Think about the kitchen countertops in your home. They’re probably made of granite, and it’s likely that you haven’t given them a second thought since you first put them in place. But if you want to keep those counters looking their best for as long as possible, there are some simple things you can do to make sure they shine for years to come.
The first thing is maintenance – which means scrubbing down the counters every few months with a mild dish detergent and water solution (and then drying off any excess liquid). This will remove food particles and other gunk that might accumulate overtime on the surface of your granite countertop, leaving it clean and shiny.
But what about sealing?
You might not realize it, but the natural oils from your skin, as well as other substances that you leave behind on your granite counters – like lotions and makeup – can actually impact how long they retain their shiny appearance.
That’s why sealing is so important – it provides a protective barrier between the surface of your countertops and these harsher substances.
So how do you seal your granite countertops?
It’s not complicated, but it does take some time. If you follow these instructions carefully though, it shouldn’t be too difficult of a process to get the job done right the first time around.
And remember – sealing is important because it will protect your counters for years to come. Taking some time out of your weekend to keep those countertops looking great is a small price to pay for all the benefits they provide you.
Step 1: Prepare Your Materials
The first thing you’ll need to do is gather up your materials:
- Granite sealer, such as the one recommended here.
- A few paint brushes (small foam ones or short, hog bristle) should do the trick.
- An old rag that’s been washed and dried thoroughly.
- Rubber gloves to protect your hands from harsh chemicals.
Once you’ve gathered everything, it’s time to get started on the actual sealing process.
Step 2: Clean the Granite Countertops
Before sealing granite, it is important to clean the surface of the stone thoroughly. Get rid of any excess dirt and dust from the countertops with a solution of warm water and dish detergent.
Once that has been done, we would advise drying the surface thoroughly with a soft towel.
Step 3: Apply the Granite Sealer
Pour a small amount of sealer into the bottle’s cap or onto a cloth pad. If using a cloth, spread it into an area about as big as your hand. When applying the sealer, be as even as possible.
Apply a thin layer of granite sealer to your countertops, using smooth strokes to evenly distribute the product. Use circular motions when applying the sealer, being careful not to leave any areas untouched.
When sealing granite countertops, bathrooms, and floors, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before sealing. Each type of stone requires a different amount of sealant and waiting time after applying the sealer to wipe up excess liquid.
Step 4: Wait for the Sealer to Dry
Wait for 15 to 20 minutes for the sealer to dry before applying another layer of sealant in much the same fashion. This time around, you’ll need a little more sealant for this step.
A layer that is nice and even all over your countertops, without any streaks or smudges will have to be ensured as this ensures a thorough seal has been achieved.
Step 5: Apply Another Layer of Sealant
Apply the final layer of sealer after waiting for another 15 to 20 minutes for the new coat to dry. You should have a layer that is nice and even all over your countertops, without any streaks or smudges.
That’s it! Your granite counters should now be sealed and ready for use. The best thing about sealing granite is that you can do it yourself without having to hire a professional–which means the process doesn’t cost you a dime.
Step 6: Allow the Countertops to Dry
Once the sealant is dry, allow it to remain on your countertops for about 2 hours before using them. It is important that a granite sealant is reapplied every 6-12 months as a means of protection from wear and tear and stains. This will keep the surface in its best condition for an extended period of time.
And that’s all there is to it!
Why You Should Seal Granite?
Sealing granite has several benefits that make it worth doing. Not only will it help increase the lifespan of your countertops, but it also helps protect them from bacteria.
Because granite is porous, so it’s possible for bacteria to get stuck in the stone.
Another reason sealing granite is important has to do with your wallet. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on new countertops when you can easily maintain the old ones.
Here are some of the most notable reasons you should seal granite:
- It protects the stone from staining, mold, and mildew.
- Keeps mold/mildew from growing in the pores of the granite.
- Makes it easier to clean later on.
Special Considerations When Sealing Granite
There are a few special considerations you should keep in mind when sealing granite. This guide will definitely help, but there’s no substitute for taking your time and really thinking about what you’re doing.
Here are some things to think about:
- Be very careful when using cleaners on granite. Don’t use exfoliants, bleach, ammonia-based products like Windex, or any other chemicals that could damage your countertops. Most cleaning products are fine as long as you wipe them off immediately.
- You can use any type of acid-based or oil-based sealer on granite. Just remember: oil and water don’t mix, so you’ll need to clean up any spills immediately.
- It’s very important to seal granite only on the countertop, not around the sinks or other surfaces. You don’t want a ring of sealer around your faucet.
- Don’t use a sealer that’s more of an oil than a spray. It will cause streaks and look very unprofessional.
How Often Do You Need to Seal Granite Countertops?
Sealing granite countertops should be done according to the stone type, the number of acidic substances at home, and their concentration. The higher they are, the more often you need to reseal granite countertops.
If you have a high-quality stone that’s durable enough to survive harsh conditions, it can last 3-5 years before resealing. But if you have a low-quality stone or an acidic substance concentration at home is high, it’s better to reseal every 6-12 months.
To determine how often do you need to seal granite countertops you should test the surface of the stone after cleaning with vinegar or lemon juice. If you notice that there is efflorescence, etching or there are scratch marks on the surface of the stone you need to reseal it.
Sealing granite might seem like a daunting project, but if you follow these simple instructions, you should have no trouble at all getting the job done. If you want to ensure your countertops are well-protected, you will need to re-apply the sealant once every three months.
So get started today, and make your kitchen countertops shine like new!