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Granite countertops have always been a preferred choice among many homeowners — and for a good reason. The natural patterns, sparkle and brightness of these countertops are why many love to have them in their kitchen. Yet, granite also counts as the sturdiest countertop on the market.
It’s durable and can withstand everyday wear and tear. Another reason so many homeowners love it is that it’s heat resistant. While granite can give your kitchen a whole new look, you must also consider how to clean granite countertops — and care for it every day.
Below are some of the best ways to clean granite, including how to maintain daily care.
What Is Granite?
Granite is a lightly-colored igneous rock with coarse grains. It is mostly composed of various minerals, such as quartz and feldspar.
People have used granite over the centuries as a building material. However, it’s gained popularity in apartments and home kitchens more recently.
Since granite is a natural substance, its surface can vary in porousness. However, you can apply a sealant on top to protect the colors and patterns of the stone. Applying a sealant is simple — you can follow the sealant’s packaging directions.
How often you seal your countertop depends on how much you cook and clean in your kitchen. However, the general rule is to fill it one to two times each year. With that in mind, how many cleaning products you use depends on the wear of the sealing agent.
You want to avoid sealing your counter more often than necessary since too much sealant can cause issues. In addition, certain solutions can damage the adhesive, and you’re countertop. So, it’s important to take note of this.
Which Cleaners Are Safe for Granite Countertops?
The best way to clean granite countertops is to choose a countertop cleaner specially formulated for granite. Most grocery and big box stores will sell these in the cleaning product aisles. You can also keep natural stone countertops looking fresh by mixing your own cleaner using mild dish soap and warm water.
How to Clean Granite Countertops Daily in 3 Easy Steps
If you need to know how to clean your granite countertops, here are the essentials of what you’ll require:
- Warm water
- Mild dish soap
- Microfiber cloth
1. Clear Off the Counters
Start with removing everything off the countertops to ensure you clean every nook and cranny. Take off all the appliances, such as your toaster and other remnants. Once you clear the counters off, you can begin using a dry sponge to wipe away crumbs and debris.
2. Start Scrubbing
Because granite countertops have a sealant, you’ll want to mix warm water and dish soap into a wet sponge. Ensure you lather the sponge, so it gets soapy. Then, you can begin wiping and cleaning. You’ll want to avoid abrasive scrubbers since granite can scratch easily. Make sure you scrub your countertops from back to front using a sweeping motion. If you see any stubborn or sticky residue, you may have to go back over and wash some more.
Once it’s clean, you can rinse off your sponge and wipe off the suds — repeat this a few times until no suds are left.
3. Dry the Surface
This step is important so you don’t have water stains on your counter. While the surface is wet, grab a clean, dry microfiber cloth to wipe up the excess water. Ensure the countertop is completely dry and no puddles are lying around.
How to Clean Granite Countertops to Remove Tough Stains
If you find scrubbing with a sponge isn’t getting the work done, you can turn to a razor blade. Wear rubber gloves for safety, and use the razor blade to scrape away the tough grime leftover on your countertop. Ensure you’re careful not to scratch the countertop by resting the blade’s edge on the surface.
If you don’t have a razor blade, you can use an alternative method for removing stubborn stains from the granite. You have to create a paste of baking soda and water. Wipe the spot down with the paste using a soft microfiber cloth.
If it’s an extremely tough stain, you can leave the paste on, cover it with plastic wrap and tape down the edges. You can let this sit until the paste dries, but this may take around two days. Once the paste is dry, you can take off the plastic and use a soft cloth to wipe it. Then, you can rinse with warm water.
How To Disinfect Granite Counters
Grab an empty spray bottle and fill it with a 50/50 isopropyl alcohol and water mixture. Essentially, it’s one cup of alcohol per one cup of water. Spray down the entire counter generously and wait for five minutes. After a few minutes, you can wipe the surface from back to front with a clean towel using a sweeping motion.
After completing this step, your counters will be clean and free of bacteria.
How to Get Your Granite to Shine
This part of the process is easy. If you want your granite to have a nice, clean shine — pour a small amount of cooking oil on a microfiber cloth. Next, you can start wiping across the countertop in a gentle, circular motion. Once you buff its surface, you’ll be sure to have a countertop that’s a tiny bit stain resistant. But the best part is you’ll have a sparkling clean shine that makes your countertops look like the first day you got them.
How to Prevent Water Stains
An essential part of caring for your granite countertops is ensuring they never have water stains in the first place. Stained granite countertops are difficult to clean once they appear. The best way to prevent water stains is to clean up the spill before it dries.
However, you can entirely avoid water stains by using coasters for your drinks and wiping up messes as soon as you see them.
If your granite has stains, you’ll want to avoid certain cleaners as they can create an even bigger problem than before.
To remove watermarks, you’ll need to follow the steps of the instructions manual from the manufacturer. The instructions should give your more information about which products and methods to use for a recommendation.
Which Products to Avoid While Cleaning the Surface
For granite countertops, you should avoid specific products as they can risk etching and staining the surface. As always, dish soap and warm water or products made for granite are the safest cleaners for your countertops.
To ensure you clean the countertops properly, these are the cleaning products you should avoid at all costs:
- Acidic cleaning products with citrus oils and extracts
- Bleach products
- Generic stain removers
Ensure you clean the spills immediately if you see any messes from acidic drinks, such as coffee, soda or citric juice — and acidic foods. This step will help ensure you avoid permanently damaging your counters’ surface and preserve the beauty of your granite countertops.
Make Your Granite Countertops Last
Maintaining the cleanliness of your granite countertops requires daily cleaning. Ensure you create a habit of wiping them down regularly. And if you see any spills, you’ll need to clean them up immediately. Cleaning spills — as soon as you see them — decreases your risk of permanent stains or damage.
Scrubbing your granite countertops may require a lot of effort. However, you’ll enjoy them for many years to come.