How to Clean Granite Countertops
Time Required: Under 2 hours
Granite is a smart selection for your kitchen countertops. The initial expense is quickly offset by the years of beauty and durability you can enjoy with this naturally tough surface.
Learning how to clean granite countertops will protect your investment and increase their lifespan. But be careful what products you use, as some cleaners that might be fine on other surfaces can damage granite. Glass cleaners, bleach, ammonia and acids such as lemon or vinegar can strip the countertop sealant and leave granite vulnerable. This guide will help you learn the tools and techniques to clean and disinfect your granite countertop safely.
Tip: Granite countertops have to be sealed annually in order to protect them. Sealing can be done by professionals and the confident DIY-er.
- Make a solution of warm water and mild dish soap. Do not add more than a half tablespoon of soap.
- Don a pair of rubber gloves and dip a soft cloth into the solution and wring it out until just damp.
- Wipe the countertop in small circular motions with light to medium pressure.
- If you encounter bits of dried-on food, apply more pressure or dampen the cloth a little more and press down on the spot to loosen the debris, then wipe up.
- You may wish to use a commercial granite cleaner. Choose one that is listed for daily cleaning and follow the package directions, but only apply with a soft cloth. Never use an abrasive scrubber.
- Dry the counter thoroughly with a clean microfiber cloth.
- To disinfect the surface, make a solution of half water and half isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution over the granite surface. Wait 5 minutes, then rinse the surface thoroughly.
- Buff dry with a microfiber cloth.
Unknown or deep-set stains are best left to a professional, but if the granite surface is only lightly stained and you know what caused it, there are a few remedies you can try. You may need to reseal the treated area of the countertop after the stain is removed.
- Water spots: Lightly dry buff with fine steel wool (0000 grit).
- Oil-based stains: Clean with a gentle liquid household cleaner and soft cloth.
- Organic stains: Clean the spot with 12% hydrogen peroxide.
Keep stains off your granite countertops with a few simple precautions.
- Clean up spills as soon as they happen, especially acidic liquids like tomato sauce or fruit juice.
- Blot up spills, rather than wiping, to keep them from spreading over the surface. Microfiber cloths are great for this purpose.
- Don't store items that stain such as cooking oils or cosmetics on granite countertops.
- Use coasters under glasses to keep condensation from collecting.