Do you need to seal your granite countertops? Go sprinkle some water on your granite countertop to see if the granite darkens and absorbs the water within four minutes or less. If your granite countertop absorbed the water within four minutes that means you should definitely seal it. Keep this test in mind for future reference; your countertops should be tested every few months to truly keep track of how often you should seal your granite countertop. If the water doesn’t absorb into the granite and stays beaded on the surface you don’t have to seal your granite! Even if you tried to seal it, the granite won’t absorb any of the sealant.
So why do you need to seal granite countertops in the first place? Like most naturally occurring elements, granite is porous and some types of granite are more absorbent than others (which is not a good!). Although granite is very dense and resilient, it is very weak to oils that can permeate the stone and stain the granite permanently if not sealed properly. Some types of granite mixed with calcite will actually corrode when exposed to acids like lemon juice, vinegar, coffee, alcohol and more. A stained countertop after spending all that time choosing the perfect sheet of granite is your worst nightmare.
To prevent any type of damage you should seal your granite countertop with an oil-repellent penetrating sealer to prevent staining. Brands such as SenGuard, StoneTech, BulletProof and Impregnator Pro are all great brands recommended by professionals to get the job done. The sealer won’t make your granite damage-proof by any means. Sealing your granite means that it’ll slow the stain absorption rate so you can clean up your mess.
Simply clean your granite with water and dish soap, dry with lint-free towel and wait 24 hours for granite to completely dry. It’s important to test the sealer on a small space to make sure it doesn’t leave a hazy residue or discolor your granite! Once tested, cover the entire granite with the sealant evenly with proper ventilation. Let the granite absorb the sealant for 20 minutes or however long the sealer’s manufacturer recommends. Wipe up the sealer with a lint-free towel and leave the counter alone for 48 hours! Apply a second coat of sealant if necessary.
Remember to clean spills as soon as you notice them to avoid having the liquids penetrate through the sealant and into the stone. To clean your freshly sealed granite, neutral cleansing products will be your best bet. Find a specially formulated stone cleaner or try a solution of water and mild dishwashing soap. Just stay away from abrasive cleaners that use harsh chemicals.