Making your own granite cleaning solution is cheap and easy. You don’t need to buy expensive brand name products like Method or Seventh Generation. Everything in our recipe can be found at the dollar store.
If you want to make it even more eco friendly you can swap out the dish soap for castile soap. If you’re not familiar with castile soap it’s made with oil extracted from plants (traditionally olive oil), lye, and water. It’s vegan friendly too since none of the fat used to make it comes from animals.
How To Clean Granite Countertops
Liberally spray your homemade cleaning solution on the surface of the countertop. Let the solution sit on the surface for 3 minutes so that the alcohol has a chance to disinfect your counter. After 3 minutes use a paper towel to wipe up the excess and follow it up with a microfiber cloth for the final dry. The microfiber cloth gives a quick polish and will bring out natural luster.
How Often Should You Clean Your Counters
You don’t need to do this daily. Two times a week is more than enough as long as you’re wiping up small spills as they happen. There’s no harm in doing it every day, it’s just not necessary.
Never use This Common Household Cleanser
A lot of cleaning products around your home can do serious damage to natural stone. The damage may not be visible to the naked eye the first time you use them but over time they will destory your worktop.
The most common natural cleaner that should never be used on granite is vinegar. Most people assume that it’s a mild cleanser and antiseptic so it would be perfectly safe, but because it’s slightly acidic it will slowly eat away at the minerals in your countertop and cause them to lose their shine. Once that happens there is no repair that can be done and the only way to repair them is to replace them.
Other Products To Avoid
- Formula 409
- citric acid
How To Prevent Stains
Most colors of granite countertops are very hard to stain but there are exceptions to the rule. Instead of finding out the hard way if your kitchen work surface is prone to staining, it’s easier to practice this 2 step preventative maintenance.
Seal Your Countertops Once A Year
This takes about fifteen minutes and it’s the most important thing you can do. Any natural stone will have pores and stains have a nasty habit if finding their way into them and taking root. Once a stain finds its’ way into the pores it’s much harder to get out.
The easiest thing to do is apply a sealer once a year. The sealer will fill the pores and create a protective coating that will make cleaning and disinfecting easier.
If you’re looking to buy a sealer Tenax Proseal is what a lot of fabricators use and recommend. The quartz size is the best value here on Amazon but the smaller size will probably last you many years.
Wipe Up Spills Immediately
Anytime you spill something clean it up as soon as you can, especially if it’s acidic. High pH foods can quickly start to eat at the stone and cause it to look dull or etch. Once that happens it becomes easier for stains to settle in.
When I’m in the cooking or baking zone I can be guilty of not taking my own advice here. I regularly get to splashed tomato sauce or oil spills 10 to 15 minutes after they happen, but because we are diligent about sealing we have yet to have a problem. Your mileage may vary depending on the stone you choose so I always recommend spills be quickly sopped up.
What Else Can You Clean With It?
A full bottle of homemade granite cleaner is going to last you a long time, so you might be wondering what else you can use it for.
Feel free to librally spray it just about anywhere except on wood. Don’t let alcohol come in contact with wood surfaces around you home. Alcohol can strip shelac and other types of varnishes off finished wood very quickly.
This concoction is great for stainless steel or painted appliances. It’s also good for other stones like marble and soapstone. It’s useful in the bathroom too on your porcelain toilet and sink or on the tile floors.
How To Care For Granite Daily
To keep you granite shiny and new there are a few thing you can make part of your routine to keep them in tip top shape.
Granite is incredibly hard to damage but if you want to be extra cautious you can use coasters. Some people do find that they stone they picked out darkern when wet and take a long time to dry. The reason this happens in the pores fill up the water if they aren’t sealed, so don’t be afraid to pick out a set of coasters that match your decor.
Use A Cutting Board
Even the sharpest kitchen knife won’t damage granite, but it will dull the blades of the knife. That’s why you should always use a cutting board, even if you’re just slicing up a quick onion.
Use Trivets Or Pot Holders
I don’t think this is a necessary precaution because damage from high termperatures is rare. I also think it comletely defeats the purpose of installing granite countertops. But if you want to be safe you should use trivets or pot holders to place hot pots and pans on.
I do however want to caution you against different types of cookware. A fresh out of the over aluminum baking sheet with cookies on it won’t damage granite countertops. But the risk is higher for cookware that hold its’ heat for long periods of time like cast iron pans or pots full of hot oil. Even I use a trivet for items like that. They can really heat up the stone if left on the surface for extended periods, and that’s when cracks from thermal shock can happen.
Did you enjoy this article? Then you’ll probably like this one about getting granite countertop discounts too.