Granite Care and Maintenance

Granite counter
Thursday, July 31, 2014

Brought to us by Mother Nature, granite is a 100% natural stone that’s beautiful, durable and easy to maintain with a few simple steps.

For daily cleanup, use warm water and/or a mild dishsoap applied with a washcloth or microfiber cloth.  Avoid harsh or abrasive cleaners, glass cleaners, any products with ammonia or bleach and any acidic cleaners like vinegar, lemon or lime.  These chemicals will dull and weaken the sealant over time.

About that sealant.  By its very nature, granite is moisture resistant, but it’s also porous.  That’s why it’s sealed with an impregnating sealer prior to installation. The sealer fills the pores, provides a barrier between the stone and liquids that spill on it, and slows down the rate at which the stone absorbs a liquid.

But the barrier isn’t impenetrable.  It simply gives you time to clean up spills before they can penetrate and stain the surface. 

Many granites are dense enough that they won’t stain at all, but to be safe, wipe up spills immediately.

The question we most often hear is “How often do I need to re-seal granite?”  The answer is “It depends.”  As a natural material, no two slabs are ever alike, much less have the same absorbent quality.  As a result, confusion abounds.

Dwyer Marble and Stone, our supplier, tells me that – generally speaking - the darker the granite, the denser it is, and denser granite is less porous and therefore requires less frequent sealing.  In fact, some granites may never need sealing.

So how do you know?  Dwyer recommends splashing water on your counter.  If it beads up the way water does on a well-waxed car, then it doesn’t need sealing.

And how often should you check?  At least once a year.

If you don't need to reseal, there’s no reason to do it “just to be safe.”  After all, sealer can’t penetrate what’s already sealed.

If you do need to reseal, it’s a breeze – really.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but generally, you simply clean and dry your counters, apply the sealer with a soft cloth, wipe off the excess, and allow to dry 24 to 48 hours.  It’s that easy.

There are lots of sealers on the market, but Dwyer recommends (and carries) sealers made by Tenax.

And finally, a word about granite in the bathroom.  Toiletries can leak and spill so it’s best not to store them directly on your countertops – unless you do it the same way upscale hotels do, by putting trays underneath them.  Find some ones you love and think of it as a decorating opportunity!

- Betsy de Parry, VP, Sales and Marketing