depending on what kind you get, some can be very abrasive - also a no-no for granite. Just don’t do it unless you’re absolutely sure you’ve got the non-abrasive type.
Wait… What? No Vinegar?
No vinegar. Everyone loves vinegar for natural household cleaning, but it’s not good for granite. It can weaken the sealant and dull the finish. If it’s keeping the surface clean and bacteria-free you’re concerned about, you’ve got lots of options. The simplest, and cheapest, is a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle with several drops of one of your favorite essential oils to make things smell nice. But, even so, test it on a small inconspicuous area first, just to be safe. Remember; prudent and deliberate.
Okay, It’s Clean, Now What?
After all the work you’ve done to clean and protect your granite, wouldn’t it be nice to have a little more peace of mind? You know, some kind of hedge against the unforeseen? Well… there’s good news my friends. Good news in the form of Flitz Ceramic Sealant.
Flitz Ceramic Sealant provides an extra layer of hydrophobic nano-ceramic protection for granite and all hard surfaces. It’s like giving your original granite sealant a hard quartz body suit. The easy to use, spray-on, wipe off formula turns your countertops into a hard, slick surface that literally repels water, and pretty much anything else that spills onto it.
Best of all, because one application of Flitz Ceramic Sealant lasts for 6 - 9 months or more indoors, that added protection also extends the life of your original granite sealant, reducing costs down the road. And speaking of reducing costs, you can use Flitz Ceramic Sealant on any hard surface in the home or garage (except floors), including faucets, fixtures, glass and more!
A granite countertop is a beautiful addition to any kitchen or bathroom. Keeping it looking its best not only enhances the looks, but keeps it on the job longer. Remember; prudent and deliberate and your granite can last a lifetime!
Also remember that we’re always here to help. If you’ve got questions, drop a note to email@example.com and we’ll be happy to assist!