How to Properly Clean Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are very popular in homes and have been for the past two decades. For this reason, you’ll find them in many new construction homes, as well as many resale homes. And no wonder. Granite looks beautiful and it is both bacteria- and stain-resistant. The reason it stays that way? Because it has a sealant that seals the natural pores in the granite, keeping countertops clean and giving it a lustrous shine.

When considering how to clean granite, you need to break this into two different scenarios—general cleaning to keep the granite clean and protect the sealant and cleaning when there are stains on the granite. Either way, you need to make sure the granite’s sealant is intact before cleaning.

 

Daily Cleaning of Granite

Granite countertops will come with a protectant sealant in place. You want to protect this sealant as much as possible. You can do this by:

  • Wiping up spills as quickly as possible
  • Using only a soft sponge or cloth (ideally microfiber) on the granite and avoid the use of abrasive pads
  • Avoiding the use of abrasive cleaners and acidic or harsh chemical cleaners (this means avoiding glass cleaner, bleach, or vinegar)
  • Using warm water and dish soap to clean the counter, using a cleaner made specifically for granite countertops, or making your own granite cleaner from a 50/50 mix of water and alcohol
  • Wiping the counter with a back-and-forth motion from the back of the counter to the front
  • Keeping the countertop dry at all times, cleaning up spills right away

 

If you have a particularly grungy spot that is dried on and won’t easily wipe away, you can use a razor blade to scrape it off. As long as you scrape with the entire length of the blade directly on the countertop, you won’t scratch the counter.

 

Cleaning Stains from Granite

Sometimes, even with the best care, granite countertops will stain. When this happens, baking soda is your friend. A baking soda paste will clean stains without damaging the granite or its sealant. The type of spill will dictate the type of paste you use as follows:

 

  • Water-based stain: This requires a mix of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Oil-based stain: This requires a mix of baking soda and water.

 

To clean the stain, apply the paste directly to it and scrub gently using a soft cloth. If the stain is deep or otherwise stubborn, apply the paste and cover it with plastic wrap, taping down the edges and leaving is overnight or for a few days. When you remove the plastic wrap, use a soft cloth to wipe the counter.

 

If you have a stain that just won’t come out, chances are, the sealant has worn away and the stain goes deep down into the granite. If this is the case, you may have to have it professionally cleaned and then resealed.

 

The Extras

Once you have cleaned your granite countertop, you can disinfect it by spraying it down with a 50/50 mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol. Spray the entire surface of the granite and let it sit for five minutes. Then use a soft cloth to wipe in a back-and-forth motion from the back of the counter to the front.

 

You can also polish your granite countertop with a little cooking oil. Just put the oil directly on a soft cloth and gently buff the counter with it. This will make your countertop shine and it will help protect it from stains.

 

Keep in mind that with any granite countertop, the sealant will wear off over time, even with the best possible care. For this reason, you will need to have your granite countertops resealed once every two to four years. You’ll know when it’s time when water doesn’t bead on the surface anymore and it becomes difficult to wipe the counters.

Enjoy the Beauty

Granite countertops are durable and extremely beautiful. Plus, they will last for many years, adding beauty to your home for as long as you live there. Be sure to follow these simple cleaning tips to help ensure your granite stays looking amazing. And if you’ve been wondering if getting granite countertops is right for you, now you know how easy it is to take care of them and keep them clean and beautiful.

 

Learn more about granite countertops in your new home by chatting with one of our knowledgeable team members today

 

Looking for more Foundation tips and learning? Return Home here.

Published 02.10.22

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