Q: I don't know how to maintain the charcoal-colored granite countertops in our kitchen. I've heard several conflicting suggestions. What would you do?

—Suzanne, St. Petersburg, FL

A: Tom Silva replies: We have granite countertops in our kitchen and love them. They really don't take a lot of care. The first thing we did when they were installed was to wipe on a solvent-based sealer called an "impregnator" with a soft cloth. I put on one coat, then waited a day before applying a second coat. You'll probably hear various stories about how long this stuff lasts, but in our house we find it's good for about two years.

Just so you know, a sealer won't make the stone stainproof. It just gives you extra time to clean up whatever you do spill on the countertop. Acidic foods are the worst offenders. Don't use any acidic cleaning products, either, such as a vinegar-based window cleaner. We just wipe up a spill—no matter what it is—with a wet sponge right away, and our countertops look great.

Resources
Stone impregnator
HMK Stone Care System
San Francisco, CA
415-643-5603
www.hmkstonecare.com

Miracle Sealants Company
Arcadia, CA
800-350-1901
www.miraclesealants.com
Ask TOH users about Kitchen Countertops

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