Installing granite in your kitchen is a great investment in the value of your home, but it’s an expensive one. Therefore, it’s important to take proper care of them to ensure they stay in brand new condition long after they’ve been installed.

It’s a common misconception that granite countertops are effortless. In reality, granite countertops in Lewisville and Flower Mound, TX require regular maintenance to keep it looking beautiful. Besides just cleaning, you’ll need to make sure the granite is sealed periodically to protect your investment.

Heed these tips on how to care for your granite countertops so you can keep them looking wonderful for years to come.

Do: Blot spills immediately – Acidic substances like wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce and sodas can potentially stain the surface.

Do: Clean the surface with a soft cloth or sponge – Clean daily with a few drops of dishwashing soap. Rinse with clean water and then dry with a soft cloth. There’s no need to use chemicals or specialty cleaners every day.

Do: Use coasters, trivets and hot pads – You can take a hot pot off of the stove and put it directly on granite countertops, but it is possible for granite to suffer thermal shock and crack, so it’s best to take precautions to avoid it.

Don’t: Clean with generic cleaning products – bleach, glass cleaners, de-greasers or other common household cleaners that you buy at your local store contain acids, alkalis and other chemicals that will degrade the granite sealer (and will etch marble) leaving the stone more vulnerable to staining.

Don’t: Clean with vinegar – Fans of ‘green’ cleaning may rely on vinegar for cleaning most household items, but when it comes to cleaning, skip the vinegar. Vinegar and other highly acidic substances can actually etch the surface of your granite, stripping it of its shine and leaving etch marks in it.

Sealing is a regular maintenance task for granite that cannot be ignored. There is a simple test that you can do to determine if your countertops need to be sealed again. Splash a little water on the surface of the countertop.  Watch to see if the water sits on the countertop in small bead-like shapes or flows freely. Re-seal the countertop when water splashed on the surface no longer beads up.