It doesn’t matter if your granite countertops are brand new or a few years old, if they develop a “haze” on the surface, it is downright annoying. The cloudy film is distracting and can detract from the beauty of your natural stone countertops, but what can you do about it?
The chances are good that if you’re reading this, you have found yourself feeling frustrated with foggy granite. Whether you have jade green granite, Madura gold granite, or Alaska white granite countertops, haze doesn’t discriminate by color, though it may be a bit more noticeable on darker colors. Today we will go over how to prevent and correct cloudy granite so that your surfaces look fresh and new once again.
What causes cloudy granite?
There are several different reasons for cloudy-looking granite, but the most common is simply because they’re not completely clean. Grease from food prep or cooking splatters can get smeared across your countertops, making it look hazy. If you don’t wipe the oily residue off quickly using good-quality dish soap, the grease can end up streaking across the surface.
It’s important that you use good-quality dish soap when doing daily cleaning because cheap soap sometimes has added waxes worked into the formula. This wax can make your countertops look dull and streaky, too.
Another reason for fogginess is because either you or the fabricator used too much sealer or left the sealer on to dry without buffing it off. Sealer isn’t meant to dry, so it can leave behind a hazy glazed appearance if it does.
The best thing that you can do for your granite countertops is to avoid cloudiness in the first place. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Clean regularly: Start by cleaning your countertops using a high-quality dish soap or granite cleaner every day. Steer clear of all-purpose cleaners unless they are specifically made for granite or natural stone. You should also keep away from cleaners that use citrus products as they can etch or dull the surface.
- Buff the countertops dry: Once you have cleaned your countertops, use a clean, dry cloth to buff the countertops dry. Water streaks that have dried certainly don’t help your countertop’s appearance, so it’s best to buff them away right from the get-go.
- Seal regularly: Sealing your granite countertops can help protect them from stains and other unpleasant problems. Depending on the brand of sealer you use, you can reseal anywhere from weekly to yearly. The important thing to remember is only to seal your granite if it needs it. Some granite (dense, black granite slabs, for instance) don’t need to be sealed other than the initial sealing and polishing from the fabricator. The best thing you can do is test the granite to see if it needs to be resealed using the water droplet test. Simply put a few drops of water on the granite and let it sit for a few minutes. If the water droplets absorb immediately, you need to reseal. If it takes a few minutes, you can choose to reseal or not, but if the drops don’t absorb (or take more than 30 minutes), you don’t need to reseal at all.
If you have found yourself with cloudy countertops, here are some things that you can try to get back the original shine:
- Deep clean: When we say to deep clean, we don’t mean with just soap and water. Look for a specialty granite cleaner, and follow the manufacturer instructions for cleaning those countertops. Granite cleaners often require you to spray, let sit, wipe off, and buff dry, so it may take a little more time than you’re used to, but you might be surprised at the difference it can make.
- Magic Eraser: Some people swear that a magic eraser can get rid of granite fog, so you might want to give that a try. Just be careful to wet the eraser and gently rub it across the hazy surface – scrubbing vigorously can damage your granite.
- Reseal: It’s possible that the last time your granite was sealed, it was sealed incorrectly. One of the main reasons behind foggy granite is that the sealer was allowed to dry on the countertop’s surface. Try resealing the countertop, working in three-foot sections so that the sealer doesn’t have a chance to dry and streak.
- Polish: After you have resealed your countertop, apply a granite polish, and buff your countertops to a luxurious shine.
- Contact a resurfacing specialist: If you have tried everything without luck, you may need to contact a resurfacing specialist. The haze could be due to etching or other surface damage that no amount of sealing and polishing will be able to banish. A resurfacing specialist will know how to strip away old sealant, sand away any blemishes, and reseal the surface, so it looks like new.
Cloudy granite is unsightly, but thankfully it’s often easy to fix. With a little bit of preventative maintenance, you can keep the haze at bay, and even if it rears its ugly head, often with a little bit of time and elbow grease, your countertops will be back to sparkling.