Granite countertops give your kitchen or bath a beautiful, luxurious look. The fact that they are very durable and will last a long time is a definite benefit to purchasing granite countertops. However, because they will be your counters for such a long time means that they could begin showing some wear and tear over the years. One of the most common complaints is that the surface looks dull, especially if a previous homeowner did not clean them properly. You may think you need to call a granite company nearby to get a professional to come and bring back the shine in your counters however, it is possible you can do it yourself by following a few simple steps.
Before getting into how to bring back the shine of your counters, it is important to go over a few tips on cleaning your counters each day. In addition, before you try to polish your counters, you will want to be sure that any layers of dirt, grime, or other substances have been removed. Clean the surface with a mild soap or a cleaner that is specifically designed for granite. Using a soft cloth, clean the surface thoroughly. Rinse any soap residue and then dry the counters with a dry, soft cloth. You will want to be sure to dry the counter thoroughly before attempting to polish the surface. When choosing cleaners for your granite, experts on granite say not to use those that contain ammonia, bleach, lemon, lime, or vinegar as the acid can damage the surface.
One thing to note is that the dullness on your countertops may simply be a buildup of soap, especially if the wrong type of cleaners were used on the surface in the past. You can purchase soap film removers designed specifically for granite that will remove both mineral and soap buildup. In some cases, this may be all you need to bring back the original shine of your granite counters.
If soap film remover does not bring back the shine of your counters, we suggest a commercial granite polish. Be sure to choose a polish that is granite safe as some polishes contain acids that will permanently damage your counters. You can find polishes in both wet and dry varieties, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Dry polish is usually less expensive and can be converted to a wet polish just by adding water. Dry polish is sometimes better at removing small scratches while you will need polishing pads for wet polish. Follow the manufacturer’s directions closely and remember that different polishes have different instructions. For example, one polish may need to be left on overnight while another can be buffed in a few hours.
Make Your Own Polish
It is possible to make your own polish with ingredients you already have in your kitchen. Again, be sure that what you create is not acidic. One that we find safe and effective is to combine three cups of warm water with one-quarter cup of baking soda. Mix together until baking soda is completely dissolved and apply to your counters with a soft cloth. Use another dry soft cloth to buff the surface. Remove any polish that remains using a damp cloth and fresh warm water.
If you have stains on your granite counters, you may need to use some elbow grease to remove them. You can find commercial products that are designed to remove stains from granite, but you can also make your own. Spray the stain with water, then mix a paste of baking soda and water. The paste should be the consistency of toothpaste. Cover the stain with the paste and cover with plastic wrap. Leave the poultice for 24 hours before cleaning with water and a soft cloth. Continue the process until the stain is completely removed. If the stain is wine or another acid-based substance, use corn starch instead of baking soda. You can also rent a power polisher, a machine designed to remove tough stains from granite. You will want to be very careful with this machinery as too much pressure can damage the surface while not using enough pressure may not give you the results you want. Granite companies nearby suggest speaking to a professional before using machinery on your granite countertops.
If after polishing your countertops you still find them to be dull or scratched, it may be time for a fresh layer of sealant. Most sealants last between three and five years which may be the reason your counters have a dull appearance, or they seem to scratch more easily. One way to learn if your granite needs sealing is by spilling a puddle of water on the surface. Set a stopwatch to see how long it takes the area under the water to grow darker. If it darkens in ten minutes or less, it is time to seal your counters. It is possible to seal your granite counters yourself, but keep in mind it can be time-consuming, and getting the sealant even can be tricky. It may be better to have a professional seal the counters for you.
Granite countertops can look beautiful for many years if they are maintained properly. Be sure to use the proper cleaning supplies and, if you notice your counters have grown dull, there are a few things you can try to bring back the original shine. If you think your granite counters need to be resealed, be sure to talk to Marble Concepts to see how we can help you bring back that stunning gleam that led you to install granite in the first place. Our team can also help you if you believe it is time to replace your granite counters or if you are considering installing them in your kitchen or bathroom. Contact us today by calling 215-396-7393 or fill out the easy online form. We will guide you through the entire process and help bring your countertop dreams to reality.