Guarding against goop

Last week we finally got our third piece of granite for our guest bathroom vanity, and this time it was a keeper! But with all the problems we had, we’ve kind of started to question our choice. We know honed granite stains easily if anything oily is left on it for too long. Supposedly even soap left on honed granite for too long could stain…which could be a problem. Cause it’s a bathroom. So there will be soap. And probably toothpaste. And a whole host of other goopy items.

So to protect our precious (and pricey) hunk of rock from ominous goop, we sealed it again after it was installed. This company said they seal every piece before it leaves their shop, but we figured it couldn’t hurt to seal it again. First, I cleaned it with denatured alcohol to make sure there was no residue. (This is what the granite company uses).

It’s a pretty strong chemical with an intense smell, so it’s probably not the best option for every day cleaning. I feel like over time it might eat away at the sealant, too. A lot of things I read online (forums mostly) said professionals had ok’d it or acetone for routine cleaning. I also saw several things that said denatured alcohol is the same as rubbing alcohol. BUT here’s what the can said:

  • May be fatal or cause blindness if swallowed.
  • Vapor harmful. Use only with adequate ventilation.
  • Do not use as a general purpose cleaner. (Well, there it is!)
  • Danger! Poison. Flammable.
  • Avoid prolonged skin contact.
  • Do not spread this product over large surface areas because fire and health safety risks will increase dramatically.

And there were some other warnings, too. So if you want that in your house and around your children and pets, go for it. But I’ll probably buy Method Granite Cleaner for normal cleaning.

After cleaning the counter and waiting for the alcohol to evaporate, I sprayed DuPont Granite Sealer over the entire surface. It recommends you keep spreading it out to ensure it soaks in evenly, but I wasn’t sure what to use to spread it that wouldn’t absorb it. So I used the best tool I could think of: my hand! Don’t tell anyone.

I freaked out just a wee bit cause it looked like this.

And I started to think that maybe I was ruining our countertop.

After 20 minutes I wiped it off and freaked out even more. It looked so streaky and uneven and I really thought maybe I’d ruined it. But I waited the recommended 30 to 40 minutes before applying a second coat, left it on another 20 minutes and wiped it off again.

It still looked a little streaky, so I sprayed a small amount of sealer on the countertop and wiped it off after about 30 seconds. This is recommended if it looks like the sealant left a film on the granite. After that I was able to breathe again because the streaks were gone! Here’s what the counter looked like before we sealed it.

And here’s after.

It’s hard to really see the improvement, especially with the glare from the lights, but in person it’s a big improvement. It deepened the color just a tiny bit, added a hint of sheen, and most importantly gave our counter some added protection. It’s recommended that you reseal granite each year, but since ours is honed I think we’re planning to seal it every 6 months. We’ll see if it really helps though. We have yet to put a soap container on the counter since the sink isn’t working, so that first blob of soap may just do us in!

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