Most people know that a granite counter should be sealed but read on to learn how to seal a granite countertop like a pro would.
Granite has been the prevalent countertop trend for many years now. Most new homes, as well as most renovations, have included granite countertops. Most people, however, aren’t sure exactly how to care for granite properly. They are under the impression that granted being a rock doesn’t really require much care at all since it’s been around from the beginning of time and all.
Granite counters are extremely resilient and very hard to damage. To tell the truth, you’re not really going to harm your granite, that really isn’t the point when we talk about caring for your granite countertops. What we are talking about is making your counters easier to clean and less likely to Harbor any bacteria from food preparation.
Granite can harbor harmful bacteria.
yes, that’s right can Harbor Harmful bacteria inside itself if it’s not properly sealed and cared for. Most of us when we see a granite countertop we don’t think about it being porous. Most are very shiny and don’t look like they could absorb anything. However, Granite is extremely porous and can and will absorb any liquid that is spilled on it. This can lead to staining if an oil or colored liquid is spilled on a granite counter that is not sealed.
In fact, a liquid sitting on top of an unsealed granite countertop can soak completely through in a matter of minutes. Really this wouldn’t be a huge problem if we didn’t cook in our kitchens. I don’t know about you but my family Cooks daily. We are all conscious in this day in age of bacteria and pathogens in uncooked food. We hear about it all the time. We hear news of people getting sick from salmonella, e.coli, Listeria, and others. When we here about these things happening what is the inevitable cause. Typically it’s going to be poor cleanliness. Somewhere along the line contamination happened Because somebody didn’t clean up properly. Some of these pathogens don’t last long, however, there are many that can last for days or even several weeks so it is imperative that we aren’t allowing them to be harbored inside our home.
now when we’re outside of our home there is little that we can do to prevent this. We are relying on others. That being said when we’re in our home we are in complete control. There are many ways that these pathogens can end up in our home as well especially if we’re preparing food. So it’s up to us to keep our homes free of these types of dangers. In this article, I’m going to teach you the right way to clean seal and polish granite counters. when a granite countertop is sealed and Polished properly foodborne pathogens are not able to make their way into the pores of your counters.
What does a sealer do?
The type of sealer that we are going to be talking about is what’s called a Penetrating Sealer. This type of sealer does exactly what you think it does it penetrates into the stone drys and creates a barrier to liquids on the surface. When a sealer is properly applied a liquid will not be able to soak into your stone where you can’t clean It.
Now there are sealers on the market that you will want to stay away from these are what are called coatings. Coating type sealers should not be used on your counters. Yes, a coating sealer will completely seal in your counter and not allow pathogens into your stone. However, these over the long run will be very difficult to maintain so you will want to stay away from them.
Now when you go into a store looking for a sealer whether it’s your local Home Center or online you will notice a large variety available. They will range from very inexpensive to very costly. This is one area where you get your money’s worth when you pay for a good sealer. An inexpensive sealer will not last nearly as long as a more costly one. so when you’re looking to seal your granite countertop you want to make sure you buy a good sealer the one I recommend is Stone Pro impregnating Sealer. The company that makes this sealer do an excellent job and Are making top-notch products. This product can also be used when sealing tile grout as well so if you need more a gallon can be purchased as well.
Some people believe that sealers don’t work. Here is why.
We were buying our sealer we want to be conscious of one more thing. You need to make sure that when you buy your sealer you also purchase a cleaning product designed to be used in conjunction with your sealer.
Neglecting this one item is why most people believe sealers don’t work. This is why. If you seal your countertop with a great sealer. Then in the next week, you clean your countertop with a product such as, well many products would do this here I’ll name a few. Bleach, ammonia, Simple Green, Tile and grout cleaners, General kitchen cleaners, you get the picture. most cleaners not designed to be used on granite and some that are used for granite will strip your sealer. So when you’re purchasing your sealer it’s helpful to find a sealer that has a matching cleaning product. Most good Sealers will have a matching product for cleaning you should be able to find one in the same area you’re buying your sealer. Again the one I recommend is from Stone Pro and is called Crystal Clean. This cleaner is another reason why I prefer the stone pro line of products this particular cleaner contains sealer in the formulation. As a result, when you use this cleaner after you’ve sealed your counters you will be resealing every time you clean. This will Ensure that your sealer lasts an extremely long time, in fact, many years to come.
What should you use to sanitize your granite countertops?
Now to remove germs if you’re cooking in your kitchen Before you prepare any food you will need to disinfect the counter. In order to do this, there’s a simple DIY product that you can make with household items. What you will need is 4 tablespoons of isopropyl alcohol and 4 drops of dishwashing liquid in a 1-liter spray bottle topped off with warm water just mix this up and you can use it whenever you need to sanitize your counter. This mixture is a very effective way to kill any bacteria that may be lurking on your countertop. It’s very important that this is done before and after any food preparation in order to prevent cross-contamination between your foods. Simply spray your counter with this mixture and wipe with a towel just like you would clean anything else. Now your counter is clean and safe to use for food preparation.
so let’s get into the application of sealers.
things you will need
- a good sealer
- Several small terry cloth towels
The first step to this process is to make sure that your granite counter is completely clean and dry prior to this application.
Second, Put on a pair of rubber gloves. Then take one of your small terry towels and fold it into half and then half again. Then pour enough sealer onto the towel in order to saturate it. Once the towel is saturated simply wipe the towel over the whole surface of your counter. If your towel starts to dry out add a little more sealer and continue the process. Once you have wiped the whole counter you’ll need to wait several minutes for the sealer to soak into the stone. If this is a brand-new counter and has never been sealed before I recommend doing two coats of sealer. If you are adding a second coat of sealer let the first coat soak in for around 10 minutes then do the same process over again. It’s important that we not let the sealer completely dry on the surface this will make it difficult to remove the excess sealer. It is best to follow the directions on the bottle some directions call for a longer dwell time than others. Once the proper dwell time has elapsed it’s time to clean off the excess sealer. All you need to do is take a clean terry cloth towel and wipe the excess off of the surface. This can take a little bit of elbow grease really not much. If there is an area of sealer that has dried and has left a little bit of a haze simply wipe over that area with the towel that you use to apply the sealer. This will reactivate the sealer and allow you to wipe it dry.
Now its time to make that granite shine.
As a final step on granite, I prefer to add a Polish. This will give you a granite a nice shiny appearance plus make it extremely easy to clean. What the Polish will do is fill in the microscopic cracks that are in your stone allowing you to achieve a very smooth finish.
These are very easy to apply you simply spray on the Polish wipe it down with a terry cloth towel similar to applying wax onto a car. Then you allow the polish to dry to a haze. Make sure that you allow this polish to dry completely otherwise it will be more difficult to remove later. If you think it’s dry wait a little bit longer just to make sure. After it’s completely dry use a terry cloth towel to wipe off all of the Polish. Then use another dry terry cloth towel to go over it again. If you want to make your granite really shine use an electric polisher to remove the excess polish. If you’re using the electric polisher use it with a lambs-wool pad. Use a dry terry cloth to remove about half of the Polish then Run the electric polisher over the whole countertop this will really make your countertops pop.
Now after this process is done as long as you use the correct cleaner in conjunction with your sealer it should last at least 5 years. the Polish typically needs to be applied about twice a month (you don’t need to use the electric polisher every time).
Well, that’s it your granite counter is sealed and ready to use.
I hope this information was helpful.
Remember always clean like a pro.