Haze from Sealing Granite Countertops

QUESTION:

Just sealed my new granite counter tops and am experiencing a haze or a film on the surface. How do I clean them?

ANSWER:

A haze left after sealing granite countertops is the result of the sealer drying on the surface, which should not happen.

The haze can occur for two reasons.

1. The granite countertops did not need sealing. Many granites are naturally dense, non-absorbent and cannot be sealed.

If a sealer is applied it just sits on top, does not absorb and will leave a hazy residue.

I know you read and hear that "all" granite "must" be sealed, but it's just not true.

And you can easily determine if and/or when your granite countertops need sealing by simply performing the water test for sealing granite countertops.

2. The granite sealer was improperly applied. If the granite countertops did need sealing, but the granite sealer was improperly applied and left to dry on the surface you'll get the streaky haze.

The most important step when sealing granite countertops (or any stone installation) is to completely remove all excess sealer and residue from the granite countertop surface.

Unfortunately, many installers do not know this and will tell homeowners to apply a granite sealer and just leave it to soak it. Crummy advice.

They can get away with this on many stones that are porous enough to absorb all the granite sealer applied, so no surface residue remains.... but it is still 100% incorrect way to apply an impregnating sealer.


Don't just blindly slap on an impregnating sealer. You should always first determine if the granite countertop (or any stone) even needs sealing by testing the stone as noted.

When testing demonstrates that the surface "could" be sealed, then you make a judgement call (location, use, risk of staining) whether or not to actually apply a stone sealer, but you never apply a granite sealer "just to be safe".

When testing tells you the stone does not need or even cannot be sealed, then don't do it!

Now that you have the streaks, you'll have to strip the cured granite sealer residue from the surface.

You'll find complete instructions in the All About Sealing Granite & Marble ebook.

After stripping you may need to re-seal the granite, but of course test it first to see if it indeed needs a granite sealer or not.

granite countertop cleanerGood Luck,
Ryan

P.S. Get all the facts and simple step-by-step solutions to any problem with our Granite & Marble Maintenance Manuals.

Find the recommended best product brands for cleaning marble, sealing, cleaning granite countertops, quartz and all natural stone.

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granite countertop haze around sink
by: Ron

I have had granite counters in my last 3 homes. The granite in my present kitchen has a haze on it right at the apron of the kitchen sink. It looks lousy.

I have had it stripped, & polished 3x & the shine lasts 3 days.

I live in SE FL I lived in NYC for many years with Wilsonart laminate counters that were 15 years old when I sold my condo and looked like they had just been installed.

My next house will be BACK to laminate or Corian. I am OVER cleaning & polishing granite !!!

==== Countertop Specialty comment: Very unlikely that the haze around the sink is a problem with the granite countertop. It's almost certainly due to mineral deposits from hard water.

Stripping and polishing will remove this, but as soon as any water dries on the granite it will leave behind hazy mineral deposits.

Hard water can be difficult to remove with standard cleaners.

You may be able to remove buildup with 0000 steel wool, but typically you'll also need a specialized cleaner like this Hard Water / Soap Scum Remover made specifically for use on marble & granite countertops.

You'd get this build-up no matter what type of countertop material is installed.

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Hazy Dull Granite Countertop with Water Stains

by Carol Laffite
(Lancaster, CA)

granite countertop cleaning: streaky haze

granite countertop cleaning: streaky haze

QUESTION:

I don't know how to restore it to a shiny granite countertop.

No matter what I do to 'polish' it, the haze returns as soon as I wipe off the polish. Imagine a kid covered his hands with toothpaste and rubbed it all over the counter.

You cant see it when you look DOWN at it, only when you look at it from the side. Its a combination of streaks and water spots.

What can I buy to fix this? I've only had the house one year. I don't know if it was ever 'sealed'. I've never sealed it.

ANSWER:

Well since you are not certain what has been done to this granite countertop, I can't be certain either, however, what you describe is classic granite sealer haze from improper sealing technique.

If a sealer is applied on a granite countertop where the stone is too dense and already naturally stain-resistant, then all that will happen is the sealer will dry on the surface leaving a dull, streaky haze like you describe.

This can also happen on a granite countertop that should be sealed, but the excess sealer was not removed properly and again it dried on the surface.

I suspect this is what happened in your case. Unfortunately, removing the hazy cured granite sealer can be difficult. You'll likely have to use a potent and noxious solvent like methylene chloride.

You'll find complete information regarding sealing granite countertops and stipping sealers in the "All About Sealing e-book" (links above and below)

Despite what you may read that sealing granite countertops must be done on all granite every year, it's not true.

Many granites need a granite sealer applied, however, very few granite countertops will need annual resealing.

Frequency for applying a granite sealer depends on many variables, but most surfaces will go 3-5 years before needed more sealer, some can go 10 years and if you use a granite sealer like Senguard you'll never have to re-seal.

The "water stains" are not actually from water and they are not stains. They are from acidic substances etching the sealer residue on the surface... not the granite itself.

So, follow the e-book instructions to strip the sealer and you should get rid of the water marks and get your shine back!

Good Luck,
Ryan

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Hazy Ghost Spot on Black Granite

by joe moreno
(greeley co.)

QUESTION:

our black granite counter top has hazy rings and a hazy ghost spot what can we do to clean it up?

ANSWER:

Used to be most varieties of black granite were nearly stain-proof and did not etch.

Now, many black granite countertop slabs are dog stones that will etch or have been doctored with a coloring agent to make more black and this coloring will etch creating the "ghost spots" you describe.

Or another common error is to apply a granite sealer to a non-absorbent black granite countertop. The sealer remains on the surface rather than absorbing into the stone and it's the sealer that is etching.

In any case, you'll need to strip off whatever is on the surface using methylene chloride.

In some cases lime-away works better, but this is a very acidic product, should not be used on stone in general and will etch your stone if it is indeed a dog stone with calcite.

So, best to use the MC first.

For more info on granite sealers, how to apply and how to strip granite sealers check out the All About Sealers ebook (see links on this page).

Also, you may want to test your granite with the FORENSICS Granite Test Kit to determine exactly what the problem is, so you can use the correct solution.

If the MC doesn't work, then likely you have a bad stone.

Good Luck,
Ryan

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Haze On New Granite Countertops

QUESTION:

I had Santa Cecilia granite counter tops installed and I notice a haze on the granite.

Now two weeks into it I am noticing round water stains from glasses left to long on the countertop. What is this?

ANSWER:

Most likely this is due to improper application of a granite sealer.

Santa Cecilia typically is not very dense, thus applying a granite sealer does not present problems with absorption,etc.

But if the sealer was left to dry on the surface (which is incorrect procedure), then you'll get the haze. And the glass rings are from acidic substances etching the sealer (not the granite itself) left on the countertop surface.

To solve this issue you'll need to strip the sealer off the surface using methylene chloride, which is a powerful and noxious solvent.

The "All About Sealing" e-book mentioned several times (with links) on this page details exactly how to do it.

Good Luck,
Ryan

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Why Is My Sealed Granite Blotchy?

by Mike Doyen
(Naples FL 34105)

QUESTION:

I used SCI cleaner to clean my black granite and 8 hours later used SCI Sealor to seal it. The black granite in the bathroon (which was done 24 hours ago) looks fine. The black granite in the kitchen (which was done 6 hours ago) has black blotchy spots all over it.

Do I have a problem? If so, what should I do?

ANSWER:

Without knowing exactly how the granite sealer was applied I can't say why one seems fine and the other blotchy, but....

Most black granite does not need a granite sealer. Black granites are typically so dense to be essentially non-absorbent and will not stain except in extreme circumstancses.

In fact, most black granite cannot be sealed since the sealer will not absorb.

What happens when a granite sealer is applied to a black granite like Absolute Black or Black Galaxy is that it just sits on top until it dries leaving a dull hazy and/or blotchy film on top.

Now, if the sealer is wiped off completely prior to drying like it should be then you may not develop any problem. Not likely the sealer has absorbed at all, but wiping down until dry at least avoids creating a problem.

If you did apply the granite sealer and just let it sit until dry it is possible that some absorbed and other areas it didn't.

Anyway, you'll need to strip off the sealer using methylene chloride. You may have luck re-applying the granite sealer to try and get it to re-absorb the dried sealer then remove, but may be too late.

You'll find complete information about granite sealers, how to properly seal stone and how to strip improperly applied sealer in the All About Sealing Granite & Marble ebook.

And for future reference not all granite or stone must be sealed. Yeah I know you read that a lot, but it comes mainly from granite sealer manufacturers.

All you need to do to determine if any stone needs sealing is to water test for sealing granite countertops the surface in several places.

granite countertop cleanerGood Luck,
Ryan

P.S. Get all the facts and simple step-by-step solutions to any problem with our Granite & Marble Maintenance Manuals.

Find the recommended best product brands for cleaning marble, sealing & cleaning granite countertops, travertine, quartz and all natural stone.


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dull granite
by: carolina lady

Just purchased a home 3 years old and the black granite counters in kitchen (especially sink area) are dull and hazy. Have cleaned with soap and water and they will not shine like all other granite counters I have had. Have just pulled out nasty caulking and wondering what steps to take to make this granite pop. Should the next step be caulk or more cleaning? Need advise on products to use for both caulk and cleaning. Please help!!Thanks.

fixing dull granite haze
by: Ryan

Carolina lady... almost certainly your granite was improperly sealed. The dull haze is the sealer residue dried on the surface. It must be stripped off. Usually this is a nasty job using methylene chloride.

You'll find complete step-by-step instructions in the All About Sealing Granite & Marble e-book.

Good Luck!

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