Removing Black Granite Sealer

by Mikal Krauss
(Atlantic Highlands, NJ)


We just installed miles of beautiful countertop: Blue in the Night granite...very dark dark grey black ...with small flecks of deep blue!!

The installers applied two coats of a penetrating sealer....they told me to leave in be for a day....and then I could 'wipe' off any residue and just clean and live with the granite normally.

I think the granite didn't absorb the sealer at all......and I can't get it off the counter now!!

They said it could take a while....but I'm worried that since it should never have been applied, the sealer will be a huge headache.... and could damage my granite countertops.

How difficult is it to remove that sealer....will I need to "refinish" the toxic is the chemical that could remove this sealer (which they said was the latest greatest super expensive type of sealer)....

I'm pretty upset because it was VERY expensive granite....and the fabricator comes so well recommended....but should have known if this granite wouldn't "take" the sealing.

Thanks for any advice....i liked your website and forum...
Mikal Krauss


WOW! I'm sorry to tell you that your installers may be excellent craftsmen, but they don't know their stone or anything about sealing granite.

Highly unlikely that this stone needed or could even absorb a sealer. But the most moronic, clueless advice was to let the sealer sit for a day.

The most important step in sealing is to wipe off all excess BEFORE it dries. Now, as I said... probably wasn't necessary in the first place and even if they wiped off excess you'd still have some left on the surface creating a streaky residue.

This is their fault all the way and they must correct it. I'd raise hell and I wouldn't back off or let them tell you any bogus story.

It's a shame, but it will need to be stripped with methylene chloride. The chemical itself won't damage the surface, but yes... it is nasty, toxic and will damage cabinets, paint, etc. so everything must be well protected.

I wouldn't want the same installers to do it since they are obviously inept regarding the matter, but it's unlikely they'd agree to pay for another more experienced stone restoration pro to do it.

It is sometimes possible to re-apply a coat of the same sealer, work it with a soft bristle brush to get the fresh sealer to dissolve the dried sealer and then wipe off all excess, dry the countertop and clean with acetone.

What a bummer, but it is correctable... it'll just be a hassle.

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sealer problem resolved by fabricator
by: Mikal

Ryan, That's great that you are putting out a website forum for help with questions/issue that come up on countertops. I read up extensively online before choosing granite....and to research the sealer problem when that came up.

A world of experience and expertise is available quickly through these online postings. We do have to sort through to find what applies to our individual situations.

Happily, our fabricator did return to rectify the problem. Using acetone and razorblades, the reluctant sealer DID come off....leaving our Blue in the Night granite looking polished perfect.

I really dreaded using any stronger chemical than that......knowing that the slab had been resined (most are) and that could offer reactions to the methyl chlorate.

There was a further issue regarding top polishing a dulled area around a seam/lippage at the seam. With a lot of time and special grinding/polishing tools they were able to correct that too.......the 13-foot island could not have been returned to the shop for that process with out major headache!!

They sent their "best guy"....and even though I was nervous and skeptical, I have to say they did a great I'll finish paying!!

Hope you post these updates others don't give up in getting their fabricators to rectify problems....or having them bring in professional stone restorers if that's needed. Mikal

Removing Sealer
by: Ryan


That's fantastic! Glad to hear your installer took responsibility and corrected the issue to your satisfaction. That's the way it should work.

Just a side note: usually it's the sealer that will cause a weird reaction with a resined countertop. If anything the solvent would just remove it.

Enjoy your countertops!


Blue In the Night granite.
by: jean from Texas

Wow, thank you so much for the sealing warning on this granite. I am getting miles of it for my kitchen and just emailed my fabricator about your warning. What is it about that granite that will not take a sealer? Does that mean substances will not leave marks on this granite because of its hardness? Or will it be a high maintenance issue forever-- without a sealer.?/ Please advise!

Sealing Blue In The Night Granite
by: Ryan

As with any stone, you should test it to determine whether or not it needs or can take a sealer.

Many dark granites (blacks, blues, some greens and browns) are not porous or absorbent enough to allow liquids to penetrate. This does not mean they are absolutely stain proof.

If you left a large puddle of oil on the surface for a day it could likely stain. But the chance of this happening is very small and most over-looked spills will simply evaporate before they can absorb and stain.

These low-absorbency stones are the ones you want especially for your kitchen because they are the most bullet-proof surface you can buy (including engineered quartz).

Many of these stones won't absorb the sealer, so the sealer just sits on top and if not wiped completely clean, it will leave hazy streaks when it dries.

Since a sealer must be absorbed in order to be effective and these dense granites can't or won't absorb the sealer, it "can't" be sealed. Said another way... black granite won't "take" a sealer.

And yes it means that nothing else will absorb either, so maintenance is a snap. Your risk of staining one of these types of low absorbency granites is pretty much zero.

But always test first. It will help you avoid a sealer mistake/mess when you shouldn't seal and tell you when you should seal and/or re-seal.

Enjoy your new tops!

black galaxie
by: mike from phx

we just had counter top installed yesterday ie black galaxie they installer sealed it last night. when i went back to the house today its all smudgy i tried to wipe it and it just keeps streaking like there is a film on it. do i have same issue with the sealer. mike phx

Same Deal
by: Ryan

Yes, with black galaxy it's almost certain the granite did not need a sealer, could not absorb a sealer and it dried on top.

This can also happen if the fabricator/installer applying the granite sealer simply doesn't know the proper method, which for some incomprehensible reason is far too common. Often they apply it and just leave telling the homeowner to let the sealer dry and buff in 24 hours....

Which is exactly wrong. All residue must be removed before it dries.

You'll have to strip it.

My success story for removing sealer from black granite
by: Susan from Ontario

Answer: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! I thought I had destroyed our black granite counter top, when I read somewhere, I should be sealing my granite. To remove it I read all the solutions from "heavy chemicals" to "acetone" and as I stood there, I picked up the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, dampened it and rubbed! Within one hour I had the whole bathroom counter top sparkling and looking like new! No more cloudy residue!

===Admin Comment:

Glad to hear you solved your issue! We have had reports go both ways with Mr. Clean magic eraser. Some stating that is has worked very well to remove tough gunk on the surface and other reports that it has damaged stone... particularly marble.

But never a report about removing sealer residue on granite countertops, which is interesting to note and certainly a method to test out!

We'd advise proceeding with caution when using on marble countertops / floors though.

Thanks for the post!

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
by: sherry

I have used the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove sealer residue from my granite countertops. I will say it works well, but with one caveat: Brand new ones work well.

Once used a bit, and the sealer residue gets on the eraser, they tend to be less effective, and you have to use a lot more force (elbow grease) to get the residue off.

My suggestion is, if you choose this option (and I did find it easiest, short of using a buffer) be sure you buy a lot of magic erasers. I have a large kitchen island (112" x 46") and I used 8, and wished I had more.

Also, I have not noticed any scratches on the granite from the eraser.

Hope this helps!

Magic Eraser - Magic!
by: Anonymous

I agree that the Magic Eraser removes sealer residue from the warehouse wonderfully!

Effective Method
by: Mickey

I sealed the new granite counter tops in a house we flipped but, unfortunately, the sealer was really old.

I noticed I had to shake it each time I applied more sealer, and sometimes it came out very runny (like water) and other times it came out really thick.

The instructions said to apply it with a paintbrush and let it dry.

A day later I applied another layer of sealer. It looked like a disaster when both coats were dry. You could see every tiny paint brush mark in long streaks across the granite, and the finish was dull and rough to the touch.

I read these comments and decided to try the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers as someone else suggested. The sealer was not going to come off no matter how much I rubbed and scrubbed. Finally, I came upon a method that worked well for me. I put a new razor blade in my window scraper and all the hardened sealer came off with a lot of pressure and elbow grease.

Since granite is so hard, it wasn't scratched at all. I wiped the tops clean and the reapplied new sealer I had just purchased. It looks beautiful now. Maybe this method will help someone else? You can always try it in a corner or out of the way spot to be sure.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Glad this worked for you, although sounds like the "sealer" wasn't what would typically be applied to natural stone.

In most cases, the sealer residue causing the streaks on the surface is a very thin layer which typically cannot be scraped off. However, sometimes steel wool will take it off.

But I agree with you... try it and see. Won't harm granite. Marble is much softer and can scratch so a scraper would not be advised. Thanks for sharing!

Here's what I did ; MAGIC ERASER
by: A little late

My newly-installed backsplash granite passed the hardness test and so I thought I just needed to seal the grout.

I bought a small bottle with a brush head on the end and went to work. Well, it dripped and we have lots of tile, so by the time I got finished and went to do it again the drips were dry.

I looked at your website and tried the acetone with no luck. SO, I tried the Magic Eraser. Score!!

I just used a wet MAGIC ERASER and dried the excess water with a cotton cloth. Then I used a sealer/cleaner to make them shine right up. Easy, peasy and no chemicals!

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

That's great! Yes, a Magic Eraser can sometimes work for sealer haze removal as can super-fine steel wool. Both are abrasive which acts to remove the residue.

Often it depends on how long the sealer has cured on the surface. The longer the more difficult to remove. Certainly worth trying before acetone or other more potent methods. Thanks for sharing!

Black Galaxy Sealer Haze
by: Nacho

Same problem. Had Black Galaxy granite installed two days ago and the installer sealed it and left.

We are left with a blotchy, hazy and a foggy granite. Called the installer and he is coming to check it out.

Can the dried seller be removed with a buffer?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Hmm... you have to wonder why the installer didn't know not to apply a sealer to Black Galaxy granite.... right.

Sometimes scrubbing with steel wool can remove the haze, but usually you'll need to add in a solvent. You can start with acetone or mineral spirits soaking and scrubbing the surface. Use a power tool if it seems to be more effective.

If the above solvents don't work, then you'll have to use methylene chloride. Much more potent solvent found in paint strippers.

You'll need to protect you cabinets, walls... everything when stripping the sealer.

Thanks, Internet
by: Not a handyman

Just wanted to express my appreciation for the advice here. I tried to seal the dark (suede brown) granite in my new construction house.

I thought I followed directions but was left with a smearing, dull, messy residue next day. I was freaking out and preparing to give a lot of money to someone to fix them, but luckily found this thread.

The magic eraser, with quite a bit of elbow grease, worked perfectly!!! Thank you!!!

Haze on my new granite counter top
by: Louann

We have a saturnia granite top. He saturated it with sealant and said look but don't touch until tomorrow.

Now so hazy we are so upset with this I've tried a buffer. Nothing, so I'm going to buy magic eraser tomorrow or many. The light hits it and nothing but fog. I called them back and they said that's the way its suppose to be...but it's not.....VERY DISAPPOINTED.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

No, it is not supposed to be all hazy and they know it. Just ridiculous and appalling how irresponsible and clueless some stone fabricators are.

Fact one.... never ever let a sealer dry on the stone or you risk residue haze. So, applying it and leaving it overnight was 100% wrong. You can sometimes get away with this lazy method on very porous stones, but it's very risky and incorrect to do so.

He should have finished the job by applying to saturation and then removing all excess sealer and wiping the surface completely dry buffing out all streaks, etc.

He's telling you it's "normal" hoping you'll buy it and not cause him any more trouble. I apologize these people exist in this business but it is completely unregulated so it is very important to investigate any contractor, get references, etc.

The magic eraser may work or try scrubbing with a solvent like acetone. This is the most common method.

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