Due to its characteristics and reliability Granite has since the 2000s been one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials, a position it still holds today. Unfortunately, it’s common for people to be unsure of how to keep it properly and ensure its charm will endure for decades as it’s able to do.
In this article, we will tackle one of the most frequent questions asked by people who want to ensure their stone surface will be always looking great. How to clean granite countertops?
And the first thing we’d like to mention is that this is a valid concern. Although granite is resilient and will stand the test of time, If you wish to keep it shining and stain-free some regular cleaning will be required.
Why cleaning granite countertops the right way is important
Before we get into action on how to clean granite countertops, we want to make sure you know exactly why you should care about it at all.
We will give you a head start, granite is really as low maintenance as you’ve been promised. Keeping it is not time-consuming. The required caution is actually just a matter of not letting silly mistakes on the process ruin your perfectly good countertop.
As a natural stone granite is a porous material, which means its surface is susceptible to liquid penetration and that’s what leads to stains. What makes it such a great countertop material, is that this porosity is very low (to the point where it can even be ignored in some varieties), and it can be completely dealt with through sealing.
That said, your granite countertop was probably sealed right after installation, and if it’s been a while, you can check our article on “How to seal granite countertops” to find out if it’s time for resealing.
You will notice most of our instructions on cleaning have to do with not damaging, neither allowing damage to the sealing layer.
Cleaning granite countertops the right way will prevent stains and damages to granite’s glossy surface and it’s actually quite simple. Let’s get into it.
How to clean granite countertops daily
As we’ve mentioned, cleaning granite countertops is really easy and it consists mostly of activities for you to perform as you’re using the surface and after you’ve finished. Here’s what must be done.
Wipe spills up as soon as they occur. You can use a dry cloth or a paper towel. If necessary, rinse the location with water, it’s important to ensure it is thoroughly free of the substance.
After using the surface, employ a combination of warm water and neutral dish soap for cleaning. Apply it to the whole countertop with the aid of a cloth or a soft sponge.
Remove crumbs or sticky residues from the counter, hot water, and a wet rag should help you handle resilient debris.
Lastly, wipe down the counters with a dry cloth to get rid of moisture.
Following this simple procedure, you will ensure your granite countertop looks great for long years to come.
What absolutely not to do
You will notice that learning how to clean granite countertops is about knowing exactly what you shouldn’t do when taking care of your stone surface. Here’s a list to make it easy.
- Don’t use the scrubby side of sponges or steel wool
- Don’t let spills on your surface
- Don’t use harsh cleaners containing ammonia, vinegar, or lemon
- Beware of all acid substances, like citric juices, tomato sauce, ketchup, wine and so on
- Avoid most commercial disinfecting cleaners, such as anything with bleach
What about cleaners made for granite?
There are a lot of great cleaning products created specifically for granite, you’re free to use any of them if you so wish. You just don’t have to.
If your countertop is sealed, and you’re doing your daily cleaning, there’s nothing else to worry about.
Unless you’re looking for something stronger, if that’s the case it’s best if you prioritize a product that’s made for granite.
How to disinfect granite countertops
Actually, a sealed granite countertop is unable to harbor bacteria, and if you’ve been following our daily cleaning directions, there’s no need at all to worry about it.
However, if you’re not sure your granite is sealed, and you haven’t been so thoughtful with cleaning, using a disinfecting solution is not a bad idea.
Here’s a simple recipe for disinfecting granite with rubbing alcohol and water:
- Prepare a 50:50 mixture of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol and pour it into a spray bottle
- Spray it in the entire counter, only a light misting is necessary
- Let it sit on the granite countertop for 5 minutes
- Dry your counters thoroughly
How to remove stains from granite countertops
If sealing and cleaning are being neglected, chances are you‘re going to find stains on your countertop. This will only happen if the sealant has worn off, something you can easily check from time to time.
Nevertheless, if it has happened, here’s what you can do.
If it is a juice or water stain, hydrogen peroxide can help. Mix 3 parts of the product and 1 part of water and pour the mixture over the stain, rubbing it with a cloth. If you can see results, repeat the process until achieving a good outcome.
For oil stains, you will have to make some poultice using baking soda and water. Mix 3 parts of the chemical and 1 part of water, your goal is to create a paste. Apply it over the stain and use a clean cloth to rub it. Check your results. After finishing rinse and clean thoroughly so that no residue continues of the poultice on the countertop.
If you’re dealing with a very resilient stain there’s one last thing you’ve got to try, using the same paste of baking soda and water, but this time you will leave it over the stain for a while. Here’s how it goes:
- Apply the poultice to the stained area forming a ¼ to ½ inch thick coating. Extend this coating beyond the stained area by at least 1 inch. Cover it with plastic and tape it for sealing.
- After 24 hours, remove the plastic and let the poultice dry for another 24 hours. The drying process is what pulls the stain out of the stone and into the material.
- Then, remove the poultice, rinse it with water and buff dry with a soft cloth. Check how it affected the stain, it might take up to 5 applications to remove it thoroughly.
Granite Countertop Restoration
If none of those techniques was effective, there’s no need to start considering the prices of a new countertop. Another advantage of choosing granite is that it can be restored to its original glory with hard polishing. However this process is definitely not DIY recommended, so the best option is to get in touch with a stone specialist.