Granite countertops are all the rage these days. Just about every home improvement program lauds granite for its durability and the ability to put hot items directly onto the material (no trivets needed!). So much of the home design literature out there raves about the benefits and resale value of granite. But one fact about this super stone may elude you: how to clean granite countertops…? Fear not, dear reader, for below are some do’s and don’ts—plus some easy tips—for keeping your granite as beautiful and functional as the day it was installed.
After the investment in granite countertops, you certainly don’t want to do anything to shorten their lifespan or—EEK!—ruin them altogether. To this end, there are some Dos and Don’ts logged in the how to clean granite countertops annals.
First, it is recommended that you DO have your granite countertop sealed with a quality sealant, and be prepared to have it resealed every so often, as needed. Yes, granite is an incredibly hard stone and is less porous than some other natural stones (looking at you, marble!). However, poorly sealed or unsealed granite will soak up stains, spills, and oils. Plus, there’s any easy-peasy way to test the quality of your seal: put a few drops of water into your granite surface; if in a few minutes the drops are still there, then your seal is good to go. If, after a few minutes, the water has disappeared into the granite, then it is time to reseal your granite. Even with that seal, you of course, want to wipe up any spills as soon as your notice them (as you would with any countertop).
As for stains, DO clean those with warm water, a mild dish soap, and a microfiber cloth or nubby washcloth; this method is also great for regular wipe-downs, as well.
Here’s the big DON’T for granite:
Avoid using abrasive cleaning products, sponges, pot scrubbers, window cleaners, vinegar, citrus (because of the acidity), and any cleaners containing ammonia or bleach. These harsh materials, when used regularly, cause a chemical breakdown of the sealant, leaving your granite susceptible to permanent damage.
Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the cleaning process and go step by step for how to clean granite counter tops. First, fill your sink with warm water and add some of your mild dish soap; then wet your dish cloth with the warm, soapy water, and use it to wipe down your granite.
Next, dry your granite with a dry microfiber or soft terry cloth—either of these will prevent streaking. And in our disinfecting-obsessed age, you’ll be happy to know that well-sealed granite is generally impervious to bacteria. However, if you just have to be sure, use a half-and-half mix of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Using a spray bottle, spray the solution onto the granite and leave it for 3 to 5 minutes; then rinse and dry with your clean countertop cloth.
And now for a word about those cleaners made especially for granite: while they will safely clean your granite countertops, they are generally unnecessary. Using your mild dish soap with warm water and a textured wash cloth or microfiber cloth will do just as a good a job and save you some money. Granite is a beautiful countertop choice. And you can safely and easily keep your granite clean and shining for many years to come.