The kitchen is typically your biggest investment. The kitchen is also the epicentre of bacteria, germs, and dirt – your bathroom is also a firm contender. This is especially true if you do a lot of cooking in the home – if you’ve seen restaurant prices lately, then why wouldn’t you cook spaghetti three times a week in your home?
If you have recently redesigned your kitchen, then you may have spent the largest portion of your budget on genuine granite countertops. Since this potentially consisted of a hefty price-tag, you need to take great care of your counters so your money doesn’t go down the tube.
It starts by maintenance. But how? Here are five tips for cleaning your newly installed granite countertops:
1. Just Clean Your Countertops When Dirty
Because our schedules are always crammed, and our energy levels crash towards exhaustion, it can oftentimes be difficult to ensure our homes look like they just came out of a Martha Stewart magazine.
That said, since your granite countertops likely cost you a pretty penny during the last home renovation, you want to ensure that they not only look in great shape, but they will have a lengthy lifespan.
How do you achieve this? Just clean them when they are dirty, whether it’s a stain or a spill.
A short but regular daily cleaning is essentially all you need. It won’t take too much effort either: grab a little bit of dish soap, add some water, and wipe down the countertops.
This little routine will make your countertops look brand new every single day of the year.
2. Remove Nuisance Stains with a Mixture
Nuisance stains are the absolute worst: dark spots, rings, oil stains – the works. Don’t you fret. There are ways you can permanently remove these lingering marks.
You have three options:
- Create a paste mixture of baking soda and water, which you then place on the stain for 24 hours covered in plastic wrap.
- Dab a small amount of cornstarch on the stain and cover it with plastic.
- Mix flour and dish soap and rub the mixture onto the oil stain or ring.
Should any of these kinds of stains arise, you can be confident that you can remove them.
3. Protect Your Countertops when Cooking or Eating
Yes, stains can be frustrating to witness, but the question is: how did they get there in the first place?
In other words, you need to implement protective measures while you’re cooking, eating, or entertaining guests. By taking preventative steps, you don’t need to worry too much about cleaning.
Here are several things you can do:
- Place a cutting board on the countertop when cutting vegetables.
- Eating in the kitchen? Use placemats when dining.
- Keep coasters around if you’re drinking soda, wine, or juice in the kitchen.
- Be sure to have plenty of paper towels around.
Foods that contain plenty of oil or liquids that have coloured dyes are the enemy. It is your job to put the kibosh on them before it gets out of hand.
4. Is Your Countertop Completely Sealed?
Here is a question that many homeowners never thought to ask – or would know how to answer. Is your countertop completely and correctly sealed?
Because they are made of natural stone and every individual slab is unique, most manufacturers seal slabs before they are shipped out – it is still important to reapply sealant regularly. So, what should you do?
You have a couple of options. First, contact the manufacturer and see if your countertop needs sealing. Second, perform the water bead test: drop a couple of drops of water on your countertop to see if it beads up; if it doesn’t, then you need to seal your granite countertops.
5. Ditch the Harsh Chemicals
For whatever reason, we think the more and harsher chemicals, the cleaner our home is. It may seem counterintuitive, but this is not necessarily the case. You could have tons of bleach, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and a dash of lemon, and it won’t add more or less than you would with soap and water.
Moreover, any industry expert will recommend to avoid utilizing products that consist of acidic ingredients or are abrasive on the outside. This would consist of everything from ammonia to scour pads. Yes, you love your Lysol, but it may not be really necessary in the end.
Studies have found that most homeowners invest the most money into their kitchens. This makes sense considering that granite slabs cost as much as $100 per square foot – even faux granite countertops can cost you quite a lot of loonies.
You don’t want your investment to go down the drain, correct? Don’t let it. By incorporating a brief but efficient daily cleaning task into your routine, you can take comfort in the fact that your investment is not eroding, and you can always invite someone over to have coffee in the kitchen – let’s face it: you want to make them jealous!