How to Clean, Maintain, & Repair Granite Countertops

Granite is an igneous rock. Igneous is the oldest rock type in the world. Granite is the most durable of the natural materials, although individual stones can vary. It is rare for granite to stain and very unlikely that it will etch or scratch. With normal kitchen use (and the proper cleaning and sealing products), your stone will still look good ten years down the road.



Clean your granite with a neutral, pH-balanced cleaner specifically designed for natural stone or a very small amount of clear, mild dish-soap. Regular household products can break down the sealer on your stone, leaving it more susceptible to staining/ etching. Never use Windex or any other “heavy-duty” cleaners, since they can actually damage your natural stone. When it comes to natural stone, less is more. Regent has a good selection of stone cleaners.  If you move into a home where the counters have not been properly cared for, and there is a buildup on the counters that can’t be removed with a standard cleaner, then you can use acetone (available at your local hardware/ home improvement store) to remove any build up.



It is standard to seal granite once a year. We use Regent’s “Silicone Impregnator” for most granite. Many natural stones are porous, and the sealer prevents food juices and other liquid from getting in the pours, where they can sometimes cause discoloration or, in extreme cases, etching. You can get sealer (also called impregnator) online from Granquartz or Regent. For marble, white granite, and quartzite, we recommend a specialized sealer like Regent’s “Zeta Seal,” which is specifically designed to prevent acidic substances from etching stones.


To seal your countertops: Clean the counters thoroughly. When they are dry, pour the sealer onto the counters roll it evenly onto the counters with a clean paint roller, making sure to roll forward, backward, left, and right. Wait 15 minutes and wipe off any excess. Then repeat the process a second time. Like paint, sealer shrinks as it dries, so a second coat will ensure that the entire surface is protected.


Unsure about whether your counters need to be sealed? Pour a small bit of water on the counter (half an inch or so in diameter) and place an overturned glass on the spot for about half an hour. If there is no dark spot when you wipe away the water, then your countertop is sealed. If there is a dark spot, then just wait for it to evaporate, then seal your counters.



We don’t recommend cutting on your granite. It is very unlikely you could scratch your granite, but you might leave steel marks, and it will certainly ruin your knives. You can put hot pans and pots directly on your granite.



If your granite does stain, you can use a heavy duty stone stain remover like the “Bellinzoni Mangia Macchia” available through Regent or This pre-mized paste sucks the stain out of the stone. The product comes with easy to follow instruction for use and will work on all natural stones to remove almost any stain without changing the color of the stone or damaging the finish or polish. If you have a dyed stone, the paste will remove that dye along with the stain, so keep that in mind.



26 responses to “How to Clean, Maintain, & Repair Granite Countertops

  1. planning to put leathered granite all over my kitchen counters
    i cook a lot and clean a lot!
    what are the cons of leathered granite? do you sell a lot of it?
    are your customers happy?
    any help would be appreciated

    1. Hi Donna,

      Thanks for messaging. We put leathered granite in kitchens all the time! You treat it exactly like polished granite. The only difference is how it looks (leathered doesn’t have the shine that polished does). Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  2. I had black leathered granite put in my kitchen. Three problems–1) the seams are surrounded by excess putty, 2) the backsplash and back of counter got silicone on them, & 3) the edges are not as polished/shiny as the counter finish. How do I correct these three problems? Thank you!

    1. Angela,

      Thanks for messaging us. These are primarily installation/fabrication issues. There is nothing you can do about the edges at this point. Unfortunately, these would have to be refabricated in a shop. The “putty on the seams” is hopefully not putty. If there seems to be a lot of Akimi/epoxy, they are really poor seams. A seam should be an 1/8th of an inch wide. Again, this is an installation issue. Silicone is the right product to use where the backsplash meets the countertop, but it should be clear and undetectable. This can be taken out and redone properly. I would contact the company that originally installed the kitchen and explain your disappointment. You are justified and you have a good eye for quality work which you did not get. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck!

  3. Great tips, thanks! We have leathered granite in our kitchen and the crevices have collected a good deal of debris and paper towel lint that seems impossible to remove. No matter how much we clean them, they always look dirty. Any tips? Thank you!

  4. I can’t wait to see the answer as well. We just had black leathered granite installed. The tiny pits/crevices almost look like some of them are filled with the construction dust. And parts of the granite are hazy and other parts are blacker (streaky). The fabricator says the streakiness is a characteristic of the stone. She also said they sealed it before bringing it out. From everything I read i wonder if this streakiness is uneven sealant. And what to do about the crevices that appear dirty? Will acetone take care of both of these? I am reluctant to try hut hopeful for a solution. The fabricator is very difficult ao if there is something simple i can do myself, I’d rather at this point. Thoughts??

    1. Tiffany,

      Thanks for the message. First of all, the streakiness you are seeing could be a result of the stone. It also could be the way it was leathered. For example, if it was leathered by hand, in a fabricating shop opposed to at a manufacturer. Another reason could be the way the sealer was applied. Using Acetone is a good start. Use a rag and wipe the surface of the stone with Acetone. Then, reseal the stone with a 100% silicone sealer. Another idea is to apply ager to the stone to enhance its rich color. We get our ager from a company called GranQuartz. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you!

  5. We just had honed black absolute installed in our kitchen. Now that it’s in, we’re hearing all sorts of stories about water stains, oil stains, fingerprints, etc. Did we make the wrong granite choice? How do we keep it clean and stain free? Should it be sealed? If so, with what? I’ve read that Method Granite Cleaner works very well. Is this a product that you recommend? Thanks!

    1. Hi Barry,

      Thanks for the message. We have installed dozens of honed Absolute Black and never get complaints about staining. As far as maintenance on the stone goes, make sure that you apply a 100% silicone sealer. We recommend doing it once or twice a year. Another idea is to apply ager to the stone to enhance its rich color. We get our ager from a company called GranQuartz. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you!

  6. We also have black leathered granite that we love in our kitchen. However, any drop of water leaves a watermark on the surface. We use a water softener, but live in a hard water area. Any idea how to remove the water spots without removing the sealer?

    1. Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for the message. It sounds like the sealer that was used is the problem here. The first step I would take to remove the water stains is to get a product called TSP from a local hardware store. This will remove the mineral deposits that have “stained” your stone. Then, I would reseal. Make sure that you apply a 100% silicone sealer. We recommend doing it once or twice a year. Another idea is to apply ager to the stone to enhance its rich color. We get our ager from a company called GranQuartz. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you!

  7. We just purchased a home with dark green granite but it’s a greasy mess, I’m guessing the previous owners cleaned it incorrectly. No matter what cleaner I use (all ones made speicifically for granite) it’s still greasy. Any suggestions? Even though the color is not something I like, it would cost a fortune to replace it, my kitchen is huge!

    1. Hi Andrea,
      I’m guessing you’ve just got a ton of product build up. I would recommend getting just a super simple chemical free surface cleaner (the really environmentally friendly ones that you get at the health food stores…check the back…no chemicals). First clean the counter with water, let it dry, clean it with the chemical free cleaner, let it dry, then clean it with just water and paper towel and dry it off with paper towel. Then get a bottle of sealer from your local fabrication company. Seal the counter by rubbing the sealer in with paper towel, waiting 15 min, and wiping it back off, making sure any excess is gone. After that, try cleaning only with water for a few weeks and see if that helps. Once you have build up from soap and other harmful cleaners, adding more on top won’t help. I hope this helps! You should be able to get it looking ok without replacing it.

  8. We have built up cooking oil on dark green granite countertops. The area looks hazy and is sticky. Have used dish soap and water to clean without a great outcome. Please recommend safe way to clean the granite. Also, can I buy 100% silicone sealant at Home Depot type stores?

  9. We installed leathered black granite a while back and had applied a sealer but found it to be very tacky. Was told to remove it with Goo Gone and then applied acetone. After doing so it has left the counter very smooth but much duller in colour. Is there anything else that should be done?

    1. Fabricators can apply what is called “ager” to the granite. It basically darkens the stone and makes the colors richer. Get in touch with a local shop, and they should either be able to come do that treatment for you (best to have a professional do this since it’s permanent) or tell you how/where you can get the material and service.

  10. We have just had absolute black honed granite installed in a new home. It has random, small brown “pock” marks (pits) on the surface, and even a couple on the edge.

    The supplier wants to tell us this is “normal.” We never saw mention of this in our research on the product.

    Have we been sold a “second” or knock-off?

    Thanks for your help

    1. Probably it’s normal. Fake granite is more expensive than real, so you didn’t get a knock-off. Don’t worry! Pitting is normal in granite, and honing a stone tends to make it relatively more prominent. You likely have small pocks all over the granite that are difficult to see but you can feel with your hand. If they are unusually large, to the point where you can easily see them, your fabricator should be able to come put a little fill on the surface to hide those. Unfortunately, without seeing the stone, I can’t tell you if they are beyond the limit of natural stone, but I suspect you just aren’t used to being around the honed granite.

  11. can you tell me the 3 in 1 cleaner sealer polish that you use? Also, the name of your recommended sealer?

    Thank you!

  12. We had AB honed granite installed. How do you remove the white specks left from the paper towel used by the fabricators to wipe down the counter after they applied the sealer? Is it normal to see a seam in the AB honed granite?

  13. I have tan multicolored leathered granite countertops. I put a plant wrapped in red foil on my counter. It was watered and the next day there was a large red circle that I cannot not remove. HELP!!!!

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