The dirty truth about white granite: how to keep it clean
Friday, 12th June 2015, Paul Dore
The absolute height of kitchen sophistication isn’t that under cupboard LED colour-changing lighting, nor the fancy wine chiller which stores all your prosecco. It is, of course, a solid, smooth granite worktop. While the other gadgets are nice, they drop in and out of fashion; ripped out when new owners move in or when existing owners need to convert their chic kitchen into one which better suits the demands of family life. That’s when strong, durable elements - such as granite - really prove their worth.
With so many beautiful colours and styles to choose from, granite can seamlessly blend in to any style of kitchen. While darker shades appear to be the most popular, shoppers shouldn’t disregard white varieties, which include Brazilian Dilactus with black, grey and gold flecks running though it and the prized Bethel White, which was used throughout Union Station in Washington DC.
Image courtesy of Learjet at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
However, many people shy away from stunning white granite as they believe it unpractical and a pain to keep clean. Not so; let us tell you the dirty truth about keeping white granite pristine.
How to keep white granite clean
There’s a worry that white granite will show up spills and marks more so than the darker alternatives. Yes, of course it will, it’s white. White anything shows up marks more obviously than black. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep it clean, though.
Ideally, your worktop will be sealed with a special, protective material which should prolong the condition and life of your new, classy addition. Refer to your provider, but you may need to reseal the worktop periodically - something you definitely shouldn’t ‘um and ah’ over.
White granite can be washed with hot, soapy water but over time, detergent can leave a build-up which will dull the shine. Instead, use specially-developed granite cleaners, like Hanafinn RejuvenataTM with a soft cloth. Avoid bleaches, common household cleaners and acidic liquids, especially on unsealed granite, as they can eat away at the surface. A granite worktop is an investment and to maintain the quality of that investment, it’s worth spending a bit more on your cleaning product. If you clean up as you go along and give your surface a general clean every day, you shouldn’t have any problems keeping it whiter than white.
Use a chopping board
It’s not just spills you need to prevent; great big scratches can also impact your granite. On white varieties especially, these scratches can catch dirt and bacteria, becoming quite noticeable. Though it may be possible for a skilled professional to repair a scratch, it’s preferable to avoid the issue in the first place. Thus it makes sense to always use a thick chopping board when wielding sharp implements. Never, ever cut directly on the surface.
Similarly, don’t use anything abrasive – such as a scourer or scrubbing brush – as you could make dozens of tiny scratches on the surface.
Probably the biggest action you can take towards keeping that beautiful white granite worktop looking gorgeous is to simply be proactive. If you spill something, wipe it up as soon as possible so that it doesn’t have time to stain. Make sure the rest of the family know this, too. Use coasters if you will be entertaining in your kitchen, so that any drops of nasty red wine pool on that and not your fabulous granite.
Also, be picky about what sits on your worktop. Don’t leave bottles (especially cleaning products) on it. If you leave plants out, put them on a mat to make sure any grit doesn’t scratch the surface and put any fancy bottles of oil, hand cream or – heaven forbid – nail varnish and/or remover away in a cupboard. Otherwise you are practically inviting permanent damage.
Just a few of our white granites
The joy of white
If you are considering lots of different colours for your kitchen, then don’t forget about white. It’s truly takes no more effort to keep it clean than you’d extend to a dark granite. White can look beautiful, adding the illusion of light and space in an otherwise dark or cramped kitchen. It can look fresh and modern, classic and elegant or homely and comforting all at the same time. Essentially, it can add not merely value to your kitchen but also a serene beauty that shadier varieties simply cannot.