Holiday gatherings revolve around the kitchen, whether it's just you and your family or a big celebration. As the holiday season gets underway, it's the best time to get your kitchen in shape and up to the task of preparing all the tasty treats that get you in the holiday spirit.
If your granite countertops aren't looking their best, we have a quick guide for you to get your countertops looking great and keeping them clean and protected throughout the holiday season and beyond. It's not difficult to take these steps to care for your granite countertops correctly, and you'll appreciate how good they look during your holiday festivities.
Thanksgiving is a holiday for enjoying comforting, classic food with loved ones. It's a celebration that can really do a number on your counters, so here are some tips for granite countertop care during the holidays.
Sealing Your Granite Counters
It's important to make sure your granite countertops are well-sealed. It's recommended that you reseal them about once a year if they get a lot of use, so sealing them just before the holidays is a great way to keep track.
There's a simple test you can do to determine whether your granite needs to be resealed. Place just a couple of drops of lemon juice on the counter in a discreet spot. If it gets absorbed within a minute or so, your counters probably need to be resealed. If it just sits on the surface for longer than a minute, your sealant is still holding up well.
If you do need to reseal your counters, make sure you do it at least a week before your holiday preparations.
Use Cutting Boards
Holiday meal preparation can take over the entire kitchen. Be sure that you have plenty of cutting boards on hand to use during your cooking and when you carve the bird. While you won't scratch hard stone countertops with a knife, it can dull your knife blade. And though you're not going to scratch your counters, acids from foods can degrade the counter's surface, creating dull areas. Using cutting boards is an easy way to protect your counters.
Protect Countertops from Heat
Before you start worrying, rest assured that your granite countertops are very heat resistant. Granite is formed from igneous rock, which is created as magma cools enough to solidify, which happens at still very high temperatures. This means it's very unlikely that your granite countertops will be damaged by heat.
However, even though the stone itself is heat resistant, the sealant that is used to keep liquids from absorbing into the porous stone is more susceptible to heat damage. The sealant can weaken when exposed to excessive heat for too long, which means your counters will be more likely to stain or dull.
Using hot pads or trivets will help your sealant last longer, keeping your counters looking great.
Clean Up Promptly
The best way to care for your granite countertops during the holidays is simply to clean up any messes or spills promptly, especially when it's something like wine or lemon juice, or anything else acidic. The best way to clean your granite countertops is with a gentle dish soap, warm water, and a microfiber cloth. If you've got a tougher mess, use the nonabrasive products that are recommended by the countertop manufacturer.