How To Restore Your Granite Countertop

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It has happened to all of us.  You purchase a brand new granite countertop because you were assured that it was all but indestructible. That superman himself could come down and the countertop wouldn’t yield to his attack. Okay, perhaps we’re being a bit hyperbolic, but it’s only so that we could underline our point. Our granite countertops were supposed to be almost indestructible and that didn’t prove to be exactly the case.

Sure, granite countertops are probably one of the most enduring and toughest counters a person can equip in their kitchen, but they aren’t indestructible. We found that out after a few years when we ended up with a counter that looked a bit lifeless and dull. It was at this point that we wondered not only what we did wrong but how we could salvage the countertop. This set us on a journey that was a bit windy but has ended up with us writing this article helping people to bring their granite counters back to life.

In this article, we’re going to help all of our readers access and fix their granite counters. Although not all damage to a granite countertop is reversible, there are many things that a homeowner can do to “fix” their counters. We’re going to share some of our tips that will help our readers access and hopefully repair their countertops. We feel that if we can help just one person restore their counter back to its former glory, it’d be worth it.

Access Your Countertops

The first thing that you’re going to want to do is to take a good hard look at your counters and take an assessment of the damage that might have occurred to them. In our opinion, there are three different states that your counter might be in and these are Light, Medium, or Heavy damage states. We’re going to examine each of these states below so that all of you can determine where you should begin with your countertop recovery efforts.

Light Damage

If you look at your granite countertop and notice that it’s dull, then you might want to consider if it’s actually the surface of the counter or if something is obstructing the real surface of the counter. Soap film can buildup on counters and that can give them a dull look. Another thing that can make the counter look dull is hard water. Hard water will leave a deposit of minerals on the counter that will make the counter look lifeless.

To solve these problems, you will want to get a soap scum remover. These removers do a great job of removing soap film so that the counter is restored back to its former glory. It will also do a great job of dealing with mineral buildup on the counters that happen from a high mineral content.

When using a soap scum remover, just be sure that it’s safe to use with your granite counters. Some of them are and some of them aren’t, so it’s important to read the label on the product so that you don’t do any inadvertent damage to the granite.

Medium Damage

If your counters don’t have soap scum or hard water buildup on them and they still look dull, then they might have light etching on them that gives them a dull appearance. Etching can occur from the acids in food eating away at its surface. Acidic foods include pineapples, oranges, lemons, limes, tomatoes, soda, tea, coffee, wine, or vinegar.

To fix light etching from granite, you’re going to need to use a polishing powder that’s specifically designed for use with natural stone countertops. Although different polishing products are used in different ways, they are usually a powder that’s mixed with water to form a paste. It’s this paste that’s then used to polish the counter using a soft cloth.

When using a polishing powder, you should know that it’s very important to follow the directions on the product to the letter. It’s also important to know that most polishing powders are extremely abrasive, so if they’re not used properly they can do more damage than they remove. Therefore, be careful, and if you’re not comfortable with the process, then hire a professional.

Heavy Damage

Let’s say that you’ve tried to remove grease, soap scum, and hard water stains from your counter, have tried to polish it out, and it still has damage. If it does, then you might need to refinish the granite counter. The fact of the matter is that if the counter is severely damaged, then there’s nothing that can fix it then it will need to be resurfaced.

Unfortunately, resurfacing isn’t something that should be accomplished by the average person. It needs to be done by a qualified professional who has experience resurfacing granite. The logical choice to look for a professional would be the company that installed your granite counter in the first place, but if they can’t do it, then look for a stone restorer in your area.

Maintain Your Granite Counter

If you have new granite counters or have just had them resurfaced, then you’re going to want to make sure that they remain in good shape for many years to come. To keep your granite in good condition, you’re going to want to make sure that take care of your granite. Below are some tips to consider when you’re thinking about the best way to keep your granite in tip-top condition.

The first thing that you should do is to make sure that you use a stone care cleaner on a daily basis. It’s also a good idea to give the counters a proper deep cleaning using a product that’s capable of removing grease, hard water, and soap scum buildup. If the counter has stains, it’s important to treat them with a polishing compound as needed.

When using granite care products, it’s important to avoid household cleaning products that aren’t specifically designed for granite. That means no bleach, vinegar, ammonia, or products that are abrasive like most of the scouring products that are available.

It’s also a good idea to keep acidic foods off of the counter. Although we can go through all of the foods with high acidic content, we can list some of the most common culprits: tomatoes, citrus fruits, coffee, tea, wine, and alcohol. Make sure to promptly wipe up stains as well and use cutting boards for cutting, and hot pads for placing hot pans instead of using the counter for those purposes.

Don’t Forget To Reseal

The last thing that we’d like to recommend is that you reseal your granite counter every once in a while. Ask your granite installer what’s the best granite sealer for your counter, or check out some of our reviews. Resealing your granite counter will keep it in good condition for a long time to come. Resealing, and following all of our other tips, will ensure that you always have a beautiful granite counter to use.

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