What's a neutral cleaner?
Thanks for the great summary of how to re-seal granite. Just to be sure I do it correctly, what qualifies as a "neutral cleaner"? The sealer I bought says to use the cleaner that is sold along with the sealer (of course). Do I have to buy a special cleaner?
Also, my countertop is absolute black honed. Is the sealing process any different for honed granite? Thanks!
Usually absolute black doesn't need to be sealed, because it's so dense. Even though it is called a granite, it really is not.
Not to worry, if you bought a penetrating sealer, you can still apply it, but be sure to remove any residue before it dries.
From my experience, letting a sealer dry on granite is where all the problems begin. What can happen is the sealer dries on the surface and then in the future, you see a water ring mark on the surface, which is really on the sealer residue.
You don't need a special cleaner for granite, but there are several available. They can help with keeping your granite polished a free of smudges.
If you have a honed granite, then you probably don't need a granite cleaner/polish. I recommend neutral cleaners because they are safe and will not damage your granite (from etching if they are acidic).
For example if you use Windex for your everyday cleaning of the granite, it can begin to break down the polished finish and any sealer that what was used.
In your case, because you have absolute black, almost nothing will absorb into the granite and you shouldn't have to worry about staining.
I would just use warm water and mild dish soap to keep your granite clean. You can also check out some granite cleaning recipes I have here on the website.