Installing granite in your kitchen brings a level of sturdiness and reliability to your countertops that is unmatched by other materials. But some homeowners are concerned about the level of safety with this type of surface due to the fact that granite can be porous and allow for the absorption of food-borne bacteria.
That can make it incredibly hard to disinfect, right? Wrong. Any countertop, no matter what it’s made from, can become infected with the fluids and germs of food stuffs that are placed upon it for any length of time. For instance, if you leave raw chicken on your countertop for even a few minutes, you run the risk of salmonella poisoning.
Clean and disinfect the area and you have nothing to worry about. It’s the same thing with your granite countertops, you just need to clean and disinfect the area as you would any other surface. But, wait a minute, granite can be a porous material and easily absorb this bacteria so that it continues to reside in the granite stone itself. That can’t possibly be safe or healthy and it could permanently damage the surface.
Yes and no. For starters, all granite countertops are made from similar types of this form of stone and food-borne germs could seep in if left unchecked. But this 99% unlikely to ever happen because your granite countertop has been completely sealed. It’s a mandatory step in the processing of granite for use in homes.
In fact, the only way your granite countertop might be exposed to the harmful impacts that are set upon week in and week out is if the stone has been improperly sealed from the manufacturer or you’ve had the countertop in the home for a long period of time and the sealant coating has eroded.
Checking Your Sealant
Homeowners concerned about the reliability of their sealed granite chantilly va can find out if their countertop is safe or if it’s in need of a proper sealant application. The good news is, the test couldn’t be simpler to perform.
Get a small glass of water, you don’t even need to fill it with very much. Go to your countertop and pour out some of it right on the granite surface. Watch closely how the liquid reacts. If the water beads up and dissipates, then you have a properly sealed granite countertop and you need not worry about bacteria seeping into it through the surface.
However, if the water begins to get slowly absorbed into the countertop, then your granite is exposed and in need of sealing. Check a number of spots on the countertop, spill a little bit of water in various areas to see if the same reaction is visible each time.
This could help you determine if the sealant has been worn away in just certain areas or if the problem is significantly more wide-ranging across the full expanse of your granite.
Disinfecting Your Surfaces
OK, so let’s assume you tried the water trick and it beaded up almost immediately. That means your granite is in good shape and the sealant has been properly applied. So now what? Disinfecting the granite countertops in your home is more about what you shouldn’t do than what you should.
If we’re focusing on the what you shouldn’t do first, avoid those abrasive cleansers and sponges that can be harmful to the surface of the granite.
Anything that has ammonia or bleach as well as any acidic ingredients such as vinegar or citrus must be discarded because these elements can have a damaging effect on the sealant and the granite itself.
If you discovered that the countertop that you have had in your home for a decade or more can no longer pass the water test, you might want to think about what you’ve been using to clean it all of these years. If you have been using those abrasive cleansers we’ve just mentioned, then you might know why.
Even the sponges you’ve been using may have too rough a surface for scrubbing your granite countertop. Opt instead for softer cloths made of microfiber as even paper towel may be too harsh for use.
As for an alternative to those abrasive store bought cleansers, you don’t need much more to disinfect your granite than some isopropyl alcohol, dish soap, and warm water. Mix it all together, spray the counters and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping your granite surfaces gently and thoroughly.
Do this each and every time you place any raw foods with heavy bacterial content or fluids from same on your countertops and you need not worry about the surface absorbing those germs.