Cleaning granite countertops is really a cinch despite what you may have read. Myths and mis-interpretations that get passed around create confusion,
but you don't need to be a stone savant or attend a special class to
learn how to clean granite countertops quickly and effectively.
Answers to your questions and all the information you need regarding proper granite countertop care are found below.
Follow the various links for more detailed tips & advice on sealing granite countertops, how sealers work, Do's & Don'ts, etc.
First, lets start with a basic outline and a...
Hot water and dish rag or sponge is all you need to clean spills and wipe away crumbs to keep your countertops clean and tidy throughout the day.
At the end of the day, a quick spray and wipe of the main areas of use with a good Granite & Marble Spray Cleaner is sufficient to clean, disinfect and protect your countertops and provide a streak-free shine.
Remove (or move aside) all items on the counter and use the granite cleaner over the entire surface and edges to remove all dust and debris that collects around appliances, containers, etc. This also serves to condition the stone and maintain its overall luster.
Temporary polishes like the Topical Conditioning Stone Polish can be used periodically (weekly to monthly as you like) to enhance the shine for the ultimate in natural stone and granite care.
Such topical dressings are not for maintenance or repair. And such products are not what make the counter top shiny.
The shine or "polish" is achieved by big machines using intense friction at the factory.
This type of product "enhances" the shine (like waxing a car), improves cleaning and provides a slight bit of protection.
Various stone care products call themselves "polishes", but will have completely different purposes.
If your granite countertops have become dull for some reason you will most likely need to consult a professional. (FYI... marble dullness is a different story and )
No chemical or product will restore damage to a granite surface (marble and travertine are a different story. In most cases, DIY methods exist).
A topical polish may improve the look a bit, but will not correct the problem. And since it's not meant to be permanent, it will wear off with use and cleaning.
Testing for sealing granite countertops annually is a good idea to determine when you need to re-seal. However, that does NOT mean you should be sealing every year.
You will likely know anyway that it is time to re-seal when you start to notice that water around the sink darkens the stone... meaning that it is absorbing.
Insider Tip: When shopping for any natural stone you should perform the Lemon Juice Test prior to purchase on a sample of the exact slab to determine suitability of the stone for its intended use.
For kitchen countertops especially you don't want a stone that is too absorbent (there are some) or a stone that will etch like marble.
Of course, you should also perform the water test upon installation (if you didn't do it while shopping) to determine if your natural stone even needs sealing (many do not and cannot be sealed).
You'll hear and read that you should re-seal every year or every 3-5 years, but the proper frequency for applying a granite sealer is not set in stone (ohh!) and really depends on a number of variables.
But you don't have to know anything about all the factors or even your stone... results from testing will tell you the whole story and give you a clear answer to seal, re-seal or not.
When necessary, I recommend SenGuard or these sealers.
Just like cleaning granite countertops,
sealing is a very easy job and unless you have a stone that really
shouldn't be sealed (i.e. some black, blue, brown or green varieties), then
re-sealing when needed will ensure that your countertops are well
protected against staining.
Learn more about how a stone sealer works (click here).
Now that you understand the basic routine you should follow for cleaning granite countertops, take a look at our countertop care: Do's & Don'ts page for more guidelines concerning specific situations and activities.
Learn even more! Click on the links below to read detailed answers to common (and unusual) marble cleaning questions.
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