Granite is one of the most popular, convenient, and coveted materials used in modern design and construction. This is because granite has intrinsic properties that make it highly appealing to homeowners everywhere.
Granite offers timeless elegance, unsurpassed resistance to scratches and stains, enviable durability, and a wide variety of colors, giving homeowners very little reason to go with a different material.
However, granite also has some marked downsides which hold it back. For example, granite is surprisingly porous, which means that it can, and will, absorb oils, liquids, microscopic food particles, and other substances over time.
As a result, there are plenty of horror stories out there of people who have run into smelly or stinky granite countertops. But,
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Does Granite Absorb Odors?
Granite does not absorb odors directly. Stinky granite is more common than most people would like to think, this is the result of the granite countertop absorbing solids or liquids that later decompose causing the smell.
So, if your kitchen has a granite countertop or flooring that is giving off an unpleasant smell don’t fret. There is plenty you can do to remedy the situation and get rid of the smell. Follow me below to learn how.
Identifying The Source Of The Smell
Noticing an unpleasant smell at home can be distressing, especially if the source is not initially apparent. This can be especially worrying when your granite starts to smell like a wet dog or mildewy and you don’t know why.
Therefore, the first thing you have to do the minute you become aware of any unpleasant smell coming from your granite countertop is to accurately identify its source.
Many people will make the mistake of throwing cleaning products at their countertop to mask the smell, as opposed to taking the time to properly identify its source and taking the necessary measures to eliminate it permanently.
The first thing you should do is look for sources of water that may be seeping into the granite’s natural pores. Standing water, even in very small quantities, can breed tons of bacteria which can lead to nasty smells.
So, make sure that no sinks are leaking or that your dishwashing is not splashing too much water around.
Another very common source of odorous granite is wayward food. Any oils or sauces that sit on top of the granite countertop for extended periods will eventually be partially absorbed into the interior of the granite, and end up decomposing inside.
Once you have identified the source, you can prevent the problem from getting worse. But, you have also to take action if you want to rid your granite of any unpleasant odor.
Getting Rid of Granite Odors
The first thing I recommend is that you find a cleaner that is apt for cleaning and disinfecting granite countertops.
There are dozens of commercial products from which to choose, so take the time to find one that has been formulated to clean granite, marble, and stone surfaces.
Besides over-the-counter products, there are also a few homemade tricks you can use to properly clean and deodorize your stinky granite.
Warm water and mild dish soap are as good a start as any. After you finish making use of your granite countertop, wash it with soapy warm water to clear away any excess gunk that may be lying about. Make sure to dry the surface well using a soft cloth or paper towels to make sure no leftover moisture will contribute to malodorous granite.
If you start to notice stains on your granite, it means that some type of substance has worked its way past the surface and into the stone’s pores. Thus, you must get rid of newly formed stains before they start to produce a bad odor.
Making a thick paste with baking soda and water is safe and using this paste to rub out the stain, should be sufficient in most cases.
If you find that your granite is emitting an especially offensive odor, you can dilute some vinegar or lemon juice with water, and use that to clean the granite’s surface. You shouldn’t use acidic substances too often when cleaning your granite, because the acidity can cause more harm than good. However, if you dilute it properly and only use it occasionally, then you should be alright.
Hydrogen peroxide is also a very effective product for getting rid of bad odors due to its antibacterial nature. A mix of hydrogen peroxide and water is especially effective at getting rid of moldy or mildew smells.
Sealing Your Granite To Prevent Odors
Granite possesses a level of resistance that, compared to other stones commonly used for interior design, truly impresses. However, granite is extremely porous, which allows it to absorb unwanted substances and organic material that eventually decomposes and ends up generating a disagreeable smell.
This is why experts recommend sealing your granite.
Sealing granite allows you to fill and cover the pores and other spaces that exist between the structural crystals of the stone. This is very different from sealing wooden surfaces, which only require the application of a surface-level protective surface.
These products are great at removing minor scuffs, stains, and scum. The best ones will leave your granite clean, shiny, and properly sealed against damage.
But, if sealed correctly, your granite will lose its propensity to absorb foreign elements, making it almost impossible for the bacterial growth that is necessary to generate unpleasant odors.
Granite sealers consist of different types of resins dissolved in different solvents. This means that if done improperly, sealing granite can actually do more harm than good. Therefore, here are some tips and recommendations for you to consider if you are thinking of sealing your granite countertops.
Granite Sealing Tips
- Choose a high-quality granite sealer and avoid buying the cheaper options.
- When it comes to granite sealers, saving money upfront will end up costing you more in the long run. Good sealers will provide additional benefits such as protecting the granite surface from stains, and scratches, and making it easier to clean.
- Make sure that your granite surfaces are completely clean and completely dry. If you seal a humid piece of granite, you run the risk of trapping moisture inside the stone, which can cause trouble down the line. This may even end up making your granite brittle.
- Make sure to follow your sealer’s instructions very closely. Work in small sections and allow the first layer of sealant to dry completely before adding a second layer.
- Granite sealer typically leaves behind a layer of residue that must be cleaned before using the surface for its intended purpose.
If any of this concerns you, seek out a professional, or try asking around. You may already know someone who has had to go through the process in the past that may be willing to lend a hand.