Granite, while hard, is surprisingly absorbent. In fact, just in terms of practicality, man-made surfaces such as Corian tend to deliver the goods better than stone.
People buy granite countertops more for natural beauty than for pure practicality (in fact, granite is also susceptible to scorching from hot pans). Great - just what you wanted to hear?
Sealing your granite is one of the many things you just need to put up with if you want to own this type of countertop. When you think about it, it should come as no surprise that granite needs to be sealed. It is like any other organic material. Wood has its grain, and stone has its porosity.
Types of Sealers To Buy
Black Diamond Nex-Gen Granite Stone Sealer is a type of product that you see on store shelves quite often, and the price is reasonable.
Keep in mind the price is really not much of an issue as this stuff goes a long way. Just a few squirts are usually enough to coat an average-sized bathroom counter thoroughly. Yes, you will be doing two or three coats on the counter, but you will find that each subsequent coat spreads even a little bit further.
Granite stone sealer is nothing to stress about. If you don't get it on right away, it's not like your granite is permanently damaged for life. But certainly seal before the water gets on your counters, and especially before any kind of stains occurs.
Industry Secrets for Removing Stains
Jim Hollenback of Prescott, AZ's Granite Kitchen Concepts, has provided us with valuable industry insider secrets about removing some types of stains from granite. Jim says that a poultice is a common way to remove stains: "Make a paste mixture of hydrogen peroxide and diatomaceous earth and place it over the stain. Then, cover it with plastic wrap and seal the edges of the plastic with masking tape and leave it on the stone for a couple of days. Remove the plastic wrap and let the paste dry. Repeat if necessary. Also, sometimes, bleach can be added to the mixture."
Jim also told a story about a product called Blue Be Gone, which removes blue stains caused by a chemical reaction to some adhesives (used for seaming the stone) and is particularly problematic with light-colored granite. His crew applied the product to some very expensive granite slabs on-site, and it saved the job!