Which Products Are Not Suitable For Natural Stone Countertops?

There are products in the marketplace today that simply aren’t suitable for cleaning natural stone countertops. You want to find something that works but won’t harm natural stone countertops. What products and ingredients should you avoid? Here are a few of those products damaging to natural stone.

Avoid these Products

You should exclude any product, whether commercial or handmade, that has acidic or alkaline properties. That means liquids or food that have lemon or citric acid in them. If the product isn’t PH neutral, it can damage a natural stone like granite.

Avoiding these products may be difficult, particularly if you have them in your home right now. It may tempt you to reach for them in a pinch. Maybe you won’t notice the damage they do to your stone at first, but seriously, one application of an acidic or alkaline product to natural stone could do irreversible damage to its surface. Confirm this with granite companies nearby you as representatives there will likely tell you the same thing.

Key Ingredients

You want to always look at the main ingredients in any cleaner and how they can damage natural stone countertops. A lot of ingredients are abrasive and rough and will erode away any sealers used on granite. In addition, they can dull natural stone and damage it. With the wearing away of the protective sealant, corrosive cleaners can get into the stone’s base and damage and deteriorate the stone.

Damage happens because acidic or alkaline aid in the elimination of any particles of the stone that are weak at the surface area of the stone. When this happens, you get etching. The weaker stone particles are worn down and removed. You end up with an etched or dull area. This etching is more noticeable on a polished finish with natural stone.

Any homemade cleaners that contain the following ingredients are not suitable for natural stone:

Any household cleaner that contains those ingredients should be avoided as they are damaging to natural stone countertops.


Products not suitable for cleaning natural stone countertops also include the following:

  • Citrus cleaners (orange, lemon, and other citrus products)
  • Disinfectants
  • Grout tile cleaners
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Tile bathroom cleaners


Avoiding bleach is a top priority. Though bleach is great at disinfecting different bathroom areas, it’s not meant for granite countertops. It can dull finishes and alter the color of stone. Fortunately, there are safe ways to disinfect natural stone but bleach isn’t one of them. You want to avoid bleach and products that have bleach as a listed ingredient.

Clorox- Al-Purpose Cleaner

Besides avoiding the use of bleach, there are other key ingredients that can damage natural stone countertops. The chemicals and fragrances in Clorox Al-Purpose Cleaner can corrode the sealant on your natural stone countertops. Again, avoid bleach altogether.

Glass Spray Cleaners

Any type of glass cleaner is damaging to natural stone. It can cause dullness to the finish, plus it degrades the surface unevenly where areas of the stone look as though there are patches and unevenness in it. Maybe a window cleaner brings a gloss-like finish to countertops, removes fingerprints and leaves a smooth finish but not on natural stone.

Formula 409

Another spray cleaner that’s not suitable for natural stone is Formula 409. It’s an all-purpose type of cleaner that’s great for cleaning porcelain and ceramic tiles as it disinfects and removes soap residue. You’ll get a great shine, but with natural stone, Formula 409 is a no-no. It contains ingredients that are damaging to the surface finish of granite. Even if you’re cleaning smaller granite surfaces like a bathroom vanity, you’ll want to avoid most everyday bathroom cleaners.

Wipes for Disinfecting

Wipes are handy and convenient to use, there’s no doubt about it, but they can also damage natural countertops like granite. As most disinfecting wipes contain citric acid, they are corrosive to the sealant used on granite countertops.

Lysol Lemon Cleaner

Lysol Lemon cleaner contains both ammonia and lemon. Both of these ingredients are not good for natural stone countertops. The lemon ingredient is an acid and weakens the sealant that is protective of the surface. Ammonia also has a corrosive effect. It both disintegrates and scratches the surface of the stone.

Pledge Surface Cleaners

With the lemon scent that Pledge contains, you’ll find that natural countertops will not adapt to the corrosive nature of this product. The citric acid found in lemon damages the sealer that is used on granite and does damage outside of the sealer.

Scouring Powders/Cleansers

You don’t want to use any type of scouring powders or cleansers on natural stone countertops as they can easily destroy the sealant on the countertops. Your stone will lose its protection. Either purchase a specific product for natural stone or clean with a mild, PH balanced soap and water. Just make sure that you rinse away any soap from the area. You don’t want to get a buildup of soap as it will dull your countertops.

Cosmetics and Nail Polish

Though you’re not cleaning with them, f you have natural stone countertops in your bathroom, you don’t want to store either cosmetics, essential oils or nail polish remover on top of them. When either of them spills, you should quickly wipe them off. Fingernail polish remover will damage the sealant on the granite and cosmetics of most kinds will dull the surface and leave permanent marks.

Cleaning a Natural Stone Countertop

If you’re a fastidious cleaner, you know there are simple ways to clean natural stone countertops without investing heavily in different products. Now that you know the products to avoid, you can consult with Marble Concepts about the best cleaners for natural stone. Everyday cleaning of natural countertops usually involves using mild soap and water and a cotton cloth or simply water and a soft cloth.

Before you invest in a natural stone countertop, consult with Marble Concepts. We will be able to give you suggestions for the right cleaning formulations and steer you away from products that are not suitable for natural stone countertops. We will happily answer questions you have and set you on the right path with cleaning techniques or products that work on natural stone. Call us at 215-396-7393.