The Ultimate Guide to Polishing and Sealing Granite Countertops in the Kitchen
For decades now, granite and other natural stone countertops have been a fixture of fine homes. In fact, these days a home just doesn’t seem complete without beautiful and durable granite or stone countertops in the kitchen. With the increasing popularity of granite countertops, however, more and more homeowners come into contact with granite who are unaware of the ins and outs of properly caring for and cleaning granite countertops. Fortunately, maintaining the beauty and value of your natural stone countertops is easy with a little know-how… and the right tools for the job.
The first step to properly caring for your countertops is keeping them clean. Spills should be wiped up right away, while soiled or stained surfaces should be cleaned as soon as possible with granite cleaner. Fortunately, cleaning granite countertops is a relatively straightforward process, so long as you have the proper tools. While some homeowners may use soap and water on their countertops, it is recommended that you use a product specially formulated for cleaning granite countertops and other natural stone surfaces. Many cleaning compounds are acidic or abrasive, which can damage the finish of your countertops. Using a product that’s specially formulated for cleaning granite countertops is the best way to protect yours from stains and spills.
Granite is an incredibly tough and durable substance, but it is still a natural stone, which means that it is relatively porous and susceptible to staining if it isn’t kept clean and properly sealed and polished. Some modern homes feature countertops that are made of engineered granite materials incorporating polymer resins and other additives to protect surfaces from staining. While these products may be more resistant to certain kinds of stains than natural stone surfaces, they still require regular cleaning and proper care. In fact, no matter what kind of countertop you have in your home, the best way to keep it beautiful and well-protected is with regular care and maintenance.
Besides cleaning your granite countertops every day, if you want to keep your countertops looking and performing their best, it’s also a good idea to polish them once a week. Polishing your granite countertops not only helps them keep their natural luster, but it also protects them from stains, spills, glass rings, and etching. Rock Doctor Granite & Quartz Polish is specially formulated with emollients and carnauba wax to fill in even undetectable imperfections in your countertop’s natural surface, giving it a long-lasting glow that keeps it looking as good as the day it was installed.
After you’ve finished cleaning granite countertops, just apply a thin coating of granite polish and wipe it into the stone with a soft cloth. The polish will dry to a dull finish, which you can then buff with a clean cloth to achieve your desired shine.
Polishing your granite countertops helps to protect them from stains and spills, but the most important thing you can do to protect your natural stone surfaces is to make sure that they are properly sealed. Most granite countertops will come from the manufacturer already sealed, but for adequate protection they need to be re-sealed every 12 to 18 months. The natural porousness of granite and other stone surfaces allows them to absorb liquids, which can make your granite countertops susceptible to staining if they’re not properly sealed. Sealing and re-sealing your granite countertops protects them against spills and stains, and helps retain their beauty and value for years to come.
Not sure whether it’s time to re-seal your granite countertop? Fortunately, there’s an easy way to check: Just do the water test! Sprinkle a few drops of water on your countertop and see what happens. If the water beads up, then your seal is probably doing just fine. However, if the water seeps in and darkens the granite, it’s time to re-seal. Fortunately, re-sealing your granite countertop is almost as easy as cleaning when you have a product specially formulated for the job such as Rock Doctor Granite & Stone Sealer.
Just spray the surface with sealer and let it stand for 2 to 3 minutes, then wipe it clean with soft cloths or paper towels. That’s all there is to it! After letting your granite sealer dry for 30 minutes, you may want to perform the water test again, especially the first few times you re-seal your granite, until you get the hang of it. The water test can help make sure that your granite is properly sealed and that you didn’t miss any spots.
Granite countertops are more than just a beautiful and functional addition to your kitchen—they’re an investment. Granite countertops add value to your home, and beauty and warmth to your kitchen. Because granite is so durable, it can continue to hold its value for years to come, if it’s properly cared for. Fortunately, the care and cleaning of granite countertops is easy when you have the right tools. That’s where Rock Doctor’s line of specially formulated stone care products come in. Rock Doctor Granite & Quartz Cleaner makes cleaning granite countertops easy, while Rock Doctor Granite & Quartz Polish and Granite & Stone Sealer do the same for polishing and sealing. All are free from harmful additives, and all of them are available at your local hardware stores for your convenience.
Some homeowners are daunted by the prospect of properly caring for their natural stone countertops, but there’s really no need to be. According to housekeeping professionals, polishing and sealing your granite and other natural stone countertops takes less time and effort than washing the car or vacuuming the carpets. All you need are the right tools for the job.
Rock Doctor’s complete line of products for polishing, sealing, and cleaning granite countertops are available at Lowe’s Home Improvement and participating True Value, Do it Best, Home Depot, and Ace Hardware locations.