How to Care for Granite Countertops: Steps for Keeping Your Natural Stone Beautiful

Granite is one of the most beautiful natural stones that you can select for your countertop. Beyond the appearance of the stone, many homeowners love the low maintenance requirements that granite has. But while the stone is low maintenance, you will still need to put in some effort to keep it looking beautiful.

This guide will provide you with the information you will need to know about how to properly care for your granite countertops.

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How Do You Go About Everyday Cleaning?
Regardless of the maintenance requirements, all natural stone countertops need consistent attention if you want to keep the surface in top shape. The following steps will help you achieve this with your granite countertops.

Step 1: Use a Cleaner Suitable for Granite
While you can use soap and warm water, there are many cleaners available on the market that are designed for use with granite. Apply the cleaner and wipe your counter down. Make sure to use only cleaners or dish soap that is pH neutral, rather than acidic cleaners such as vinegar or ammonia. If you use acidic cleaners, you might remove any sealant from the countertop, which will leave the surface vulnerable to damage.

Step 2: Keep Up on Cleaning
While granite countertops are among the lower maintenance options that you have, it is highly recommended that you keep up on regular cleaning. Regular cleaning can be as simple as using a little dish soap and warm water, so this process is not anything difficult or time consuming. Make sure to use a soft cloth to wipe the surface clean, not a rough sponge.

How Do You Seal a Granite Countertop?
Granite countertops, like almost all natural stone surfaces, need to be sealed to prevent stains and liquid damage. While this may sound like an inconvenience, the process of sealing granite is simple and quick, and you will typically only have to do it once a year. How often you have to re-seal the countertop will depend on what type of granite you choose. Lighter colored granite will need to be re-sealed more often than granite that is a darker color.

How Do You Know if Your Granite Needs to Be Re-Sealed?
To tell if your granite countertop needs to be re-sealed, you can perform a simple test. Pour a small amount of water on a small section of your granite countertop. After you do this, wait for about 10 minutes. If the water beads up on the surface, your sealant is still effective. On the other hand, if the water sinks down into the surface, you should re-seal your countertop as soon as possible.

Step 1: Find Your Sealer
The first part of the sealing process is finding your desired sealer. There are many sealers available on the market, so you will have a wide variety to choose from.

Step 2: Clear and Clean the Countertop
You will want to make sure everything is off your countertop before you begin sealing it. You will also want to make sure the surface is clean, which you can do by following the steps for everyday cleaning above.

Step 3: Ventilate the Area
It is always a good idea to make sure your workspace is well ventilated. You can do so by opening windows, turning on fans and/or opening doors.

Step 4: Apply the Sealer
Apply the sealer to your countertop by always following the instructions on the label that comes with the product. Depending on the product you purchase, you will either have to pour the sealer onto the countertop or spray it on if the product comes in a spray bottle. Coat the countertop with the sealer and wait for 5 to 10 minutes. If the sealer absorbs within 5 minutes, simply add an additional coat. After 10 minutes, wipe off any excess sealer. Then, let your countertop sit for 24 hours to let the sealer take effect.