Seal Porous Stone
While granite is porous and susceptible to staining, staining is easily avoided in most cases by applying a granite sealer when needed. Even if granite does become stained, those spots are relatively easy to remove with a granite poultice. Using a household granite cleaning spray or wipes will not remove stains from granite. This is because stains are absorbed inside the stone, beneath the surface.
Oil Stain in Granite Countertop
The granite color can give you a general idea of how likely it is that a specific slab of granite will stain.
- Darker granite colors (brown, blue, black) will be less porous, and staining is less likely. Some granite colors (like most black granite countertops) are so dense that they are nearly impossible to stain and do not need sealing.
- Lighter colors and in particular white granite countertops will be the most porous and the easiest to stain.
The trick to removing a granite stain is first knowing what substance caused the stain and then matching that to the correct chemical ingredient for removing that type of stain when making your poultice.
Granite Chip Repair
Pits and chips in granite countertops can occur when small bits of minerals come loose or are knocked out via an impact. Most often this happens around the sink. Some granites never get pits and others may chip or pit easily. So, you may never see a pit in your granite countertop, or you may have many over the years.
Granite chip repair is often done by filling the hole with a color-matched epoxy. This works but is often noticeable.
A better method is to fill the pits or chips with clear acrylic for a repair that is nearly invisible. An easy DIY project using a granite chip repair kit.
Granite Crack Repair
Finding a crack in your granite countertop is never fun, but it doesn’t always mean disaster. Granite crack repair is no easy task but depends on the type of crack. Hairline cracks often can be left alone, won’t cause problems, and won’t get worse.
Crack in Granite Countertop
Separated cracks need repair but will still be very visible if the repair is not done well. An experienced stone repair specialist can repair a crack and refinish the granite, so the repaired crack is essentially invisible.
Doctored Granite Countertops
Doctored granite is primarily an issue with black granite countertops. A dye is applied to black granite slabs while at the factory to make them a darker black which commands a higher price. This is a fraudulent practice, but doctored slabs can be difficult to detect and easily make it into the marketplace.
The problem here is that the dye can cause the granite to have an etching or discoloration issue where acidic foods, drinks, or cleaners create dull, chalky spots on the granite. Actually, in the dye.
Granite is not naturally reactive to acids and will not etch except in extreme circumstances with exposure to potent acids or repeated exposure to acids.
A doctored granite countertop is a real pain because there’s no easy fix.
Does Granite Harbor Bacteria?
In a study which tested six countertop materials, granite had the greatest reduction of e-coli bacteria count with “normal and reasonable” cleaning methods; better than stainless steel even.
Simple washing and rinsing reduce bacteria counts on granite nine times better than stainless steel.
The Center for Disease Control maintains that there’s no evidence that granite collects, holds, or harbors bacteria to any degree that is unsafe or unhygienic.
The Hospitality Industry and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health also state that granite is a clean and safe surface.
Quartz countertops are often touted as being cleaner but have tested about the same as granite and are not any cleaner.
Just like regularly washing your hands dramatically minimizes the chance of contracting a virus or developing an infection, wiping away all foods and spills throughout the day and then washing and rinsing the surface (or use a granite cleaner) daily, allows you to keep your kitchen countertops more or less safe and sanitized.
There you have it! The most effective granite countertop care method is simply to avoid damage, which will be easy to do now that you know all the do’s and don’ts of cleaning granite. But also, it’s good to know that if any damage does occur, like a stain, chip, or crack, it can usually be removed or repaired.
Finally, if you follow the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly routine for cleaning granite countertops, you’ll rarely run into problems and can maintain your counters in brilliant and beautiful condition with ease.