How to Take Care of Granite Countertops


Granite countertops are a popular style used by many homeowners for new building and kitchen remodels. The perks of the stone are that it’s durable, beautiful and does not require much maintenance. However, granite does require minimal care to ensure that it stays in great condition, including removing stains, and sealing and wiping down the surface.

Part 1
Sealing the Surface

Sealing the Surface on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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Most granite countertops do not require a sealant, but they may benefit from a quality sealer product. The sealant will give your countertops extra protection against spills by making a moisture-resistant surface even more moisture resistant.[1] Make sure your surface is not already sealed. If your countertops are a part of a newly built home, the builder probably already sealed them.[2]

Sealing the Surface on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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The sealer product should last ten to fifteen years and be oleophobic (resistant to water and oil or fat based stains). Find one that will penetrate the granite to seal any grooves or spaces in the stone, instead of sitting on the surface. Do not use lower-priced, lower-quality sealants that are less than ten dollars.[3]

Sealing the Surface on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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Make sure your work area is well ventilated before you seal the countertop. Open windows, doors, and turn a fan on.

Sealing the Surface on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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Wipe the granite down with a damp, soft cloth and a bit of dish soap, or multipurpose cleaner. Dry the surface with a dry, soft cloth and buff it as much as you can. If you don't know your countertop's history, like if it's used, consider using a commercial degreaser product first.

Sealing the Surface on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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Your countertops must be bone dry, before you apply a sealant. Let them sit for 24 hours after you wipe them down and clean them. Use a fan to cut down on the drying time. The colors in granite should look less deep after it’s completely dry.

Sealing the Surface on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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After you purchase a high-quality sealant, make sure you follow their directions. Every manufacturer will have slightly different instructions for sealing the surface of granite.

Sealing the Surface on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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Spread the sealer over the counter top with a paper towel, foam brush or rag. Allow the sealer to penetrate 5 to 10 minutes; if the sealer is completely absorbed in 5 minutes, add more. After 5 to 10 minutes, blot any remaining sealer.

Sealing the Surface on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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Use a clean, dry terry cloth to buff the sealer left on the surface off. Wipe the stone using small, circular motions. Use a cordless, orbital buffer if you have one and want to get the job done quicker.

Part 2
Maintaining the Surface Daily

Maintaining the Surface Daily on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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Don’t use harsh cleansers or scrubbers. While granite is very durable, acidic cleansers and sponges that can scratch will wear down a sealant. Use ph neutral soap to clean your countertops and steer clear of windex or vinegar. Stone cleaner works as well as simple dish soap.[4] Opt for a cleaner intended foruse on granite. Marcus Shields,owner of Maideasy, says: "Whenyou're cleaning granite, you wantto avoid using acidic cleanerslike vinegar, ammonia, or otherharsh chemicals. The granite issealed during manufacturing, butthose cleaners can remove thesealing, leaving the granitesusceptible to etching andbacteria growth. Instead, useproducts specifically made forgranite, like 409 Granite Cleaneror Granite Gold."Opt for a cleaner intended for use ongranite. Marcus Shields, owner ofMaideasy, says: "When you're cleaninggranite, you want to avoid usingacidic cleaners like vinegar, ammonia,or other harsh chemicals. The graniteis sealed during manufacturing, butthose cleaners can remove the sealing,leaving the granite susceptible toetching and bacteria growth. Instead,use products specifically made forgranite, like 409 Granite Cleaner orGranite Gold."Opt for a cleaner intended for use ongranite. Marcus Shields, owner of Maideasy,says: "When you're cleaning granite, youwant to avoid using acidic cleaners likevinegar, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals.The granite is sealed during manufacturing,but those cleaners can remove the sealing,leaving the granite susceptible to etchingand bacteria growth. Instead, use productsspecifically made for granite, like 409Granite Cleaner or Granite Gold."Opt for a cleaner intended for use on granite. Marcus Shields, owner ofMaideasy, says: "When you're cleaning granite, you want to avoid usingacidic cleaners like vinegar, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals. Thegranite is sealed during manufacturing, but those cleaners can removethe sealing, leaving the granite susceptible to etching and bacteriagrowth. Instead, use products specifically made for granite, like 409Granite Cleaner or Granite Gold."Opt for a cleaner intended for use on granite. Marcus Shields, owner ofMaideasy, says: "When you're cleaning granite, you want to avoid using acidiccleaners like vinegar, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals. The granite issealed during manufacturing, but those cleaners can remove the sealing,leaving the granite susceptible to etching and bacteria growth. Instead, useproducts specifically made for granite, like 409 Granite Cleaner or GraniteGold."

Maintaining the Surface Daily on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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Keeping the surface free of dirt and grime will help preserve granite. Clean your countertop regularly with warm water and a few drops of dish or antibacterial detergent using a soft cloth. Rinse the surface thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.

Maintaining the Surface Daily on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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If you spill something on the surface, blot with a paper towel or soft cloth right away. Do not wipe spilled liquids, like juice or milk, because this can spread them around your countertop.

Maintaining the Surface Daily on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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Granite countertops and properly sealed stone will repel most stains if the spills are cleaned promptly. Use a dry, dishcloth to dry your granite after any spills, so moisture does not seep into the pores of the stone.

Maintaining the Surface Daily on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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Hot cooking pots will not damage the surface and granite can withstand high temperatures, but extreme or constant temperature changes can harm your stone. For instance, avoid leaving hot pans sitting on granite in a chilly room.

Maintaining the Surface Daily on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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Protect your granite from moisture absorption by using coasters under anything filled with liquid. Be especially careful with dark colored liquids, like red wine or juice.[5]

Part 3
Cleaning Deeply and Disinfecting

Cleaning Deeply and Disinfecting on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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If your granite countertops are properly sealed and maintained, you only need to wipe them down thoroughly with water, a rag and a gentle cleaner.

Cleaning Deeply and Disinfecting on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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If you spill oil-based liquids on your granite, like milk or grease, you may need to remove some stains. Make a paste out of baking soda and water, slather it on the oil marks, cover it and let it sit for several hours or overnight. [6]

Cleaning Deeply and Disinfecting on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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Coffee, juice and wine may leave marks if it’s not cleaned up immediately and penetrates the stone. Add just enough hydrogen peroxide to baking soda to make a paste. Apply it to any water-based stains or marks, cover it and let it sit overnight.

Cleaning Deeply and Disinfecting on How to Take Care of Granite Countertops

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Granite naturally repels bacteria, but if you want to disinfect your countertops more than what soap and water can, use water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Mix the solution up with a 50/50 ratio, spray it on the countertops, and let it sit for three to five minutes. Rinse with water and dry with a soft dishcloth.