Granite counters indeed look gorgeous, and in order to keep them looking that way, well, you need to think about cleaning granite countertops. While these counters may be resilient to wear and tear, you should be extra careful when cleaning them.
Which solutions can be used for cleaning and which ones cannot? What to do when the oil or coffee stain won’t come off? These are just some of the questions we think you might have. The good news is that you’re about to find out the answers, so stay with us.
How NOT to clean granite countertops
Nope, you haven’t misread the subtitle. We just think that it’s very important to find out what mistakes people make when cleaning granite counters. Of course, the point here is not to make those mistakes yourself because your precious counters won’t look good. No matter what type of granite you have, some things never change. And in this case, it’s about what you should not apply to your counters.
Most of us love using vinegar when cleaning the house because this ingredient does wonder for our home. It can clean scale around the faucet, unclog the kitchen drain, make the dishes and tiles spark, and much more. So, we can see why many people think that cleaning granite counters with vinegar is also a good idea. But, unfortunately, it’s not. As mentioned, granite is resilient. However, it turns out that it doesn’t like acidic cleaners. So, vinegar, lime, lemon, or any solution that contains ammonia or bleach should not be used on granite counters. Otherwise, these can weaken the sealant which means that counters will become more prone to staining.
Apart from acidic cleaners, there are several more products that people think can be used on the counters. These include Formula 409, Windex, Clorox disinfecting wipes and Lysol Wipes, Formula 409 and Soft Scrub. Once again, they’re wrong. These products can damage the finish and stone itself, making it lose its shine and color, as well as making it more likely to absorb water and stains. So, you should keep these products away from the granite counters.
And lastly, avoid using a hard sponge when cleaning granite countertops. This can damage the finish.
How to clean granite countertops
Keeping your granite counters clean will be easy if you clean them every day. So, don’t allow spills to dry but rather wipe them right away. Otherwise, later on, it will be harder to get rid of stains.
For daily cleaning, you only need lukewarm water, mild dish soap, and a microfiber cloth. Whenever you’re in the kitchen, wipe up the counters with a warm, soapy cloth.
Very important: After cleaning, use a towel or another microfiber cloth to dry the counters.
Daily cleaning is good but sometimes you simply may want to use something stronger to disinfect the counters. If that’s the case, this cleaner will do wonders for your granite counters. In a bottle with sprayer, add 50/50 water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Then, sprinkle the solution onto the granite and leave it there for 3 minutes. Use a wet cloth to wipe the solution and then dry with a microfiber cloth.
Whereas alcohol is great for cleaning due to its antiseptic properties, it’s still not too harsh on the granite. So, your counters will be shiny and clean.
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In case you’ve left a spill to dry, now you’ve got a stubborn stain to deal with. Luckily, we have a solution for this. It is one and only – baking soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate). This ingredient is very popular thanks to its wide area of usage. It is used for cleaning household objects and dishes, bath and kitchen, as well as for making beauty products such as face masks, etc. Baking soda is also effective for cleaning granite countertops.
When it comes to removing stains, first you need to identify what type of stain you’re dealing with. For the water-based stain, mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. If it’s oil-based, make a paste from baking soda and water. Apply the paste on a stain, cover it, and let it sit for several hours. Then, wipe away the paste, and clean the counter with a wet cloth and a few drops of dish soap.
Cleaning with granite-safe cleaners
If you aren’t a fan of using homemade cleaners, then you might want to consider buying special granite-safe cleaners, such as Granite Gold Daily Cleaner Spray.
Protecting your counters
Granite counters come from different factories. Meaning, not all of them are treated the same way. Some may have undergone a resin treatment whereas others may need to be treated with a sealant after year, or two. You should contact the manufacturer of your counters and ask about treatment and whether you need to apply a sealant after some time.
A sealer is there to prevent water from penetrating into stone. So, you should protect your counters when needed. When granite counters are properly sealed, cleaning them will be much easier as they will be more resistant to stains.
When it comes to how often you need to apply a sealer, don’t take manufacturer guidelines for granted. Certain products and foods can speed up the process of breaking down, so the sealer may need to be re-applied more often than you would think. It’s important to recognize that on time. And an easy way to test whether it’s time for re-sealing is to leave a few drops of water on the counter and see what happens after 2-3 minutes. If the water stayed on the surface, the granite is well protected and there’s no reason to worry about that. But, if the water has penetrated into the granite, you should re-seal the counters.
Speaking of which, here’s how to do that. You should follow the guidelines on the bottle, but it usually goes like this. The first step is to clean counters with a PH neutral cleaner, dry it with a microfiber cloth and leave it to dry completely. The second step is to apply the sealer and let it sit for 10 minutes. Lastly, wipe up the excess sealer with a dry cloth using a circular motion.
Follow our tips and you won’t have any difficulty with cleaning granite countertops and keeping them shiny, clean and gorgeous. And remember to check from time to time if the sealer hasn’t come off because protecting the granite plays a crucial role in keeping it clean and resistant.