Granite is one of the easiest to care for stones you can use in your home. Most of the granite restoration calls we receive are for countertops that are 5 to 10 years old that have never been sealed (or sealed with a cheap sealant) and they are starting to show signs of etching or becoming dull around sink and work areas. It’s also important to remember that granite that has not been correctly sealed can store germs and moisture – things you don’t want on your food preparation surfaces.
Granite is an excellent choice for kitchen countertops because it’s not sensitive to most common household acids. If you have a polished and properly sealed granite countertop and use the correct cleaning products, it’s very difficult for it to lose its shine.
The professionals at Tru-Clean Surface Care recommend getting into a routine of wiping granite counters daily with a neutral cleaner. That’s all that’s needed. You don’t need to use harsh soap because nothing sticks to granite; it’s a smooth surface. We recommend Crystal Clean at Pro Cleaning Products. This professional-grade cleaner is used by stone professionals nationwide and will not leave streaks or water spots.
A natural stone cleaner made for daily use should not leave residue on stone. Many people often use dish detergent to clean their granite countertops, which we do not recommend. Soap has a fatty acid that leaves a greasy film, which can dull or leave streaks on stone surfaces. You won’t get that with the right daily cleaner.
Simple preventative measures can go a long way in protecting granite countertops. Make sure to use cutting boards, trivets, and cooling racks. Clean up spills and moisture as soon as possible. If you have bottles of cleaning fluids, keep them off the granite and use coasters with glasses.
If you don’t take the time to wipe off the water around the faucet and fixtures each day, you will see the water start to calcify, turning white. If you let it go, you’ll need a stone restoration, but it’s cleanable using a neutral cleaner to address the buildup once a week.
Tru-Clean Surface Care’s experts recommend sealing granite to keep it looking phenomenal, but the timeline can vary depending on use and which sealer was applied.
The kitchen is the heart of the home and is used every day, and the bathroom has constant daily water exposure. Reseal these countertops using a penetrating sealer. It provides good water, oil, and grease resistance. Penetrating (or impregnating) sealers work just below the stone surface to provide an additional safeguard against stains. We seal and protect granite countertops in hundreds of homes annually throughout SW Florida and are the “cleaner of choice” top many of SW Florida’s leading interior designers, realtors, installation contractors, and homeowners desirous of quality cleaning and sealing services.
How To Identify When Your Granite Countertop Needs To Be Sealed
To identify when it’s time to seal or reseal, put a little hot water on an area, let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes, and then wipe it off. If the stone darkens, it’s still absorbing moisture. If it doesn’t, it’s sealed. The reason hot water is used is because it has smaller molecules.
Another way to tell if your counters need resealing is by simply looking at them. If there are dull spots on a countertop that should be glossy, it’s time to seal or reseal.
A quality sealer can last up to 25 years if using the right products to clean daily. Using improper cleaners will break down countertop sealers. Granite is the perfect countertop product, and if you take care of it, it will last a lifetime.
Fact: Most new granite and marble countertops installed in SW Florida are not sealed by the contractor. If the homeowner does not ask, they may never know until their expensive stone starts to show signs of etching or staining.
Even though granite is one of the strongest stones available, it needs to be sealed. Unsealed granite is susceptible to:
- Stains from various food items with color in them such as wine or coffee
- Etching can occur with exposure to things like acidic cleaning agents, vinegar, or lemon juice (Never use water and vinegar on natural stone surfaces)
- Acidic substances can quickly deteriorate the stone over time
All cleaning products ARE NOT THE SAME. Many can damage your stone EVEN if it is sealed, and of course, an unsealed stone is even more susceptible to damage.
- Citrus cleaners can quickly eat away at the stone’s calcium, leaving tiny pits in the surface
- Certain chemicals can erode and seep into the surface, damaging the finish and color
Tru-Clean Surface Care is a Certified Partner with the prestigious Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC, the Stone Pro Organization, and a surpHaces Certified PRO Partner. We are experts in natural stone cleaning, polishing, repair, and sealing.
If your granite or marble countertops need a good cleaning, polishing, or sealing or if you have questions about your countertop needs, please feel free to give us a call any time at 239-541-4888 – Cape Coral and Lee County, 239-206-1935 – Bonita Springs, Naples, and Marco Island, or 941-621-2198 – Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte Florida.