As granite is one of the most popular choices for kitchen and bathroom countertops, the question of how to clean granite countertops is prevalent. Although this natural stone is known for being tough and durable, some certain dos and don’ts should be adhered to.
Steps for Granite Countertop Cleaning
1. Clean the counters: First, remove everything on your countertops before cleaning. Take any kitchen appliances, decor, utensils, and anything else you might have for easy access on your countertops and place them on another surface or a table.
Furthermore, if there are any spills, food crumbs, or other loose debris, wipe them away as well. Having a clean slate to work with will make the cleaning process smoother and easier.
2. Choose your cleaner: Certain cleaners aren’t suitable for granite surfaces. Avoid using too acidic cleaners, for they can dull the color. Furthermore, harsh chemicals such as bleach should not be used on granite surfaces as they can cause the sealant to weaken considerably.
Although you can opt for cleaners specifically designed for granite countertops, some mild dish soap mixed with water is a great everyday cleaner. Just pay attention to properly lathering the soap, and don’t use too much water.
3. Scrub the surface: Now is the time to get into the cleaning. Gently scrub the surface using small circular motions. Dried-up splatters of food or beverages might require some extra elbow grease.
However, regardless of how hard of a stain it is to remove, never use abrasive scrubbers or steel wool. Gently clean the whole surface with your sponge or cloth. Afterward, either rinse the cloth or sponge you have used to lather the surface or you another clean one to rid the surface of any leftover soap or cleaner.
4. Dry completely: It is imperative to dry the surface after cleaning thoroughly. Use a soft and clean cloth for this step. Getting rid of all of the excess moisture protects your granite countertops from water stains, streaks, and possible damage, thus leaving your countertops shiny and secure.
How to Deep Clean Granite Countertops
Daily cleaning, or at the very least regular, of your countertops is essential to ensure longevity. However, that isn’t to say occasional deep cleaning isn’t also necessary. Regular cleaning will reduce the need for deep cleaning.
However, there will be the occasional stain that you can’t remove using only dish soap or other mild cleaners. Deep cleaning mainly consists of two steps: stain removal and disinfection.
How to remove stains relies heavily on what type of stain it is. If it is a water-based stain, you can mix a small amount of baking soda with enough hydrogen peroxide to form a paste. Mix the baking soda with water to form a similar paste if it is an oil-based stain.
After the regular cleaning routine, place enough paste to cover the stain. Don’t hesitate to use a generous amount. After properly spreading the paste over the stained area, cover it with a layer of plastic wrap and tape down the edges. Leave the paste to lift the stain overnight; you can even leave it for a few days. After the paste is completely dry, scrape it off.
If you discover that the stain isn’t removed, you can repeat the process a couple of times. Alternatively, you can also try some specialty granite stain removers. If the baking soda mix causes the surface to seem dull or etched, buff some granite polish on the area to restore shine.
The spot might also require a razor blade. Before using the blade to remove stains, remember to wear gloves or other protective gear. Once you are secure, you the sharp edge of the blade to scrape the stain. Don’t try and use the tip of it, as it may break or cause damage to the countertops.
Make sure the entire edge of the blade rests on your counters, hold it at a 45-degree angle, and gently scrape the stain. Afterward, wipe the removed gunk with warm water.
The last step of cleaning is to disinfect the surface. Create a mixture of equal parts of water and isopropyl alcohol. One cup of each is enough to create a healthy amount of cleaning solution.
Transfer your homemade granite cleaner into a spray bottle for ease of use. Then, all you have to do is spray your counters with the mixture and wait five minutes. After the five minutes have passed, wipe the remaining moisture with a soft, dry, and clean cloth, and voila! Your countertops are disinfected.
Also Read: Granite vs. Quartz – The Differences
How to Make Your Granite Countertops Shine
The easiest and most accessible way of adding some shine to your countertops is cooking oil. Pour some oil onto a rag and gently buff it over the surface. Pay attention to not leave pools of oil in any spot. It should be distributed in a very thin and even layer. Not only is this method very easy, but it also makes the countertops mildly stain resistant.
Although dish soap is highly recommended for cleaning countertops, it might cause build-up over time, thus dulling its shine quite a bit. In such occurrences, you should use a granite cleaner that contains polish. You can also polish the surface and check if the sealant has worn off. If that is the case, your countertops need to be resealed.
How to Clean Granite Countertops Before Sealing
You generally will need to reseal your countertops every six months to a year. After the old sealer is stripped off, spray some cleaner on the whole surface. Wipe using a washcloth. If the cloth is dirty after wiping, you should clean the surface until there is no more dirt or residue. If there is any dirt left on the surface, it will be sealed in with the granite. Therefore, proceed to the resealing step once you are sure the surface is clean.
All in all, granite is a material that does require some care and attention. However, wiping down the surface daily will reduce the hassle of removing stains and resealing more frequently than usual. Besides, as long as you stick to regular cleaning and maintaining routines, your granite countertops will ensure longevity, resistance, and beauty for years to come.
Is granite porous?
Yes, granite is porous. Its porous nature is why it should be sealed and resealed regularly. The sealant reduces the chances of staining but doesn’t make it impossible. The important factor is to periodically clean and wipe up spills as soon as they happen. Unsealed granite will stain much easier than a sealed one. Therefore, make sure to check regularly that the sealant is still intact.
What cleaners are safe for granite?
Most mild cleaners are suitable for granite as long as they don’t contain acidic ingredients such as lemon and ammonia. You should always check the label to see if a cleaner can be used on granite. That being said, the most useful product you’ll encounter is something you already have: dish soap.
As dish soap is formulated to break down the food and beverage stains on the dishes, it performs the same duty on countertops exceptionally well.
What is the best granite cleaner?
There is a wide range of cleaners you can use for granite countertops. They all have their ups and downs. The best one depends on your personal preference. You might like the convenience of using household products, or you might prefer heavy-duty stain removers. You should try and see which one fits your needs and your house’s needs best.