Once these sealers cure after application they are safe and inert (chemically un-reactive) and will not affect your food or even contact your food for that matter since they absorb into the stone to work just below the surface.
what food-safe sealer can i use for a slate countertop? it is machine honed (like a smooth new chalkboard) dark gray in color. it is quarried in Slatington, PA
All impregnating slate, marble, stone, granite sealers are "food safe". All such sealers are made for application to stone and granite countertops, which are designed for food prep.
If the stone - slate - granite sealers were not food safe, they would not be approved for use on such surfaces and could not be marketed as such.
Now, of course the sealer itself is not safe to consume, but after it has been applied all the chemicals evaporate and the remaining "cured" sealer is inert... meaning it is not chemically reactive and therefore not a contaminate and safe for food prep areas.
I need to seal dark granite countertops, but I'd like to apply a more natural sealer without harsh chemicals (more earth-friendly and not as damaging to people).
The kind I found at Lowe's suggests you leave the windows open for 2 days after applying the sealer. Is there a product that does this more naturally? All I can find is natural cleaners, but not natural sealers.
Cheryl, I completely understand what you mean. Many sealers are solvent-based and very noxious and toxic. Recently water-based sealers have been developed to try and minimize the impact on humans and the environment.
Now I wouldn't necessarily call these green sealers, but much better.
Now, you say you 'need' to seal dark granite. Have you performed the water test on the granite countertop (and/or oil test on a sample) to be sure that it really does need sealing... or did someone just tell you to do it?
Some granite varieties don't need sealing... mainly a few darker varieties. If you test the granite and the results demonstrate that it doesn't need sealing then you should NOT do it "just to be safe."
The sealer must get below the surface into the pores of the stone. If the stone is really dense, the sealer will just sit on top and the residue will leave a streaky mess even after you wipe off the excess. You'll then have to strip off the sealer, and believe me, you do not want to do that job.
If the granite shows signs of even a little porosity/absorbency, then go ahead and seal it.
What non-teflon based sealers are available for safe and effective use on granite?
Travertine floor and granite countertop and back splash. I am looking for an environmentally safe non-teflon (fluoropolymer) sealer. Do they exist and what are their names. Thanks, Dr. Smith
Flouoro-carbon sealers are pretty standard these days, however, water-based granite sealers like Stone Sentry Sealer (the water-based sealer we recommend) are less toxic (lower concentration of volatile organic compounds) than solvent-based sealers.
You can find some sealers that are marketed as "non-toxic" or "no VOCs", but EPA rules actually target certain VOCs over others, thus a company can claim a product is "zero" VOC and still contain up to 5%.
Or you may see some labeled as "Green", but typically this does not mean that the chemical is completely non-toxic, non-harmful.... just better than the others.
Not being a chemist, I can't definitively answer this question beyond the above explanation. The granite sealer game is won on durability, so the effort is to engineer sealers that last as long as possible.
So far, this entails using chemical compounds that have some toxicity.
However, it is important to clarify and understand that a granite sealer prior to application is toxic, but after applied and cured the VOCs evaporate and the remaining compound is inert, non-toxic and safe for food prep, etc.
So when talking about "safety" of granite sealers we are not deciding which is safe to use on a countertop. They are all designed to be used on food prep areas.
The issue is that some are less environmentally toxic upon application, so the less-toxic sealers will release fewer VOCs into your home. And this occurs over a short time frame of only a few days to a couple weeks.
Of course, your home is already made with all kinds of materials that emit toxic fumes, which people have developed sensitivities to (sometimes severe).
You could go back in time and use the orginal sealer... linseed oil, but that would require constant re-application and it tends to yellow.
Many stones are naturally very dense, stain-resistant and should not be sealed.
Also, it's helpful to remember or learn that most stains in stone can be easily removed. It's just that if you have a porous stone for a kitchen countertop, then removing stains can become a nuisance, so sealing makes sense.
But for installations that have a low risk of staining, sealing is very optional and in many cases just unnecessary. This includes some floors, showers, lightly-used bathrooms or even kitchen backsplashes which get surface splatters, but rarely stains.
Good Luck, Ryan
Comments for What non-teflon based sealers are available for safe and effective use on granite?
I am hypersensitive to chemical odours and I would dearly love to have a granite countertop. What are the sealers made of? Do they off -gas and for how long?
Nearly all chemicals have an odor and some are going to bother people more than others.
Granite sealers are made using either a water base or a solvent base. Solvents are volatile and will off-gas until evaporated at least.
Water-based sealers still have some odor, but not typically as strong as solvent-based sealers.
Usually you will notice an odor only for a couple days or less. However, I'm not a chemist and it is possible that off-gassing occurs with all types of granite sealers or other chemicals longer than your average human would/could actually smell.
So, someone with odor sensitivity may notice it far longer than typical.
SenGuard is the very best granite sealer available, but it is a solvent-based sealer. The Stone Sentry granite sealer is water-based. Enhancer sealers are solvent-base.
There are arguments for both types although many (and in the future possibly all) are going to a water-base since solvent chemicals are more damaging to the environment.
But you don't have to worry about it!
There are plenty of granite colors that don't need a granite sealer because they are dense with low absorption rates.
Such granites are naturally stain resistant and do not need sealing.... in fact couldn't be sealed even if you tried... the granite sealer simply won't absorb and nothing else will either.
These are the most bullet-proof surfaces you can install... highly recommended.
I know you've read that "all" granite "must" be sealed, but that's just marketing mumbo jumbo from quartz countertop and granite sealer manufacturers (trying to sell their product) and from poorly informed stone salepeoples, etc.
It's simply not true... many granites and many stone types never need sealing.
That's why you should always perform the water test for sealing granite countertops on a sample taken from the granite slab you are considering purchasing... or when trying to determine if an existing installation needs sealing / re-sealing.
This test will tell you how absorbent a stone is and whether or not it needs sealing or if it even can be sealed.
You should also perform the "Lemon Juice Test" to weed out the rare granite that reacts to acids. Some black granites are appearing in the marketplace now that will etch, so you have to be on the lookout... don't want those.
Most of the granite colors that don't need sealing are on the darker side, but you still have lots to choose from. This is the way to go if you want to avoid applying a granite sealer.
Good Luck, Ryan
Comments for Granite Sealer Chemical Odor Sensitivity
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