If you have granite counters in your home, dinner parties may fill you with dread. All the added activities in your kitchen can lead to some serious problems. Before you put an end to the festivities in an attempt to protect your granite counters, look at the list below. Here are six steps that will protect your granite counters.
1. Start With a Good Sealant
If your granite counters haven't been sealed in a while, have that service taken care of before your scheduled dinner party. Granite is a porous stone, which means that liquids will absorb quickly into your counters.
A quality sealant provides a layer of protection against moisture damage. For maximum protection, have a new layer of sealant applied as soon as you notice that water no longer beads when spilled on your counters.
2. Be Quick With the Cleanups
Because granite is a porous stone, you need to be quick with the cleanups, especially when dealing with substances that can stain - such as red wine, beets, and blueberry juice. Stains will set in quickly if not cleaned up properly. The best way to clean stains is to use a soft, damp cloth. If your counters do become stained, use a baking soda paste to remove the discoloration.
There are a variety of other natural do-it-yourself methods to remove minor stains from your granite counters. When cleaning your granite counters, avoid the use of harsh chemicals or acidic substances, such as lemon juice. Harsh chemicals and anything acidic can cause damage to your granite.
3. Keep the Heat Away
If you plan to use your counters as serving space during your dinner party, protect the granite from contact with direct heat. While granite counters are heat-resistant, they can still suffer burns and cracks from direct contact. To avoid that, always use hot pads and trivets when you place hot pots, pans, or dishes on your granite counters.
Also, if you plan to use crock pots or electric roasters, protect your counters with a soft towel or large hot pad. The heat that's generated from these types of appliances can ruin your counters.
4. Watch the Oils and Lotions
If your recipes call for oil, or you have hand lotion in your kitchen, watch for damage to your granite. Hand lotions and oils - including coconut and olive oils - will leave marks and discoloration on your granite counters, especially if spills and splatters aren't cleaned up quickly.
If you do develop oil-related stains on your granite counters, use the same baking soda paste you use to clean up other types of stains. Deep stains will require professional attention, however.
5. Take Care With the Knives
Granite is one of the strongest surfaces you can choose for your kitchen counters. However, your counters should never be used as a cutting board. Knives can leave deep scratches and grooves in the counter.
Kitchen ware can also cause scratches, so your small kitchen appliances and dishes should never be pulled across your granite counters.
As a word of caution, if you have cats, keep them off the counters. Their nails can leave small scratches in the surface of the granite.
6. End With a Service Call
If your dinner party ends with discoloration and damage to your granite counters, schedule a service call. Cracks, chips, scratches, and significant stains should be repaired by someone who's trained in the care of granite surfaces.
If you have granite counters in your home, the tips provided here will help protect them throughout your dinner party. For questions and concerns regarding your granite counters, contact the professionals at Best Marble & Granite Company. They can provide you with the assistance you need to keep your counters in tiptop shape.