How to Clean Granite Outdoor Furniture
Granite is a very popular material for inside the home. It is a staple of kitchen design and has been for many years. As more and more home owners have begun to incorporate outdoor kitchens into the design of the landscape, granite is becoming a go-to material for outdoor furnishings too. As a result, home owners (and small business owners) want to know how to clean granite outdoor furniture. In this article we will look at what goes into outdoor granite table cleaning and the best way to care for the furniture in your outdoor kitchen space.
Why Granite Furniture for Outdoor Kitchens?
Before we delve into cleaning granite patio furniture, lets look briefly at why granite is selected as an outdoor furniture material.
One reason home owners use granite furniture in outdoor kitchens is durability. Natural granite is a very durable material that is timeless and can take the wear and tear of normal household activity. Having been born from natural processes and spending thousands of years outdoors, granite can certainly handle the environment.
Another reason granite makes a great material for outdoor items such as tables is because it is available in several color choices.
Finally, there are many fabrication professionals available. Because granite has been used in kitchens for such a long time, the trade is well established. Therefore, the number of fabricators that work with natural granite is far greater than some of the other options.
Now that we have seen why many choose to go with granite for their outdoor furniture, let's get into how to clean granite outdoor tables, chairs, benches, and whatever other piece of stone furniture you may be trying to brighten up.
Maintaining Outdoor Granite Furnishings
Just as indoor granite surfaces are durable and resist scratching, outdoor kitchens that have granite furniture can take the high traffic and the seemingly never ending traffic from th family (or customers, in the case of businesses). Yet even though outdoor granite furniture is tough, there are some specific properties to be aware of regarding natural granite outdoors.
Granite is Porous
Even though these pieces are outside they still need to be maintained. All natural stone is porous and granite is no different. Therefore it is important to keep in mind that the porosity of a natural stone will vary. Even the same stone will have variations in its own porosity. The porosity of a stone is related to how easily it absorbs liquid. This in turn, affects how easily a piece of granite furniture can get a stain on it. If a colored liquid makes its way into the pores of a piece of furniture mad from natural granite, the color will remain in the pores of the stone even after the water dissapates. Because of this, it is important that a care and maintenance routine be followed for granite outdoor furniture like tables, benches, and chairs. So, what is involved in a care and maintenance program for granite?
Outdoor Granite Needs Sealed
As we mentioned, outdoor granite, like any other stone (natural or otherwise), has the potential for staining. This means that one key to caring for and maintaining granite is to minimize the amount of liquids that can penetrate the pores of the furniture. One way to prevent oil-based and water-based liquids from staining your outdoor granite furniture is to use impregnating stone sealer for outdoor granite. Sealing your furniture will reduce the rate at which the stone absorbs liquids and will allow more time for cleaning the surfaces if spills happen.
How to Seal Outdoor Granite Furniture in 7 Steps
Periodically sealing outdoor furniture made of granite ensures it will resist the most detrimental substances possible. Here is a step-by-step process for sealing outdoor granite furniture:
- Remove any stains that the furniture may have before applying sealer.
- Clean the granite furniture with cleaner to remove any surface oils, foods, dirt, etc. And allow the piece to dry completely.
- Apply the sealer to the stone using a brush, sponge, or by pouring onto the surface.
- Allow the stone to absorb the sealer by waiting approximately 5 minutes. For best results, shade the furniture while you apply the sealer. Applying sealer in direct sunlight speeds up drying and the goal is to allow the sealer to be absorbed by the stone. Applying in direct sunlight will require an adjustment in the process.
- If the stone absorbed all of the sealer, apply more sealer to the stone. Repeat until the stone no longer absorbs sealer.
- When the stone is no longer accepting more sealer, wipe off the excess from the surface.
- Allow the furniture to dry 24 hours before using.
Once the furniture is sealed water-based and oil-based liquids will bead up on the surface and allow for easier cleaning. But, sealing granite patio furniture is only one part of the care and maintenance routine. What you clean outdoor granite furniture with is important too. Let's look at that part of the process next.
Granite Patio Furniture Cleaning
Sealing patio furniture made from granite takes a little bit of patience, time and effort as we have already seen. But it pays off in having outdoor furniture that is water and oil resistant. The resistance of sealed granite to these liquids depends on your using the right cleaners on the treated stone. Why? Because impregnating sealers work in a very particular way and using the wrong the cleaners can damage and even undo all the work you put into sealing the furniture in the first place.
We recommend using a cleaner formulated for sealed outdoor granite furniture. Using the appropriate cleaner preserves the work put into sealing the furniture and does so without streaking polished granite. Using the proper cleaner ensures that the sealer will work as long as possible before needing reapplication.
How To Check If Granite Furniture Needs Sealed
As we just mentioned, applying granite sealer is not a one time thing. Even if you are using the right cleaning products, selaer will need to be reapplied periodically to keep your outdoor granite furniture looking its best. How can you tell if your granite furniture needs to be resealed? You can check it periodically by doing a water test. All you need to do is pour some water on the surface of the piece and wait. AS you wait, take note of how long it takes the granite to absorb the water. This tells you how well your furniture is resisting stain-causing liquids that are oil and water based. The faster the grnaite absorbs the water, the "thirstier" it is.
As we have seen, cleaning grnaite outdoor furniture involves more than just grabbing a cleaner and removing an unwanted substance from the surface. Properly caring for granite furniture in an outdoor environment involves a routine of prevention and regular cleaning using the right kind of cleaner. By Cleaning your granite outdoor furniture using this process, you will reep the benefits of having an outdoor kitchen that looks its best at any given time.