All countertops require personalised attention for maintenance because granite is manufactured from several minerals. Even if two identical stones come from the same mine, the resultant granite is unlikely to be the same.
Proper care can ensure that your granite countertop retains its beauty and longevity. While the polished finished is the standard for most granite countertops, a honed or a flat finish is all the more attractive. It’s, however, not recommended to be used in kitchens. Over time, daily use lends a natural polish to some of the areas. A polished granite surface is the easiest to maintain. Regular cleaning and using sealers can prevent staining.
Granite countertops are strong and can withstand falls of soups and similar materials. Polished surfaces, however, are more delicate. Never use the countertop as a cutting surface. Use a board instead. Avoid spills of acetic foods like vinegar, soft drinks or lemon juice. Clean the surface thoroughly with water whenever it happens. Abrasive cleansers, both powder and liquid, removes the polished shine of the countertop. Use water again for cleaning, preferably with a dishwashing liquid and don’t leave any streaks on the surface. Ensure that the liquid is properly pH balanced.
While granite is recognised for its toughness, some of its components could be soft. Existence of these minerals makes granite prone to scratch, or breaking along the grain. Avoid dragging pans, pots and appliances across the surface. Even a grain of sugar could scratch the polished surface. Scratches could mar an otherwise beautiful surface.
It’s advisable to apply a penetrating sealant every year. Regular polishing would keep the finish gleaming. Use a sealant which has been recommended by the manufacturer. Don’t use stone sealers that won’t penetrate the stone. These could create a hazy surface which has to be removed by stripping the entire countertop. The glossy finish of a granite countertop is caused by expert diamond polishing tools.