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Project Guide

How to Clean Granite Countertops

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Gather Tools and Materials
Commercial granite cleaner and a rag on counter.

Gather cleaning tools and materials, including: 

Clean the Surface
Person wiping granite countertop.
  • 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.
Stain Treatment
Person spreading granite stain removal paste over a stain on granite countertop.

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.

Prevent Stains
A vase of red tulips sitting on top of a clean kitchen countertop.

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.