Clean, Seal, Polish: Three Easy, Essential Steps to Caring for Your Natural Stone

Walk down the cleaning aisle at the local store, and we’re inundated with what seems like infinite products promising to do this thing or that – or even both.  That seems to be the case more of late with granite cleaners and other stone-care products – products promising to clean and seal, clean and polish, or polish and seal.

Realistically, they may do a little of each, but the solution or secret sauce is diluted – not doing enough of each.

Having grown up in the stone industry, we learned firsthand the importance of a basic three-step process for proper care and maintenance of stone surfaces:

  • Clean
  • Seal
  • Polish

“What do I do” and “How do I do it” were common questions in our installation and restoration days (Lenny P. still runs his restoration business and still gets those questions to this day), and when we first started Granite Gold® in 2003, we were sure to include a cleaner, sealer and polish to answer our customers’ questions.

While stone is a hard, durable surface, it’s from the Earth and very susceptible to various elements and wear and tear.

Step 1

Clean often.  Even if your surface appears clean, the safest bet is to clean it daily and after every meal preparation.  The most miniscule particle could have a detrimental effect on your natural stone.  Avoid common cleaners and abrasives.  They will break down the protective seal, and you could be faced with costly repair or replacement

Step 2

Seal frequently.  Truth is, you can’t over-seal natural stone surfaces. Frequently sealing granite countertops and all other natural stone surfaces maintains maximum surface protection, penetrating stone surfaces to provide superior, long-lasting resistance to staining, etching and soil build-up. Regularly check the integrity of the seal with an at-home water test. Pour water (about 3 inches in diameter) on the surface in several locations and let it sit for 30 minutes. If you see a dark mark or ring, the water is penetrating the stone and it’s time to reseal.

Step 3

Polish regularly.  Polishing stone provides two great benefits.  First, polishing after cleaning will bring out stone’s natural beauty.  Secondly, it will reinforce the protective seal and provide ongoing protection against water spots and fingerprints.  Also, polishing shower walls and tub surrounds will help prevent soap scum build-up.  Don’t polish stone floors.  You’ll have a hockey rink in your house.

As you would expect, we of course advocate our products.  Behind Granite Gold are experts in stone care, so if you have the simplest or most complex question about your stone, just Ask the Experts.  Ask us on Facebook, Twitter or by email at


38 Responses to “Clean, Seal, Polish: Three Easy, Essential Steps to Caring for Your Natural Stone”

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  1. April says:

    It took me awhile to find products that kept my stone looking as fabulous as it does now. I’m also a huge fan of this company for their personal service. You just can’t find companies that this any more. They actually get back to you rather quickly with any questions you may have about caring for your stone!!! Serious props 😉

  2. Brian Mark says:

    Question: I use your Daily Cleaner and Polish, but the area of my granite that I wwork on the most never rises above a duller finish than the granite elsewhere. If I were to use your sealer, would I be locking in the dullness permanently?

    • Stone Care Experts says:

      Hi Mr. Mark,

      Granite Gold Sealer will not lock in or interfere with the finish of the stone. The dull area, however, will require professional polishing.

  3. Lisa Christman says:

    My granite is becoming pitted. It was installed 4 years ago. I used Cinch to clean it. Did the cleaner cause the problem? What do I do?

    Thank you

    • Stone Care Experts says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Would you please send us up-close pictures of the pits? It will help us further evaluate your challenge and propose a solution.

  4. Kero says:

    I need one to bathroom and another to kitchen. Which type of your products would work well for the each? Also do I need to rinse after using the product?

    • Stone Care Experts says:

      For your kitchen, we’re assuming you’re looking for a granite cleaner for stone counters. We recommend Granite Gold Daily Cleaner®. Our streak-free formula safely deep-cleans granite, marble, travertine and all other natural-stone and quartz surfaces. It quickly removes all types of spills and soils, and leaves a fresh citrus scent. For your bathroom, Granite Gold Shower Cleaner® is also a streak-free formula that safely deep-cleans granite, marble, travertine and all other natural-stone and ceramic shower walls and tub surrounds without damaging natural-stone surfaces. Regular use will help prevent mold, mildew, soap scum and hard-water deposits.

      If you have grout, we recommend Granite Gold Grout Cleaner®, and if you have stone floors, we recommend Granite Gold Stone & Tile Floor Cleaner®. Also, if you have delicate fixtures such as stainless steel, glass, copper or brass that are very close to your stone surfaces, be wary of common cleaners. Their overspray is harmful on your stone. Granite Gold Specialty Cleaner® is designed to clean the delicate fixtures with an overspray that won’t harm stone.

      All of the products we just mentioned do not require any rinsing. For periodic tips and advice on stone care, check out the other articles in The Gold Standard at

  5. HELEN SMITH says:

    where can I buy your products.? are they available in big box stores, like Walmart,lowes ,home depot, hardware stores send any infor on how to do

    • Stone Care Experts says:

      Hi Ms. Smith,

      Thank you for contacting the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold. Our products are available in a variety stores, such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Ace Hardware, True Value Hardware, Home Depot online and select locations, and numerous grocery stores. Check out our Store Locator for the store nearest you:

  6. Carolyn Sawyer says:

    Question: I have marble tiles in my bathroom. They were shiny when they were installed, and sealed them right after. I sprayed a little regular bathroom cleaner(no bleach) on a soiled spot and after I wiped it off, that area had lost its shine totally. I used a stone sealer, but it did not restore the shine and that small area is dull. I was so shocked to see what just a little cleaner did to the marble. I usually use a stone cleaner, but thought a little bit of soft scrub would be okay. What do I do?????

    • Stone Care Experts says:

      Hi Carolyn,

      Any common household or bath cleaner will damage natural stone surfaces. If you send us a picture of the affected area to, we can further evaluate the challenge. It is very likely the stone is etched and needs professional restoration.

      • Earnest L. says:

        What professional company can I contact to clean my travertine floors. Got 3 kids that don’t clean after spills. Floor also looks dirty I a lot of areas. Maybe I didn’t clean frequently enough after installation. Who can I get to restore.

  7. Sandy M says:

    I accidentally spilled some Whink rust cleaner on my marble kitchen counter top and it clouded the color. Is there anything I can do? Also, our contractor did an undermount sink so there is calcium deposits that build up around the faucets. I have been using CLR which is probably bad but I don’t know what else to do.


    • Stone Care Experts says:

      Hi Sandy,

      Those products are quite harsh on marble and other natural stone surfaces. Our recommendation is to have a professional restoration specialist hone the marble. Following that, frequent sealing and polishing will help maintain the life of the stone and help resist the calcium deposits.

  8. Bootsie says:

    I have granite in my kitchen which should be a lite color of tans, browns, and creams. I live in Louisiana an had them install forward the storm in 2005. Like I didn’t have every things going on it that time. The granite is now black (with in 2 to 3 week after install it). We have had the people who install the granite back to look it at. He come back and put something in the granite cover and leave it for a day. He come back under cover it and the stone look a lot better. With in a week it was black again. All of the stone is black, the stone in the back by the wall isn’t black at all. Ever body love the granite but me. I pay a lot of this granite at that time everybody raise they price sky high. Can you help me.

  9. Roy Karroum says:

    Here all steps are really fantastic but i have one question on that How do I care for my granite and marble countertops? Is there any products which can help us.

  10. Janell says:

    I’ve just purchased your products (clean, seal, polish) and need instructions. Obviously it’s fairly straight forward but I’m curious about the “prep” for cleaning. This is bathroom marble countertops and I am wondering about hairspray, etc that may have built up. The stone looks clean/shiny but feels “not polished” in some areas. Should I try to do a heavier clean before using your products? I don’t want to “seal” in the hairspray, etc

    • Stone Care Experts says:

      Hi Janell,

      Here are a couple things you could do: One option is to thoroughly clean the area with Granite Gold Daily Cleaner using Granite Gold Scrub Sponge, which will help remove any build up. The other option is to apply acetone to a clean, dry, lint-free cloth and rub vigorously onto the entire stone surface, followed by sealing and, 24 hours later, polishing.

  11. Ray says:

    Can I use Granite Gold on a tombstone

    • Stone Care Experts says:

      Yes, you can, and we recommend Granite Gold Grout Cleaner. It’s a deep cleaner that can tackle dirt and grime, and the nylon brush is good for agitating dirt and cleaning engravings on tombstones.

  12. Ishmeet says:


    Your website is very helpful. I have bought Granite Gold’s – Granite cleaner, polish and Sealer. But not very clear the function of Polish vs Sealer and how often they should be used. Also, if they can be used one after another at the same time? also these all are chemical based and I will be using in my kitchen, so is it safe enough?

    Also, in my bathroom I have ceramic tiles can I use any of these products to clean, polish or seal the stone?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Stone Care Experts says:

      Granite Gold Sealer provides maximum surface protection against stains and etches; Granite Gold Polish enhances shine and luster. The three-step process is clean, seal and, 24 hours later, polish. How often you polish is personal preference on how often you want to enjoy the shine and luster of your stone. The best way to determine if you need to re-seal is to test the seal. A simple water test can determine if your seal is in good shape. Pour water (about 3 inches in diameter) on the surface and let it sit for 30 minutes. Be sure to do this in several locations, since the integrity of the seal could vary from one area to another. If the water beads, then the stone remains sealed. However, if the stone is penetrated – look for a dark mark or ring created by the water – it is time to reseal. Check for etching and stains as well before sealing your stone surfaces. You’ll want to fix these issues before the sealant is applied. The products are non-toxic, non-acidic, biodegradable, contain no phosphates or ammonia, and are safe on food-prep surfaces.

  13. Harold Levin says:

    I have new polished granite floors in my bathroom. Can I sweep or vacuum them?


  14. Marie says:

    I purchased a 6 year old home that had granite countertops in the kitchen. I don’t think the granite was ever cleaned, polished or sealed since they bought it. Now the larger main countertop is so dull looking compared to the other countertops that hadn’t been used as much. Is it too late to get back the shine back or bother to seal it ? I would love for it to look as rich as the other countertops but I think it may be too late.

    Also for everyday cleaning after meals and such I’m using gentle dish soap & water to clean it. Is this alright to use ?

    Please advise.

    • Stone Care Experts says:

      Regarding the dull stone, please take and send pictures to We’ll consult with our restoration specialist and provide a course of action. For everyday cleaning, dish soap and water is not an effective solution. It’s not formulated to clean natural stone. Use a formula specifically for natural stone, such as Granite Gold Daily Cleaner.

  15. Tucker D says:

    We have absolute black granite and it was sealed at installation. (10 years ago). I sealed it with Dupont sealer that you’d pour on and let dry, buff, etc. about four years ago. I’ve always kept it pretty clean, have used low abrasive daily cleaners like Glass-plus, never windex, due to ammonia or vinegar. Here’s my question: Like the person who mentioned the hairspray, and you’re answer was acetone… when I run my hand on the surface, it’s slippery – mostly – but I do feel areas that feel a little rough, especially around the oven. I am on a limited fixed budget and I have purchased Granite Gold Sealer and Polish, as I didn’t discover your products until after I purchased another brand’s “Stone and Granite” cleaner. Do you think that cleaner, or the acetone, is good enough rather than my purchasing the Granite Gold cleaner? I just got the stuff. And, is the acetone 100% safe on absolute black granite? I still have a great shine after 10 years.

    • Stone Care Experts says:

      Be sure to avoid common household cleaners, which can dull the surface and lead to costly repair and replacement. For your “rough” areas, spray the surface with Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® and let it soak for a few minutes, then gently shave the surface with a clean, straight-edge razor blade. Acetone can be used on Absolute Black; however, it will strip the sealer, and you will need to immediately re-seal. With either approach, be sure to clean regularly, seal often and polish regularly — and specifically with safe-on-stone products.

  16. Justin Knox says:

    Thank you for the help. My wife and I just bought a house that has a few stone surfaces throughout. We are hoping that they can be resurfaced and restored. Would that start simply by cleaning the stones, as you mentioned?

    • Stone Care Experts says:

      Yes, and hopefully the stone is in good, or better, shape. Cleaning, sealing and polishing are the essentials to natural stone care.

  17. Ceil says:

    I guess you the cleaner “daily”, but how often do you polish? The granite that came with the house is a mix of creams, gold, brown, black, with flecks of various agate and micas. It is beautiful and I am afraid to mess it up. I did use the trio of Granite Gold products and so far so good, though a few areas (where the mica is near the surface) the stone is still a bit rough. I would appreciate any advice.

    • Stone Care Experts says:

      How often you polish is a personal choice of how frequently you’d prefer to enjoy the shine and luster of your natural stone.


  1. […] cleaner on it or or you can dull it.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to use the Granite Gold 3-step system {clean, seal, polish} to keep my natural stone looking like new – it shines like a […]

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