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  Made from igneous rock, granite countertops contain different minerals that give the material its speckled or salt and pepper appearance.

While granite countertops are very strong and durable, you’ll still want to take precautions to keep them from being stained or damaged. With proper care and cleaning, your granite countertops will continue to look beautiful for years.

Clean Spills Immediately
You’ll want to avoid spilling anything other than water or some mild dish soap on your granite countertops, particularly liquids that have a high level of acidity. Orange juice, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages are acidic and can cause damage to your countertops if they are need cleaned up immediately. If you do spill something, use a cloth or papertowl to soak up any major spills and then use a damp rag to take care of any sticky residue.

Avoid Adding Weight to Countertop Edges
While granite countertops are very durable, you want to do your best to eliminate any chance of damaging them. One of the ways you can prevent damage is to avoid putting any unnecessary weight on the edges of the countertops. This can include grabbing on to the countertops for balance or using the countertops to climb up and reach a high shelf or clean something that has spattered high up on the wall. This added pressure and weight can cause damage to the edge of your granite countertops, which can take away from the attractiveness of the granite.

Use Trivets or Hot Pads for Hot Dishes
Granite holds up extremely well under heat, but thin strips of granite do not have enough surface area to absorb all of the heat from dishes, pots, and pans adequately. If you have small strips of granite countertop near other construction materials, use a trivet or hot pad for any hot dishes. This will help to keep heat away from materials that are less durable than your granite countertops.

Avoid Harsh Cleaning Products
Just like some foods and beverages have high levels of acid in them, some common household cleaners have high levels of acid and other chemicals that have the potential to damage your granite countertops. If you must use anything other than water to help clean up a spill, use something mild like dish soap to avoid damaging the granite.

Protect Your Countertops with a Sealant
One thing you can do to help protect your countertops from damage is to apply a sealant to them once they have been installed. A solvent-based sealer can be applied to granite countertops to help keep them looking new. This sealer does not make your countertops impervious to stains; it just means you have a little extra time to clean up a spill before the countertops will become stained. The life of this sealer varies based on a number of factors, but you can estimate that you will need to reapply the sealer to your countertops every two to three years.