How To Clear, Seal and Polish Granite Countertops — Pro Housekeepers

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Granite is a well-liked alternative for kitchen counters, in addition to flooring and wall tiles. It’s more durable than marble, and its shiny floor and big selection of colours imply it’s a chic, timeless addition to any residence. Granite even has antibacterial and warmth resistant properties too. Sadly, granite’s beauty and helpful properties do include a premium price ticket. If you wish to know the easiest way to maintain your granite counter tops trying like new, otherwise you’re contemplating putting in granite counters however are daunted by the upkeep, we’ll present you how one can maintain your work surfaces effortlessly clear.

how to clean and seal granite countertops

What’s granite?

If you purchase a granite countertop, what you’re getting is one in every of quite a lot of completely different sorts of rock. True granite is igneous, that means it’s been shaped from lava. What’s in your granite will depend upon the place it was shaped, how lengthy it took to chill, and extra. That’s why granite is available in a spread of colours and crystal sizes: every granite deposit is as distinctive because the volcano that created it.

The stone in your granite would possibly include silica, mica, feldspar, or quartz, together with a wide range of different minerals. Or it won’t be granite, and even igneous rock, in any respect. Metamorphic Dolomites are generally offered as granite, as are sedimentary breccias and gabbros.

lava magma granite igneous rock formation

For most individuals, the chemical make-up of their granite is much less vital than the way it seems, however these variations do impact the way you clear your granite countertop. Some sorts of granite are more durable than others, whereas some stain extra simply. Understanding what’s going to stain your specific work floor, and what cleaners you may and can’t use on it, is an effective first step to sustaining it correctly.

Pro Tip: It’s a fable that darkish granite is more durable than mild granite. As a result of the minerals in granite are so variable, you may’t inform how sturdy or porous granite is from the colour.

When you haven’t chosen your granite countertop but, or you understand the shop your put in granite got here from, you may in all probability get a pattern piece with the intention to stain take a look at. When you can’t get a pattern, don’t despair. Our professional ideas will information you thru safely cleansing and sustaining your granite.

The lemon and water take a look at for granite counter tops

You’ll Want:

  1. A pattern of your granite counter
  2. Water
  3. Actual lemon juice
  4. Elective: cooking oil, espresso, sliced fruit e.g. strawberries, blueberries
  5. Decorator’s tape
  6. Granite sealant
  7. Elective: magnifying glass

The lemon and water take a look at is a superb, easy means of discovering out how your granite countertop will react to completely different stains and cleansing options. You’ll want a pattern of your granite from the stone yard or retailer it got here from with the intention to do that. Don’t experiment in your put in worktop.

how to test granite seal with lemon juice and water

The 1st step: Use decorator’s tape to divide your take a look at granite in half, and seal one half utilizing the model of sealant you intend to make use of in your countertop. Try the information on the backside of this text for how one can seal granite, or observe the producer’s directions. 

Step two: As soon as your sealant has set, put your granite on a degree floor and add a small quantity of water on either side. Subsequent add a small quantity of (actual) lemon juice beside the water, taking care to not combine them collectively. For a closing take a look at, you too can add cooking oil, or stain sources reminiscent of espresso or lower fruit.

Step three: Permit the take a look at granite to sit down for at the least an hour.

Step 4: Wipe the granite clear and examine it for stains and marks. You need to view it at completely different angles and beneath completely different mild sources to make sure you see every part. For essentially the most element, use a magnifying glass to look at the floor for any tiny abrasions or dulling, often known as etching.

What you’re in search of: 

The place the water (and oil, if used) was positioned on the granite, examine for darkening of the stone. This means that the granite has absorbed the liquid, that means it’s porous. Everytime you get porous granite counter tops moist, you run the danger of them changing into discolored.

The aspect of the granite that was sealed shouldn’t present any water injury, even when the unsealed aspect does. If the granite darkens regardless of being sealed, it’s extremely porous and you’ll want a specialised sealant to guard your work surfaces. Upkeep on porous granite can also be extra intensive, since you’ll need to seal it extra often and mop up any spills as quickly as they occur.

No discoloration the place the water was left on the granite means it’s non-porous and can be much less more likely to stain. 

Within the space the place you set the lemon juice, you would possibly see a change within the shine or floor texture of the granite. Attempt rubbing your fingers over the spot in case you don’t see something, simply to make sure. In case your granite seems boring, it has been etched by the acid within the lemon juice. 

Some sorts of granite etch very simply, whereas others hardly react to even sturdy acids. When you discover indicators of etching, which means your granite worktop will should be shielded from acids reminiscent of lemon juice, tomatoes, and crimson wine.

The first objective of sealant is to make granite much less absorbent, to not cease chemical injury. Due to this fact a sealant received’t utterly defend your granite from etching, but it surely ought to cut back the impact. 

Lastly, examine how prone to staining your granite is by reviewing the place you positioned different take a look at samples. Lighter granites are likely to stain extra simply, but when your mild granite is non-porous then staining can be much less of a priority.

How to scrub a granite countertop

For many day-to-day cleansing, you don’t want to make use of lots of difficult or specialised chemical substances in your granite counter. Wipe up spills as quickly as you may, and keep away from putting any stain sources onto the granite.

Though water can discolor granite and go away marks behind, washing your granite with water remains to be the easiest way to scrub it. The secret is to make use of solely as a lot water as vital (don’t flood the stone) and be certain that to wipe and dry your granite counter tops as quickly as you’re completed cleansing. Water will solely have an effect on your granite if it stays on the floor lengthy sufficient to soak in.

At all times attempt to use a pH impartial cleaner on granite surfaces to keep away from the danger of etching. Mild dish cleaning soap and water is normally sufficient. Acidic or alkali cleaners can each injury the floor of your granite, making it look boring and darkish.

how to clean granite countertops

What to not use to scrub granite counters

  • Lemon juice
  • Vinegar
  • Citric acid
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Windex
  • Lysol

What you need to use to scrub granite counter tops

  • Dish cleaning soap (e.g. Ivory, Daybreak)
  • Castile cleaning soap
  • Heat water
  • Baking soda
  • Isopropyl alcohol
Can I take advantage of these to scrub my granite countertop?
YES NO
Dish cleaning soap (e.g. Ivory, Daybreak) Lemon juice
Water Vinegar
Baking soda Citric acid
Isopropyl alcohol Ammonia
Bleach
Windex
Lysol

 

To clear granite counters, first wipe away any mud or spills with a clear, damp microfiber fabric. Then use heat water with a small quantity of dish cleaning soap to clean granite surfaces down. Wring out the fabric and wipe once more with clear water to take away any cleaning soap residue, as over time it might probably go away a movie behind, particularly on darkish granite.

Pro Tip: Be certain that your dish cleaning soap doesn’t include any citrus extracts or important oils. Although they’re solely utilized in very small quantities, they’ll nonetheless injury granite worktops.

By no means use any abrasive pad on granite or different pure stone surfaces. Wire cleaners, brushes, and even sponges can scratch and scuff the floor. As an alternative, microfiber cloths are the most effective software to make use of, as they received’t scratch and they gather mud and filth, somewhat than transferring it round.

In case your granite countertop has a sticky stain, keep away from the temptation to wash it away. As an alternative, soak stains with water or a pH impartial cleaner and use a comfortable fabric to wipe them away. In case you have a bigger stain reminiscent of dried meals to take away, you may rigorously use a plastic scraper to dislodge the residue.

As soon as your counter is clear, it’s vital to dry it utterly utilizing a contemporary microfiber fabric. When you go away water on granite counter tops you threat discoloring the stone.

That’s it! Preserving your granite counters clear actually isn’t too troublesome, and doesn’t require any costly, specialist cleaners.

sealed granite vs unsealed granite comparison

How to take away dried spills from granite counters

Regardless of your greatest efforts, you’ll in all probability miss a spill sooner or later. Don’t fear, it doesn’t imply your stunning granite floor is ruined eternally.

Keep away from the temptation to make use of sturdy cleaners like bleach or ammonia, or DIY cleaners reminiscent of white vinegar or lemon juice. All of those are too abrasive to be used on pure stone with out risking injury. Though one or two makes use of of those options won’t appear like they’ve completed any hurt, over time they’ll slowly erode the granite floor, leaving it boring, altering its colour, and making it extra more likely to take up stains sooner or later.

As an alternative, make an answer of 50/50 isopropyl alcohol and water. Spray the spill and work it out gently with a microfiber fabric. If the residue nonetheless doesn’t elevate, dampen a paper towel with the isopropyl alcohol answer and press it over the mark. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes and then wipe clear.

If all else fails, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the spill. Use a microfiber fabric to softly rub the residue, then wipe clear utilizing heat, soapy water. This methodology is especially efficient at eradicating oily marks from granite.

You’ll want to wash the counter with contemporary water and dry totally as soon as the residue has been eliminated. This can maintain your granite in prime situation.

how to get rid of stains from granite countertops

How to take away stains from granite counters

In case your granite countertop is stained, in most situations it might probably nonetheless be fastened. The reason for the stain will decide the easiest way to scrub it.

Water marks

Most water marks will disappear as soon as they’ve utterly evaporated, but when your granite could be very porous, or the spill was massive, you would possibly find yourself with a darkish, discoloured space. To take away water spots, use heat, soapy water to softly wash the stain. Rinse away any cleaning soap residue with a clear, damp fabric, and then dry totally. 

If the stain remains to be there as soon as the worktop is dry, strive utilizing a paste of baking soda and a small quantity of water. For essentially the most cussed water marks, you should utilize positive metal wool (#0000) to softly buff out the mark. By no means moist metal wool while you’re utilizing it on granite, as it would injury the floor.

Oil-based stains

The perfect answer for shiny stains is to make use of a paste of baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stain, work it in gently utilizing a comfortable fabric, and go away for as much as an hour. Take away any residue with a moist fabric and dry the world nicely. You might have to repeat this a number of instances to take away massive or deep stains.

Natural stains

Meals stains can look very dangerous, however they’ll nonetheless be cleaned out of granite counter tops. Fruit, espresso, soy sauce, and extra can all stain granite, however they are often eliminated with hydrogen peroxide in the event that they don’t reply to different cleansing strategies.

What sort of stain is in my granite countertop?
WATER OIL ORGANIC
Exhausting water Cooking oil Strawberries
Mineral deposits Pizza grease Tomato juice
Cleaning soap scum Lipstick Espresso

Whereas hydrogen peroxide is barely acidic and shouldn’t be used frequently in your granite counter, you should utilize it to sparingly spot-clean cussed stains. Make a paste from hydrogen peroxide and talcum powder and apply it to the stained space. Rub the stain gently with a comfortable fabric, and wipe away any residue. Use contemporary water to make sure you take away the entire remaining peroxide and defend your granite worktop from additional injury.

granite stain removal with baking soda

DIY and pure granite cleaners

Sadly, most typical DIY cleaners aren’t appropriate to be used on pure stone. Vinegar and lemon juice are acidic, and will injury your granite surfaces. Nevertheless in case you get a stain in your granite countertop, you may deal with it with a poultice of baking soda and water. Combine two or three tablespoons of water with sufficient baking soda to make a thick paste, and apply thinly to the stain. Work the stain out with a comfortable fabric utilizing round motions, and clear the world nicely with contemporary water to take away any residue. Lastly, dry your granite to stop water marks from forming.

To disinfect your granite countertop, use a mix of 1 half isopropyl alcohol and three components water. Add a couple of drops of dish cleaning soap, and put the answer into a twig bottle. Mist the granite counter and let it sit for ten minutes earlier than wiping away any extra with a dry microfiber fabric. This can enhance your granite’s pure antibacterial properties.

Pro Tip: If you wish to add a scent to your cleansing answer, keep away from citrus important oils. As an alternative use tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary, or lavender.

As a pure various to dish cleaning soap, search for merchandise with eco-friendly components. Castile cleaning soap can also be secure to make use of on granite. Simply substitute a couple of drops instead of dish cleaning soap.

How to shine granite till it shines

The attraction of granite counter tops is their excessive shine end, and you’ll wish to maintain them trying glowing clear. There are a selection of how to shine granite counters. You should buy a specialist granite polish to be used in your worktops, or give one in every of these options a strive.

Baking soda

Cleansing execs love baking soda. It’s an extremely versatile, efficient, and light cleaner for every kind of surfaces—and it might probably additionally polish your granite counter tops. Make a mix of three components baking soda to 1 half heat water, and mix till easy. Apply a skinny layer of the paste to your granite floor, and gently buff with a clear fabric. Wipe away any residue with a moist fabric and dry the granite for a easy, shiny floor.

Cooking oil

Though cooking oil can stain granite, in small quantities it’s additionally an efficient polish. Any typical oil will work, for instance vegetable or olive oil. Apply a small quantity of oil to a comfortable, clear fabric, and buff the granite utilizing round motions. Don’t neglect to shine the perimeters of your counter! Oil will give your granite a pleasant shine, and additionally assist it repel water.

Typically granite seems boring because of etching. That is what occurs when the granite floor is eroded. Small etches might be polished out utilizing sprucing powder (normally tin oxide), however no quantity of sprucing will undo the injury completed by deep etching. As an alternative, name knowledgeable who can refinish the stone and restore your granite to its former glory.

water stained granite countertop

What substances will stain granite counter tops?

Though granite worktop house owners ought to attempt to defend their pure stone surfaces, granite is mostly very proof against stains. Whereas the precise stain resistance of your granite will depend upon its porosity and colour, you may keep away from it changing into stained by taking a couple of easy precautions.

Water

Water can stain granite if it’s allowed to soak in. Take care to wipe up any spills as quickly as potential, and pay specific consideration to your counter in moist areas reminiscent of round sinks, or the place you chop meals. Don’t go away damp sponges or cloths in your granite, and keep in mind to not put your moist gloves or umbrella on the kitchen counter while you come residence.

Although water can stain your granite counter tops, don’t be afraid to make use of it frequently for cleansing. Water will solely go away stains behind if it’s allowed to soak into the stone, so make sure you at all times dry your counter totally.

Oils

Oils can discolor granite surfaces, and the stains they go away behind might be more durable to take away than water marks. The easiest way to keep away from oily stains is to be vigilant about wiping down your granite counter, particularly round cooktops. Some meals additionally include oils that may soak into your granite, so attempt to keep away from placing something natural straight on prime of your countertop. Use chopping boards and silicone mats to guard your granite from unintentional injury.

Fruit juice, crimson wine, and soda

These drinks are all acidic, and have sturdy colours. For granite counters, that’s a nasty mixture. The acid eats into the floor of granite, and the colour permeates the stone, leaving etching and stains behind. At all times wipe up most of these spills instantly, and use coasters to guard your countertop from drink rings.

Bleach/ammonia 

Any substance that isn’t pH impartial can injury granite, and that features the commonest family cleaners. Until you’ve examined a pattern piece of your granite worktop, keep away from utilizing any sturdy answer as they’ll trigger etching and discoloration.

Warmth

You might be shocked to listen to that scorching pots and pans can injury your granite. In any case, its pure warmth resistance is one cause why granite is so in style. Granite can nonetheless be broken by warmth as a result of the sealants and finishes used on its floor will not be warmth proof against the identical diploma. This may end up in ugly black marks in your granite, or—in worst-case eventualities—even trigger the granite to crack. Reasonably than threat warmth injury, use protecting pads or trivets beneath your scorching pans to guard your granite.

Recent fruit

Identical to fruit juice, fruit itself is normally acidic and brightly coloured. Berries, grapes, tomatoes, and citrus fruits are notably more likely to injury granite and leaving stains behind. Shield your worktop by at all times placing one thing beneath any meals you set out, particularly contemporary fruit.

Espresso

Espresso is acidic sufficient to break the floor of your granite countertop, leaving it boring and etched, and liable to absorbing stains. Preserve espresso grounds away out of your counter, use coasters beneath cups to keep away from rings, and take into account placing a silicone mat beneath your coffeemaker to keep away from any unintentional spills.

Make-up

You won’t take into consideration the injury that make-up can do to your granite counters, however make-up merchandise include oils and dyes that may discolor pure stone. Keep away from placing any make-up in your worktops, or place one thing beneath to guard the stone floor.

how often you should seal granite countertops

Ought to granite counter tops be sealed?

In brief, sure. Sealants defend your granite from absorbing stains, supplying you with time to scrub up earlier than any injury happens. Unsealed granite is more likely to be stained or broken by on a regular basis use.

There are two sorts of sealant generally used on granite counter tops. Topical sealers coat the granite with a protecting layer, whereas impregnating sealers soak into the stone and refill the pores that may take up liquids and stains. Impregnating sealers are likely to last more than topical, however each varieties will should be reapplied yearly or two as they break down.

Shade enhancers

Shade enhancers are utilized like topical sealers, however they don’t present the identical safety. Their objective is to make the granite look shiny and “moist,” and carry out the pure colour of the stone. You can too use a colour enhancer to masks injury brought on by etching.Moreover, colour enhancers can enhance the look of sure granite finishes, reminiscent of leathered or honed granite, which have a matte, boring end.

You need to use a colour enhancer in your granite worktop in tandem with a sealant, but it surely shouldn’t be thought-about a substitute to correctly sealing the stone.

How to seal a granite counter

You’ll Want:

Dish cleaning soap or granite cleansing answer

Heat water

Microfiber cloths

Granite sealant

Notice: It’s at all times greatest to observe the directions of the product you’re utilizing, however this information will train you the fundamentals of how one can seal a granite worktop. You need to have the ability to seal your counters in about an hour, together with drying instances.

The 1st step: Clear your granite floor totally with heat, soapy water (or granite cleaner). 

Step two: Use a contemporary, damp microfiber fabric to take away any extra residue.

Step three: Use a dry fabric to totally dry your countertop.

Step 4: Go away the granite to dry to make sure all of the water has evaporated. This can take round ten or fifteen minutes.

Step 5: Spray sealant evenly throughout your granite, taking care to cowl all surfaces, together with the edges.

Step six: Rub within the sealant utilizing a clear, dry microfiber fabric.

Step seven: Go away the sealant to soak up for about ten minutes, then wipe away any extra utilizing a microfiber fabric.

Pro Tip: When you let the sealant set for too lengthy and it dries in your granite countertop, add a bit bit extra sealant to interrupt it down and then buff it away.

testing granite for seal or stains

How to inform if granite sealant wants reapplying

Most granite sealants will final a few 12 months, however the actual time you should reapply your sealant will depend upon how you utilize your kitchen and what your granite comes into contact with every day. To examine in case your sealant remains to be working, take a squirt bottle and spray a bit water onto your counter. When you see the water beading, the sealant remains to be doing its job of conserving liquids out. If the water doesn’t bead, it’s time to reseal. It’s that straightforward.

How to keep up granite counter tops

The easiest way to maintain your granite counters trying their greatest is to stop injury from taking place. There are 5 key steps to defending your granite:

  • Don’t place something scorching or natural straight on granite surfaces
  • Guard towards abrasive mud and grit
  • Clear up spills instantly
  • Keep away from harsh chemical substances and cleaners
  • Seal your granite frequently

Prevention actually is best than remedy, so be aware of how you utilize your granite surfaces, and what you place on them. Wiping your granite down day by day with a moist fabric and buffing away extra moisture may even assist you maintain your granite gleaming, and provide you with an opportunity to note any spills earlier than they turn into stains.

With the best remedy, and a bit day by day consideration, your granite counters will final a lifetime, and be the best factor in your home to scrub. Simply observe our professional cleansing ideas and get pleasure from your stunning granite counter tops.

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