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Sealing a Granite Countertop: How Often Should You Do It?
Sealing your granite countertop will protect it from stains, scratches, and other damage. The frequency of sealing that you need to do depends on the quality of sealant you use, how often you cook, and how hard you clean up spills.
Experts recommend sealing your countertops every 6-12 months to maintain their original beauty. Granite is a natural stone, and even the most carefully crafted granite slab can develop scratches, watermarks, and stains from everyday use. Sealing granite counters prevents stains from setting, keeps them looking shiny and new, and helps prevent scratches from forming.
The best way to keep your granite counters looking their best is to seal them regularly. You may have to seal more or less often based on how frequently you use your kitchen and how many people use it. For example, a granite top that only sees light use once a day may only need to be sealed once or twice in 3 years, while a countertop that sees heavy use every day will need to be sealed every six or 12 months.
Factors that Affect How Often to Seal Granite
The biggest factor in your need for sealing is based on the amount of water in contact with your countertops. Granite is a porous stone that can be damaged by water, and therefore if your granite countertops are installed in an area where they will be exposed to water frequently, you should consider sealing more often. Places that get a lot of use, such as kitchens and bathroom vanities, are subject to more wear and tear than areas with less traffic, such as bathroom vanities in hallways or bedrooms.
Granite countertops are great at repelling sticky spills such as honey, jelly, syrup, and peanut butter. However, they tend to absorb oils and greases more readily than other countertop materials such as ceramic tile, glass, and Formica. Oils from cooking can penetrate deep into the granite layer, making it difficult for a sealer to effectively bond to the surface and may cause damage from abrasion during cleaning. If a spill does occur, wipe it up immediately.
Quality of Sealant
Some sealants last longer than others. STAIN-PROOF Original™ Quart lasts for many years on natural stone, but you may have to reapply it more often if you use the counters frequently for food prep.
The experts at STAIN-PROOF also recommend reapplying sealers after cleaning with any acidic solution - something like vinegar or lemon juice. They also recommend resealing granite if you've been using it for four or more years.
The stone's composition is what determines how often to seal granite. Some stones are more porous than others, which allows for deeper penetration of stains and soiling agents. It also determines how easy it is to clean those stains by simply wiping them off with an abrasive pad or cleaning solution.
Quality of Application
The better job you have done applying your sealer, the longer it will last. By using thick and uniform film, you ensure that each molecule of your sealer is protected and fully bonded to the surface of your countertop. Poor application quality often leads to an uneven surface, resulting in premature failure of the granite sealer and potential damage to your countertops.
Troubleshooting Granite Countertop Sealing Problems
The granite sealer application results can vary depending on the quality of the granite, the type of seal used, and the frequency with which the seals are applied.
Do Your Granite Countertops Sealing Look White or Gray?
If they do, then it may be time to reseal them. Take a small portion of your granite countertop and rub it vigorously with a paper towel or rag to find out for sure. If it leaves a dust residue on the rag or paper towel, it is time to seal them. You can try cleaning again by using denatured alcohol or ammonia-based window cleaners. If that doesn't work, check out our other blog post about how to clean granite countertops.
If you wish to keep your countertops in tip-top shape, it is a good idea to reseal them every once in a while. A few years may be just fine for some people, but others may need to do it more often depending on what they do in their household and how careful they are.