Sealing and Other Ways to Keep Your Granite Countertop Looking Good

granite countertop

If you want to make your kitchen countertop more eye-catching, using granite is an easy way to achieve that. But more than being beautiful from the combination of colors and patterns, granite is also impressively durable and damage-resistant.

However, this doesn’t spare you from skipping cleaning and maintenance. You want to keep your granite countertop looking good and damage-free for a long time. And to do that, you need to know how to care for it properly. However, don’t be discouraged because your dream stone is actually easy to maintain.

Basic Maintenance of Granite Countertops

What to Do Daily?

You might be turned off with the idea of needing to maintain your countertop every day. However, keeping your gorgeous granite countertop looking pristine is fairly simple. It wouldn’t take much time and effort for you to quickly clean the surface after use.

You want to use a soft cloth or paper towel and a granite cleaner regularly. Once you’re done, you can use another cloth or paper towel to dry the area, and that’s it. Besides, like with any type of kitchen countertop, you have to clean and wipe any leftovers, spills, or crumbs for hygiene anyway. Remember that you’re doing food preparation on your countertop, so it’s non-negotiable to keep it always clean.

What to Do Weekly?

If you rarely use your kitchen countertop every day, make it a point to still do a quick clean-up every week. Even if you’re only removing dust and debris, a wipe-down will preserve the luster of your stone.

What to Do Monthly?

Depending on the type of granite that you have, you might need to polish it monthly. And depending on the brand of polish, you can redo it for as frequently as weekly. However, we recommend getting a good brand that will only need repeating monthly to save you time and effort.

Polishing enhances the color and shine of your countertop. It also helps in keeping your stone looking brand new. You might also find cleaners that come with polish, so you’re hitting two birds with one stone. But at the same time, it is worth noting that the shiny finish from a polish will eventually wear off from frequent use and cleaning.

What to Do Yearly?

Polishing helps in the overall look of the stone, so the colors are more vibrant. However, it does not offer protection, nor can correct any damage on the surface. This is where a granite sealer works its magic.

Before you went ahead and got yourself a granite countertop, you might be already familiar with the maintenance requirement of this stone. Some types might need to be resealed yearly, but some are good enough to last for 3 years before you need to seal it again. Regardless, you must know your granite type, and how much wear and tear it’ll experience on a daily basis. To help you gauge the porosity of your countertop, you should perform a water test.

Should You Polish Your Granite?

The best granite sealer can give your countertop protection for as long as 3 to 5 years. Of course, this gives you the confidence that your stone will remain durable and looking good for a long period of time. But first, it’s essential that you do the water test on your surface.

The Water Test

  1. Pour a small amount of water on the surface.
  2. Using a timer, take note of how long it will take for the surface to absorb the water. You’ll notice that the granite will have a dark spot.
  • If it takes less than 5 minutes, you can apply multiple layers of sealer. And then, after around 3 to 5 years, perform the water test to know if it’s time to reseal again.
  • If the granite takes 10 minutes to absorb the water, a single layer of sealer is enough. Reapplication may not be as frequent, as well.
  • If it takes 30 minutes to absorb the water, you don’t need a sealer. Some granite surfaces won’t even absorb the liquid, and it will just form a puddle.

Overall, the water test just tells you how porous your stone is. If it takes a short time to absorb the liquid, then you have to seal it to prevent stains and damages to the stone.

Bonus Tips to Keep Your Granite Looking Good and Durable

  • You have to judge how much wear and tear your countertop should endure. If you use your kitchen frequently, we recommend that you buy a type of granite that is not as porous. Stores usually have samples of slabs so you can check if it’s a match for your intended use. At the same time, you may not be fond of doing frequent sealing, so get a granite that does not need sealing.
  • Granite is a durable stone. It does not scratch, tear, or dent as easily. However, this doesn’t mean that you can just stand on it when changing kitchen lights. And if you’re imagining skipping the cutting board, you might want to rethink that. Over time, you’ll still damage the surface.
  • Don’t be lazy when it comes to cleaning. A quick wipe on the surface, even if you don’t use the countertop will still protect it from any particles.
  • To keep the colors vibrant and the surface shiny, find a good brand of polish. Use coasters when putting moist objects over it and put mats before placing hot cookware.
  • Don’t wait too long before you blot any spills. Sure granite does not etch easily, but if it happens to be porous, you’ll end up with ugly stains. Coffee, sauces, sodas, and oils are the usual culprits.
  • Notice how we said “blot” and not wipe the spills? Wiping will spread the spill, so use a soft cloth or paper towel to blot the area before using a cleaner. If you happen to have no cleaner available, hot water can also work for quick clean-ups. Soapy water, on the other hand, is not that terrible. However, frequent use of it will affect the stone’s luster.
  • Speaking of cleaning products, avoid harsh chemicals like an acidic cleaner or bleach. They will degrade your sealer and polish because they are not compatible with granite. Skip vinegar, lemon, alkalis, or glass cleaners as well.

 

 

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