When granite countertops receive the basic TLC they deserve, they will reward you with exceptional good looks for decades.
This granite countertop care and maintenance guide covers everything you need to know to keep your counters gleaming bright and free of stains. It helps immensely that today’s granite sealers and sealing processes are better than ever, so yearly applications of sealer are a thing of the past.
If you’re more comfortable adding a fresh coat of sealer on an annual basis, there’s no reason not to. However, it might not be necessary. Your countertop retailer or installer will be able to provide you with the best information about ongoing sealing of the specific countertop material you select.
Daily Care of Granite Countertops
There are a few things everyone in the household can do to limit the risk of stains on your gorgeous granite:
- Do not allow oil or acidic liquids like fruit juice, tomato products and coffee to remain on countertops for more than a few minutes
- Keep wet objects from resting on the granite
- Wipe up spills with a damp cloth and follow with a dry cloth
- Keep coasters handy, or even better, set glasses elsewhere
- Avoid placing liquid soap dispensers directly on granite because the soap can seep into the countertop, causing a stain
- Don’t store liquid products of any kind on your granite surfaces
Cleaning Tips for Granite Countertops
Granite usually needs nothing more than a damp cloth for daily cleanup. However, when occasional cleaning is required, follow these granite cleaning guidelines:
- Clean countertops with one of the excellent products from brands like Tenax or Lustro Italiano specially formulated for granite
- Cleaners containing citrus, ammonia, vinegar or scrubbing agents (even if they say “soft”) are not suitable for granite
- Avoid standard cleaners such as dish soap because they might leave a residue on the granite that will dull its brilliance
- All-purpose cleaners are not the best products to use on granite
Cooking Near Granite Countertops
These simple tips will prevent avoidable problems:
- While granite is heat resistant, it still makes sense to use a hot pad or trivet between a hot pot and granite
- Prevent grease from splattering onto granite, and wipe it up immediately if it does
- Sharp knives might cut the sealer on your granite countertop, making it susceptible to stains, so use a cutting board in food preparation
Granite Countertop Maintenance and Care FAQ
If you have questions about granite care we haven’t yet answered, you might find the information below.
Does a sealer prevent stains?
No. It is better said that a quality sealer slows down the penetration of liquid into the granite. When your countertops are properly sealed with a quality product, you have more time to clean up the substance before it can seep into the granite pores and cause stains that are difficult to remove.
Can stains be removed from granite?
Sometimes they can be removed. If the stain is caused by water, then it should dry over time and disappear.
If the stain is caused by oil, soap or an acidic substance, it will take more than time to remove it. Purchase a quality stain remover poultice product that will work to absorb the stain-causing substance out of the granite. Follow the directions carefully.
Can granite chips and cracks be repaired?
Yes they can! There are many excellent granite repair products on the market that allow you to fill the chip or crack with epoxy that is tinted to closely match your countertop color. More details are found in the Granite Countertop Repair Guide.
Is Granite worth the hassle?
Let’s start by saying that granite care and maintenance is a lot less hassle today than it was a decade ago. This is true primarily because next-generation sealers and processes are outstanding. Having said that, granite does take more TLC than a few other low-maintenance materials. If you follow the simple, low-hassle tips on this page, your granite countertops should look awesome for many years to come.
What countertops require less care and maintenance?
All countertops need to be cared for to look their best. Some of the materials that are more resistant to staining, like solid surface and laminate, are less resistant to heat than granite. So, it helps to know exactly what aspect of care and maintenance you have in mind. On this site, you’ll find care and maintenance guides for all the materials we cover, so you can compare them head to head in this important area.
Now, if you’re asking specifically about stain resistance, here is a short list of materials that handle potential stain-causers better than granite:
- Stainless steel
- Solid surface
On the other hand, granite offers better stain resistance than wood (butcher block and reclaimed), marble and concrete. Ceramic tile is more resistant to stain, but the grout used in tiling is less stain resistant than granite.
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