Guides and Tips

A Quick Guide to Cleaning Granite Countertops in the Kitchen

December 18, 2022
A Quick Guide to Cleaning Granite Countertops in the Kitchen

Granite countertops are a hub of all kitchen activities. This makes them collect more grease and dirt than other surfaces in the house.

Thus, cleaning granite countertops should be a daily habit. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to clean them properly and which cleaning solutions or items to use.

So here, we will discuss the best way to clean and polish granite countertops.

What household items can I clean granite with?

What household items can I clean granite with

You can clean granite countertops with

  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda paste
  • Rubbing alcohol

Dish soap is a gentle and safe cleaning ingredient

Dish soap is an excellent granite cleaner that can rid of food stains, odor, and grease.

A couple of good dish soap examples are Dawn or Ivory because they are gentle and effective.

The dish soap only needs to be mixed with warm water in a small container. Warm water is better than cold water, as the former can completely break down greasy residue.

Baking soda removes water and oil-based stains

Baking soda removes water and oil-based stains

One of the most versatile house cleaners, baking soda can remove different kinds of water or oil stains in the kitchen.

What are water-based stains?

Water-based stains are light. Some of these are from fruit or berry juice, coffee, baby milk formula, and ketchup. 

To remove water-based stains, make a baking soda paste that consists of 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water.

What are oil-based stains? 

Oil-based stains are sticky and tough to remove. They may come from stews, soups, salad dressings, cooking oil, and margarine. 

To get rid of oil-based stains on granite countertops, apply a simple mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Rubbing alcohol disinfects granite counters

Rubbing alcohol is a safe chemical used to disinfect granite countertops. It will kill all fungi, viruses, and bacteria.

Rubbing alcohol can be used independently or as part of a DIY cleaning mixture.

To make a DIY cleaner for granite countertops using alcohol, mix 1 part rubbing alcohol and 1 part water. Plus, you can add 15 to 20 drops of gentle, non-acidic essential oil like lavender and chamomile for a fresh-smelling granite countertop.

What’s the best cleaner for granite countertops?

What’s the best cleaner for granite countertops

The best cleaner for granite countertops is a dish-soap-and-warm-water solution since it’s natural, effective, and easy to prepare.

Although some store-bought granite cleaners are also effective, they have chemicals in them that can react negatively to the granite. Plus, some of them aren’t eco-friendly or cost-efficient.

After preparing this DIY cleaner, you can start cleaning and polishing your granite countertop.

How do I clean and shine my granite countertop?

How do I clean and shine my granite countertop

Follow the steps outlined below to clean and shine your granite countertop:

  1. Clear kitchen dishes and appliances on the countertop.
  2. Scrub off dirt and oil from the granite.
  3. Disinfect the granite countertop.
  4. Buff the granite with cooking oil.

1) Clear kitchen dishes and appliances on the countertop

Clear kitchen dishes and appliances on the countertop

Before you do anything, remove all the kitchen plates, utensils, and appliances from the granite countertop.

Transfer them to another table while you clean. If there are any food crumbs or debris, gather and wipe them with a microfiber rag.

2) Scrub off dirt and oil from the granite

Scrub off dirt and oil from the granite

Make a quick cleaning solution made up of dish soap and warm water. Saturate the soft side of the sponge with it.

Then scrub out the dirt and oil from the granite countertop until there aren’t any traces left. We suggest wiping in an S or round pattern.

3) Use a razor blade to remove set-in gunk

Use a razor blade to remove set-in gunk

If the stain remains on the granite countertop after you’ve scrubbed it, then you could use a razor blade to loosen and remove it.

Before using it, wear protective gloves. Careful use of the razor blade is also advised to prevent scratching the granite countertop.

Now to prevent scratching the surface, the trick is to keep the blade parallel to the countertop as you push out the gunk.

Is there another way to clear hard granite stains?

Baking soda paste is an alternative to using a razor blade when removing hard granite stains. Although it may take longer, it will break up or loosen the stain particles.

Using a clean and soft cloth, rub the baking soda paste onto the stained part of the countertop, and rinse the surface.

4) Disinfect the granite countertop

Disinfect the granite countertop

To disinfect a granite countertop, prepare a mixture of 1 part rubbing alcohol and 1 part water in a spray bottle.

Spritz the water and alcohol solution onto the granite countertop and leave it for five minutes.

Then wipe the whole granite table with a soft microfiber cloth, direct a fan onto the table if possible, and let it dry completely.

5) Buff the granite with cooking oil

Buff the granite with cooking oil

Polish the granite countertop using a small amount of cooking oil. If you have a mild and non-corrosive commercial granite polish, that can work too.

Although this step can be skipped, polishing the countertop will make it beautiful, shiny, and stain-resistant for a longer time.

What cleaners should I not clean granite with?

What cleaners should I not clean granite with

Do not use these cleaners on your granite countertop:

  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Citric acid
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Windex
  • Lysol

Why should I not use bleach on granite?

Why should I not use bleach on granite

When cleaning granite, you should not use bleach or any abrasive cleaner because they’re made of harsh and corrosive chemicals.

They will make the surface dull and less stain-resistant, especially with regular use.

What tools should I not clean granite with?

What tools should I not clean granite with

Avoid using the following tools to clean granite countertops:

  • Abrasive pads
  • Wire brush or sponge
  • Sandpaper

While these tools can help to remove heavy dirt and substances on other surfaces, they should never be used on granite, as they can damage the surface.

Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Granite Surfaces

Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Granite Surfaces

Here are some useful tips regarding granite countertop cleaning and maintenance:

  • Clean water or oil spills immediately
  • Remove abrasive dirt and grit before cleaning
  • Don’t set a hot pan or food directly on the surface
  • Refrain from using acidic and harsh cleaners
  • Seal your granite periodically

1) Clean water or oil spills immediately

Clean water or oil spills immediately

Fresh stains are always easier to remove than dried ones, as they haven’t penetrated the granite yet. Thus, make it a point to wipe away water and oil spills immediately after they hit the granite countertop.

2) Remove abrasive dirt and grit before cleaning

Remove abrasive dirt and grit before cleaning

Scrubbing tiny, loose, abrasive particles with a rag will scratch the granite surface. So pick them up with your bare hand or with a wet rag instead.

Do this before applying a cleaner on the countertop to avoid wiping the rough particles along the surface.

3) Don’t set a hot pan or food directly on the surface

Don’t set a hot pan or food directly on the surface

It’s not advisable to transfer a hot frying pan directly onto a granite surface or let fruits or vegetables sit on it without a container. This is because a hot pan may discolor the granite and food out of a container may leave dirt and grime.

4) Refrain from using acidic and harsh cleaners

Refrain from using acidic and harsh cleaners

Don’t use chemical or acid-based cleaners on your granite countertop. 

Granite surfaces are coated with a sealant to look glossy and resist stains.

Regularly using harsh cleaners, like vinegar, lime, lemon, ammonia, or Windex, will wear down the granite’s sealant over time, resulting in dullness and weak stain resistance.

5) Seal your granite periodically

Seal your granite periodically

It’s vital to seal the granite countertop occasionally to keep moisture and bacteria from entering it. This helps the granite countertop stay spotless, hygienic, and lustrous for several months or more. 

And it will also prolong the life span of the granite.

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