Granite is a popular “finishing choice” for homeowners because of its good-looks and its strength. A well-maintained granite counter-top boasts natural beauty and outlasts most other finishes.
But granite is also natural rock, mined from the earth. It’s porous and highly absorbent.
Therefore, if your home features granite in its kitchen, its bathrooms, or other living spaces, you’ll want to make sure the counter-tops are cared for to prevent staining and/or clouding over time.
The first step is to seal your countertops every 12 months — 6 months in areas of heavy use.
Sealing a counter-top is akin to applying polyurethane to hardwood flooring; it protects the material’s natural traits, while keeping out “the elements”. Specifically, sealing granite creates a non-porous layer on the surface that is impenetrable to juice and grease, as examples.
Sealant can be purchased at a local hardware store, or on Amazon.com. Prices start around $10. Just make sure you’re following the manufacturer’s application instructions. Sealant won’t work if applied improperly.
Then, once sealed, avoid harsh cleansers. Instead, opt for a warm sponge and mild detergent. Cleaning with soap will help leave a reflective finish on the surface that will not strip the seal. Using soap also prevents the “cloudy counterspy” condition that’s so common with granite.
And, lastly, every day, take preventative measures to keep your granite shining. Just because a countertop is sealed, that doesn’t mean it’s immune to damage. Use coasters under beverages, put hot plates under dishes, and clean up spills as they happen.
A granite counter-top will last years will proper care.