November 29, 2021

A Guide to Cleaning Granite Countertops

Today, granite is an incredibly popular material used for kitchen countertops. That’s mainly due to its durability, as it resists bacteria, withstands everyday scratches, and won’t melt or blister when exposed to heat. Additionally, professionals typically apply sealers to granite countertops to block the pores in the natural stone, preventing it from absorbing stain-causing liquids too quickly.
However, granite can still soak up spills that are left to stand — like that dip someone forgot to wipe up after the game last night. The daily cleaning of granite countertops also often damages the surface over time, particularly when the wrong products are used. Certain chemicals will wear away the sealer, causing the need for re-sealing long before the recommended time.
Therefore, it’s important to know how to clean sealed granite to allow its protective sealant to last and keep your counter looking beautiful for longer.

What Should I Clean My Granite Countertops With?

This stone is vulnerable to strong alkaline chemicals, like the ammonia commonly found in many cleaning detergents. Additionally, avoid using acidic cleaning substances when cleaning up, such as lemon, vinegar, or bleach. These cleaning agents will dull granite’s protective sealant and may even leave stains on the countertop.
While you could pick up a stone cleaning product made specifically for granite, you can also make your own granite cleaning agent by combining a few ingredients from your stockpile of essential cleaning supplies. The following products will help you create an effective granite cleaner:
  • A spray bottle
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Essential oil
Mix one part warm water, one part rubbing alcohol, and one teaspoon of dish soap in a spray bottle. Make about 3 cups total so you have enough cleaner to thoroughly clean your counters. Add 10 drops of any essential oil you like to the mixture to leave your countertops with a pleasant smell when you’re finished.

Removing Stains on Granite Countertops

Start by clearing off your counter. Then, use a dry sponge to brush away any loose food remains and other debris. Now that you have a clear surface area to work on, you can begin tackling any stains.

Scrubbing the Surface

Use a microfiber cloth to clean your granite countertop, as it’ll lift the dirt instead of spreading it around. These cloths are also non-abrasive, making them kinder to your counter’s protective surface. Spray your homemade cleaner across the entire surface of your counters.
Then, start scrubbing the countertops back and forth in an “S” pattern. Rinse your cloth in water periodically to avoid spreading any food, dirt, and grease.

Dealing With Stubborn Stains

Sometimes, using a baking soda cleaning hack to help draw out any stubborn stains will be necessary. When tackling grease stains, combine baking soda and water to make a paste as thick as sour cream. Mix the baking soda with hydrogen peroxide to deal with any stubborn water-based stains.
Apply the substance on the affected areas and seal the area with plastic wrap. Allow it to sit for a few hours, overnight or even a few days in severe cases. The homemade stain remover will draw out the stains that have soaked into the stone, making them easy to rinse off and scrub clean.
It may be necessary to use a razor blade to scrape away any hardened muck or build-up on the countertop. When using this method, take care to place the entire edge of the blade on the surface as you drag it to guard against unsightly scratches. It’s crucial to wear gloves as a safety precaution when you’re working with sharp objects.
The elaborate design of granite countertops can make it hard for anyone to notice hidden dirt without close inspection. After cleaning the area, be sure to run your palm along the surface to check for spots you may have missed.

Sanitizing a Granite Countertop

Use rubbing alcohol as an effective agent for sanitizing granite surfaces, especially in instances where there are nicks and scratches in the finish. To get rid of harmful bacteria, spray the entire counter down with a water-alcohol mixture and wait five minutes. After five minutes, wipe the moisture off of the counters using a clean dish towel in a sweeping “S” motion.

Restoring Shine to a Granite Countertop

A thorough cleaning job may leave your granite countertop looking dull and ashy. Use a dry microfiber cloth to gently buff the surface after cleaning to restore its natural sheen. Another handy tip is to pour a small amount of cooking oil on your cloth and wipe it across the countertop. This oil helps make the counter a little more stain-resistant and lends it a glossy shine.

How to Extend the Life of Your Granite Countertops

Darker granite is denser and less porous, which means it’s at a lower risk of being stained than lighter granite. However, any granite countertop is going to have a longer lifespan if you clean it regularly. Be diligent about wiping up spills immediately to prevent your countertops from absorbing oils and stains. Doing so makes the daily cleaning of granite easier and less time-consuming.
Although granite is heat-resistant, extreme changes to the temperature of granite can cause damage, including cracking. As a result, it’s advisable to use a trivet or hot pad when setting down hot pots and pans, especially under appliances like pressure cookers that emit heat for a long period of time.
While you can cut on granite, you should use a cutting board to avoid etching the surface. Additionally, cutting on granite could dull your knives, which aren’t as strong as the granite, and may leave a metal residue, which is often difficult to remove.
One should never stand on granite countertops to reach high cupboards or shelves or when changing the lights. Simply investing in a good ladder will serve you well in avoiding unnecessary wear on your countertops.
Finally, you’ll know it’s time to reseal your counters when it becomes difficult to wipe up spills or if water drops don’t bead up anymore.

Get Your Free Home Cleaning Estimate

Because cleaning granite counters can prove to be quite a demanding task, why not call on the expert team at Maid Bright to tackle the job for you? Get in touch with us to get a free cost estimate for cleaning services that suit any budget.

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