You have a beautiful kitchen countertop, and you want to keep it that way. What are some steps you can take to prevent your granite countertops from getting stained or damaged? We reached out to some granite enthusiasts to see what they recommend. Keep reading to see how they suggest caring for your granite.
Edward Jones, Managing Editor & Founder of the home improvement and garden publication, HomeCareHow.
Step-by-Step Guide to Sealing Granite
The best way to protect your granite countertop from getting stained and damaged is by sealing it. By applying a sealer on your countertop, you’re filling any pore on the stone. Once the pores are filled, the surface won’t be penetrated by any liquid or stain.
Sealing is an easy process. Here’s a step-by-step procedure on how you can seal your granite countertop:
1. Get the best sealant for your countertop. You can ask your local hardware store about the most ideal product for your granite countertop.
2. Clean your countertop. Spray it with water and dishwashing solution. Then, wipe it with a dry microfiber cloth.
3. Apply the sealant to your countertop. Using a brush or a spray, apply your sealant.
4. Let the sealant sit on your countertop for at least half an hour. Once it’s fully absorbed, wipe your countertop with a dry microfiber cloth.
5. Apply the second coat of sealant to your countertop. Let it sit for one hour.
6. Wipe off any excess sealant.
7. Let the sealant cure for a minimum of 24 hours.
Sealing and Resealing It Regularly
There is no doubt that granite is the most beautiful countertop material out there, but the porosity of its surface is often its undoing. Liquids and microorganisms can seep into the pores of the stone’s surface, causing it to stain or darken in color. Some people would recommend extreme care measures like avoiding spills or avoiding putting something hot on the granite surface, but if you’re a busy parent who has a child bawling while you’re whipping up a quick dinner, that might be a feat close to impossible.
The only real solution to prevent granite countertops from staining is to seal and reseal them regularly. You can hire a professional for this but you can also do it yourself. I recommend that granite countertops be sealed once every two to three years, or even more frequently if you have a light-colored granite surface.
Seal the Granite Every Year
Because granite countertops are porous, you have to seal them. This allows the pores to be filled with the sealant which in turn prevents stains from filling the pores.
It’s important to remember that applying a sealant isn’t a one-and-done deal, you have to maintain it. Some experts say you have to apply sealant every six months, while others say you only need to do it once every couple of years, so it is up to your judgment. Generally, though, the cheaper the granite, the more frequently you should seal it. As a rule of thumb, I typically advise that you do it at least once a year, just to be safe.
Granite turns darker if it gets in contact with liquids after a prolonged time. It is not permanent, though. You can clean the liquid with detergent and water and let the granite dry. If you spill, then clean the surface with soap and water.
You might notice that stains get worse with time. This is because granite pores start to open. You should reseal your countertop every three to five years.
Naturally, the best way to keep your granite clean is to avoid spills altogether. But it is not realistic. So, use coasters and clean the liquid as soon as you spill it.
Granite is strong, but that doesn’t mean that you should cut your vegetables right on it. Use a cutting table. This way, you prevent opening the pores of the granite, making it more likely to absorb liquids. You will also prevent dulling your knife in the process.
Granite that can withstand high temperatures. Still, the constant change in temperatures will expand the granite. It can collapse again once it cools down. This will produce little cracks that will erode the surface in time. Use coasters to prevent this.
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