How to clean granite countertops?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: July 4, 2024

Granite countertops are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. However, maintaining their beauty requires proper cleaning and care. This guide will walk you through the steps, techniques, and tips for cleaning granite countertops to keep them looking their best.

Understanding Granite

Granite is a natural stone composed mainly of quartz and feldspar, with minor amounts of mica, amphiboles, and other minerals. Its unique composition gives granite its distinctive appearance and makes each slab unique. However, granite is porous, which means it can absorb liquids and stains if not properly sealed.

Daily Cleaning Routine

To keep your granite countertops in top condition, it's essential to clean them daily. Here's a simple routine you can follow:

Step 1: Clear the Surface

Remove any items, such as appliances, utensils, and decorative pieces, from the countertop. This will give you full access to the surface and make cleaning more effective.

Step 2: Use Warm Water and Mild Dish Soap

Fill a bucket or sink with warm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as they can damage the granite's sealant and surface. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the soapy water and wring it out until it's damp.

Step 3: Wipe Down the Countertop

Gently wipe the countertop with the damp cloth or sponge, paying special attention to any spills or crumbs. Move in a circular motion to lift and remove dirt effectively.

Step 4: Dry and Buff

After wiping down the countertop, use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to dry the surface. Buff the granite in circular motions to restore its shine and prevent water spots.

Deep Cleaning for Granite Countertops

In addition to daily cleaning, it's essential to perform a deep clean periodically to remove stubborn stains and grime. Follow these steps for a thorough clean:

Step 1: Create a Cleaning Solution

Mix equal parts of isopropyl alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of mild dish soap and shake the bottle gently to combine the ingredients.

Step 2: Apply the Solution

Spray the cleaning solution generously over the countertop, ensuring full coverage. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to penetrate and loosen any dirt or stains.

Step 3: Scrub Gently

Using a soft-bristled brush or a non-abrasive sponge, gently scrub the countertop in circular motions. Focus on areas with stubborn stains or buildup. Avoid using steel wool or abrasive scrubbers, as they can scratch the granite.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

After scrubbing, rinse the countertop with clean water to remove any remaining soap and dirt. Use a microfiber cloth to dry and buff the surface, ensuring no streaks or water spots are left behind.

Removing Stains from Granite Countertops

Despite your best efforts, granite countertops can sometimes develop stains. Here's how to tackle common types of stains:

Oil-Based Stains

Oil-based stains, such as those from cooking oils or grease, can be challenging to remove. Create a poultice using baking soda and water to form a thick paste. Apply the paste to the stain, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit for 24 hours. Afterward, remove the plastic wrap and wipe away the paste. Rinse and dry the area thoroughly.

Organic Stains

Organic stains, like coffee, wine, or fruit juice, can be removed using hydrogen peroxide. Soak a paper towel or cloth in hydrogen peroxide and place it over the stain. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for 24 hours. Remove the wrap and cloth, then rinse and dry the area.

Rust Stains

Rust stains can be treated with a commercial rust remover specifically designed for granite. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and rinse the area thoroughly after treatment.

Sealing Granite Countertops

Sealing your granite countertops is crucial to prevent stains and maintain their appearance. Here's how to properly seal your countertops:

Step 1: Choose the Right Sealer

Select a high-quality granite sealer from a reputable brand. There are penetrating sealers and topical sealers; penetrating sealers are generally recommended for granite as they offer better protection against stains.

Step 2: Clean the Countertop

Before sealing, ensure the countertop is clean and dry. Follow the daily or deep cleaning routine to remove any dirt, grease, or stains.

Step 3: Apply the Sealer

Following the manufacturer's instructions, apply the sealer evenly to the countertop using a clean cloth or applicator pad. Allow the sealer to penetrate the granite for the specified time, usually around 15-20 minutes.

Step 4: Wipe Off Excess Sealer

After the sealer has had time to penetrate, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe off any excess. This will prevent streaks and ensure an even finish.

Step 5: Cure the Sealer

Allow the sealer to cure for the recommended time, usually 24 hours, before using the countertop. During this time, avoid placing any items on the surface or exposing it to liquids.

Tips for Maintaining Granite Countertops

In addition to regular cleaning and sealing, follow these tips to keep your granite countertops looking their best:

  • Use Coasters and Trivets: Place coasters under glasses and trivets under hot pots and pans to prevent damage and stains.
  • Wipe Up Spills Immediately: Promptly clean up any spills to prevent staining and etching.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Stay away from acidic or abrasive cleaners, such as vinegar, lemon juice, or bleach, as they can damage the granite.
  • Use Cutting Boards: Always use a cutting board when chopping or slicing to protect the countertop from scratches and knife marks.
  • Re-seal Regularly: Depending on the type of sealer used, you may need to re-seal your countertops every 1-3 years. Test your countertop periodically by sprinkling a few drops of water on the surface. If the water beads up, the seal is intact; if it absorbs into the granite, it's time to re-seal.

Granite countertops, prized for their beauty and durability, require diligent care to maintain their pristine condition. By adhering to a daily cleaning routine, performing regular deep cleans, addressing stains promptly, and applying a high-quality sealer, you can ensure your granite countertops remain a stunning feature in your home for years to come.

Related Questions

How to clean quartz countertops?

Quartz countertops are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance requirements. However, to maintain their pristine condition, it's essential to clean them properly. This guide will cover everything from daily cleaning practices to tackling stubborn stains and ensuring the longevity of your quartz surfaces.

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