North America will probably never fully get over their love of granite countertops. Although the current trend favors stones with less busy veins like quartz and marble, granite still remains immensely popular in the US and Canada. It’s easy to understand why too. Not only does it look nice (and add some home value), these countertops are super durable. But while granite can take a beating more than other countertop materials, there are a few things you shouldn’t do on them. If you want to keep your granite looking good, avoid doing these things on them.
1. Working With Raw Meat
One of the biggest benefits of stone countertops like granite is that they keep bacteria away better than materials like tile where the grout would soak up bacteria, dirt, and germs. Although a well-seal granite should keep away the bacteria from raw meat there is still a risk that it can work its way into the microscopic holes in the stone.
Working with raw meat on granite won’t necessarily hurt the stone, but it might hurt you if it ends up on another food item. The issue with granite is that it’s not great to use harsh chemicals to clean and this is what most people tend to do after using raw meat. So just do yourself a favor and stick to working with meat on a cutting board.
2. Treating It Like A Cutting Board
Yes, granite is a hard stone that can stand up well to sharp objects. But that doesn’t mean you should use your granite countertop as a cutting board. As we mentioned with the raw meat, cleaning up after food prep with harsh cleaners can cause more issues for your stone. Plus, the stone will end up dulling and chipping your knives. So again, use a cutting board instead of working right on your countertop.
3. Using Acidic Items
No, we’re not talking about some crazy science experiment with acid, we’re referring to the acidic nature of some foods. Vinegar, citrus fruits, soft drinks, and products like lotion, nail polish, and perfuse can eat away at the surface and seal on your granite. These items may stain your countertop permanently. Be sure to use cutting boards, coasters, and clean up any spills right away.
4. Not Cleaning Up Spills
Accidents happen, especially in the kitchen. Spills are inevitable, but make sure you clean them up in a timely manner. If a spill sits for too long it can etch away at the seal on the granite, opening it up to stains and further damage. Clean up spills with hot soapy water or approved granite cleaner.
5. Putting Hot Pans Directly On It
Granite is an igneous rock, so it can handle the heat from hot pots and pans. Briefly placing a hot item on it won’t hurt it. However, it’s the sealants that get weakened by excessive heat. And it’s the sealants that protect your stone from stains. So while it won’t be the end of the world if you place a hot pan on your granite countertops, we don’t recommend you do it regularly or leave it for long. Use trivets and potholders to protect your granite’s sealant and keep it looking good long-term.
6. Sitting or Standing On the Countertop
Granite is a natural rock, which makes it tough but it also means there are fissures, striations, and veins. These are part of what makes granite a beautiful stone, but these are also points of vulnerability. Standing or sitting on these weak points could lead to cracking in the stone. So make sure you don’t climb or stand on your granite. Use a latter if you need to change light bulbs, paint, or reach something.
Although granite isn’t as popular as it was during its peak in the mid-2000’s, it’s still a wonderful stone to use in kitchens. It’s a tough countertop that will hold up for years, but it still needs to be treated right to make sure it lasts long and stays looking good. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or want to get started building your own custom home, complete with beautiful granite countertops.