Wood surfaces, glass windows, carpeted floors – there’s a lot to think about when you use cleaning products around the home. Your kitchen cabinets fill up with a dozen different bottles, each engineered and specially-designed to clean a specific type of surface. But what about granite? Do you really need to find a specific brand for your granite countertop, or are there some around-the-house remedies that work just as well? Don’t waste your money – find out how to clean granite countertops the easy and effective way.
Can You Use Windex?
For those of you with a lot of granite or marble in your countertop space, you know how great the material can be. Not only is it easy to maintain, it’s easy to clean up – provided you know how to do it. There’s a reason granite is more expensive in the first place: it makes your life easier.
There is a lot of debate on whether Windex is the answer to cleaning granite. Although windex goes on smooth and comes off dry, a lot of people think that over time, Windex will actually erode the finish of your granite countertop.
So what do the experts recommend? Isopropyl rubbing alcohol. The generally-neutral pH of the alcohol means that it won’t wear down your granite over time, and the finish occurs quickly and painlessly.
Sealing Granite Countertops
Sealing granite countertops sounds like a difficult process if you’ve never tried it before. But once you actually have some how-to instructions, it’s as easy as following a recipe.
First, make sure that you have a good sealant from a local hardware store – simply by asking around at the store, you should be able to find the right product for you. Let them know what you plan on doing and describe exactly the type of surface you have; it’s important that you let them know what your surface is exactly so they can give you the right sealant.
Make sure that you clear off your granite countertop before you apply the sealant – make sure to follow any directions on the bottle for its application, and then you can get to work. Make sure no one sets anything down on the counter until it’s dried off; after it’s dried, you usually want to apply another thin layer to ensure a proper coating.
And that’s it! It’s just like sealing a driveway or applying primer before a coat of paint.
How to Care for Your Granite Countertop
Sealing your granite countertop will go a long way to making sure that it has a long and durable life in your kitchen. But there are other ways you can ensure that your countertop is properly taken care of.
First, you have to make sure to use the right cleaners – this article recomends isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Windex can work in the short-term, but may ultimately cause long-term damage. While it may be tempting to use more “available cleaners” when you don’t have much time, you’ll maintain your granite countertop better with isopropyl alcohol.
Second, simply keep up good habits day-to-day. Avoid putting metal objects on the granite countertops when you can; if you have children, make sure they follow these rules, as well. A scratch here or a knick there won’t ruin the countertop, but a lifetime of abuse can ultimately lower the quality of your countertop and change the entire look of your kitchen. So make sure that you keep up good habits, continue to clean your granite, and make sure that your sealant is hearty.