When your granite countertops or shower tiles were installed, you were likely advised to seal the granite regularly to prevent stains. Though sealant is important for natural-stone countertops and showers, your stone should also be polished on a regular basis to prevent dullness and keep the stone smooth. Here are 5 tips for polishing your stone countertops to maintain long-term beauty and shine.
1. Ensure the Stone Is Clean Before Polishing
Never try to polish stone that hasn’t been cleaned properly. Start by spraying the surface with a specially formulated granite cleaner and wiping down the stone with a paper towel or non-abrasive lint-free cloth to remove grime and other buildup. Never use an ordinary household cleaner on stone countertops, as it can cause damage that leads to costly repairs.
2. Always Make Sure the Seal Is Strong Before Polishing
Don’t try to polish granite or another type of natural stone that does not have a good seal. If you have not recently sealed the granite, you may need to apply a new coat of sealant first. You can do a quick water test to see if your stone needs to be sealed. Simply pour a small amount of water in various spots on the stone and allow it to sit. If you see a dark ring or mark on the stone within 30 minutes, it means water is easily penetrating the stone.
3. Let the Sealant Cure Before You Polish
Granite and other types of stone can’t be polished immediately after sealing. After you apply the sealant, let it sit for at least 24 hours so it has time to cure and dry. Once the sealant is completely dry, perform a final cleaning to remove any dust or debris, then apply the polish.
4. Know the Proper Way to Polish Stone
Polishing stone isn’t complicated or even time consuming if you use a product like Granite Gold Polish®. Simply spray the polish directly onto the stone and saturate the surface. Buff the countertop with a clean, lint-free cloth. Work in sections until all of the stone has been buffed, then wipe it dry using another clean, lint-free cloth.
5. Polish Shower Walls, But Not the Floors
You probably know your natural-stone countertops need to be sealed and polished, but make sure you don’t overlook stone shower walls. Granite shower walls are exposed to water, soap, and humidity on a daily basis. Polishing your shower walls weekly enhances the color and sheen of the stone, and it also offers better protection against water spots, etching, and the buildup of soap scum. However, you should not polish the floors in your shower, as they can become slippery.
It’s important to care for granite properly to prevent damage and keep the stone looking good as new. If you’d like to learn about high-quality polishing, sealing, and cleaning products that are safe to use on natural stone, reach out to the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold®. Our stone care expertise spans three generations, dating back to the 1950s. Give us a call at 1-800-475-STONE to find out more about the products we offer.