Granite is a durable material. Even discount granite countertops are stronger than popular alternatives like laminate, ceramic tile, and butcher block. Granite is famously resistant to heat, cold, and force. However, it’s not invulnerable. There are some substances that are terrible for granite.
It’s important to protect your home investments. While you can find granite countertops at a cost that’s reasonable—especially for its beauty—it’s important to ensure your granite lasts as long as possible. Therefore, you should avoid all of the following. Here are the most common things that can destroy your granite countertops.
Raw meat is indirectly harmful to your countertops. This means that the actual fluid and residue that seeps from raw meat won’t instantly harm a granite surface. However, if you get into the habit of placing raw meat on a granite surface, taking advantage of granite’s durability, you’ll need to clean and disinfect your countertops more often. Some common countertop disinfectants like bleach and vinegar solutions are harmful to the surface and can actually discolor it. Some disinfectants can even wear down the protective sealant that keeps granite non-porous and hygienic.
So, should you just go ahead and expose yourself to potential illnesses like salmonella? No, just use a cutting board. That way, you won’t have to thoroughly disinfect your granite surfaces with harsh cleaners after every meal.
Nearly everyone has seen the horrid image of a glass of red wine spilling onto a perfect, white rug. These ads warn Americans about the dangers of red wine, the king of stains. Believe it or not, red wine is also bad for your granite countertops! It’s actually not the red color that does you in. Rather, it’s the acidity of the wine.
All acidic foods are dangerous for granite countertops, including citrus juice, wine, vinegar, and beauty products like nail polish remover. Acids can etch the surface, degrading its seal and exposing the vulnerable stone underneath to more stains. Acidic liquids are more likely to interact with the surface, so be sure to clean up acid spills or splatters with soap, water, and a soft cloth immediately. Dry your granite after cleaning to prevent water marks.
Granite is a stone that’s strong enough to support the weight of small appliances and cutting boards. However, it’s prone to damage from sharp objects like knives. Avoid using your granite surface as a cutting board. This can cause chips, scratches, dings, and other damage. Because granite is a natural stone, not an engineered surface, any chips or dislodged pieces cannot be replaced. The granite may return the favor by dulling your knives, so it’s in your best interest to keep knives to a cutting board.
There are very few, if any, surfaces that can handle direct impact from knives, so you should always protect your countertops. While granite composite countertops are enhanced with resins to be even stronger than natural granite, knives can damage these ultra-hardy surfaces, too.
The Superior Choice
Granite may not be invulnerable, but it’s fairly close to it. It’s practical for everyday use, and as long as you don’t expose your countertops to the substances above, they can last for many decades without damage.