Granite Countertop Maintenance: Everything You Need to Know About Homemade Cleaners

There is a lot of information available on the best way to clean your granite countertops and some of the advice can be confusing. One website you read will say not to use commercial cleaners, like Windex, while others tell you that using those products is fine. Others will tell you that you have to purchase special granite cleaner only to read different advice somewhere else. Marble Concepts offers these tips for cleaning your countertops and provides information on creating your own homemade cleaners.

Make Sure Your Counter is Sealed

One of the biggest tips for keeping your granite countertops looking as good as new is to make sure it has been sealed. Although granite is not as porous as marble and other types of stone, unsealed granite can absorb some types of liquid which could lead to discoloration. Oils, acidic items like tomato sauce and citrus juice as well as coffee or red wine can damage your counter if it is not sealed properly. To test the seal on your counter, drip a few drops of water on the counter. If it beads up, your seal is secure, but if the water disappears after a few minutes, you may need to seal your counters.

Harsh Cleaners

One thing most granite companies nearby agree on is that you should never use harsh or abrasive cleaners on your granite countertops and this includes Windex. Citrus-based cleaners that include lemon or lime, vinegar, bleach and ammonia can all breakdown your countertop seal and lead to dulling of the surface. Instead, use warm water, dish soap that is mild and a microfiber cloth are usually all you need to clean your countertops.

Disinfecting the Counters

If you have granite countertops in your kitchen, Marble Concepts understands that you will need to disinfect the counters periodically. If your countertop is sealed properly, it will be resistant to bacteria. However, if you want to be sure that your countertop is free of bacteria, you can use 70% isopropyl alcohol to remove any traces of contamination. Spray the alcohol on the counter and rinse with water after three to five minutes. Dry with the microfiber cloth to avoid spotting. The CDC indicates that you should not dilute the rubbing alcohol, however, as adding water reduces its effectiveness at killing germs by 50 percent. The optimal concentration for killing bacteria with alcohol is between 70 and 91 percent.

Special Granite Cleaners

There are many cleaners that are advertised as especially for granite. There are also some multi-surface cleaners that claim to be safe for natural stone as well. However, it is important to note that you do not need a special cleaner for your granite. Isopropyl alcohol and dish liquid is often far less expensive than the cleaners who claim to be designed for granite. If you do prefer using one of these cleaners, read the label carefully to be sure it does not contain citrus, ammonia, vinegar or bleach.

Steps for Cleaning Your Granite Countertops

Granite companies nearby say that steps for cleaning your countertops is fairly simple:

  • Fill your sink with warm water and dish soap.
  • Wet a soft wash cloth in the sink.
  • Wipe the counters with the wet cloth.
  • Dry and buff the counters with a microfiber cloth.
  • Disinfect your counters periodically by spraying them with 70% isopropyl alcohol, letting it sit for three to five minutes and then wiping.
  • Making Your Own Cleaning Solution

It is possible that you could make your own cleaning solution that will not only keep your counters clean but will disinfect them at the same time. In order to make your own cleaning solution, you will need one quarter cup of rubbing alcohol, three drops of dish soap and five to ten drops of essential oil. Blend the ingredients with about a cup of water and pour into a spray bottle. This is an inexpensive method for keeping your countertops clean and can help prevent any risk of contamination. Another recipe for cleaning solution calls for two cups of water, one-half cup of rubbing alcohol, six to eight drops of dish soap and three to four drops of scented oil. The oil in both solutions is optional as it is just meant to give the solution a fresh smell.

Other Kitchen Surfaces

In addition to being a great cleaner for your granite countertops, granite companies nearby say that these solutions are also great for cleaning other surfaces in your home. You can use the solution on stainless, porcelain and other surfaces to kill bacteria and keep the surfaces shining.

Stuck On Grime

No matter how hard you try to clean up spills and food particles from your counter, it is possible you could miss a few. If those particles stick to your counter, you do not want to use a blade or other hard item to scrape them from the surface. Instead, spray the area with water or your cleaning solution and allow it to sit for a few minutes. This should loosen any stuck particles and allow you to simply wipe them away.

Stains on Your Granite

Accidents happen, especially if you have children in your home who may not be as careful with your granite as you would like. Even adults tend to make mistakes that can lead to problems with granite. A coffee spill with a small area that is missed during clean up or a fruit juice bottle that tips over and the juice remnants remain on the surface for a few hours. For oil-based stains, create a paste of baking soda and water. For other types of stains, like juice or coffee, use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Create a paste that is about the consistency of peanut butter and spread it over the stain. Poke holes in a sheet of plastic wrap and cover the entire area, securing it with masking tape. Leave the poultice there for 24 hours, then pull off the plastic and remove the residue with a rubber or plastic spatula. Rinse with warm water and polish with a microfiber cloth.

If you are considering granite counters in your home, contact Marble Concepts today. You can arrange for a no obligation consultation by calling 215-396-7393 or fill out the easy online form to see how they can help you get the countertops that will be perfect for you and your family.