(Photo by Patrick Cline, Lonny June July 2010)
Granite is an excellent choice for kitchen counters because it is attractive, durable, heat resistant and low maintenance. However "low maintenance" should not be confused with "no maintenance." In order to maintain proper function and aesthetics, daily, weekly and annual maintenance should be followed. DAILY:
Wipe up spills and stains as they occur using nothing but a soft cloth, dampened with warm water (micro-fivers clothes work best). WEEKLY:
Granite should be cleaned thoroughly, once a week. Use a soft cloth and a mild (neutral PH) dish washing liquid soap. Another product that I personally use is Murphy's Oil Soap.ANNUALLY:
In order to maintain/restore the granite's luster and help prevent staining, granite should be sealed every year. (More often if the area is heavily used and perhaps every two years if it gets light use.) There are two types of sealers: topical and penetrating. Topical sealers treat the surface only. They tend to darken the color a bit. We prefer to use penetrating sealers at my company. These sealers actually absorb into the granite and offer better protection while not affecting a color change. In any case, follow the manufacture's directions regarding application.
Proper maintenance doesn't take long and is actually very simple. If these steps are followed, your granite will look like new for decades.David Domenichini is owner and operator of D.R. Domenichini Construction and has been a general contractor for 20 years. His business is located in San Martin, California. www.drdcon.com