How To Clean Granite Countertops

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Wondering how to clean granite countertops? You've come to the right place—and these tricks are easier than you think!

Cleaning a granite countertop isn’t as simple as just wiping it down with the cleaning chemical of your choice. That’s because granite comes in different densities, so you’ll want to know how to clean each type properly. We rounded up the professional-level cleaning secrets and spoke to the experts to determine how to clean granite countertops the right way.

What cleaners are safe for granite?

“Although granite can be cleaned on a daily basis using soap and water, there are a few things to keep in mind,” explains Alicia Sokolowski, president of AspenClean. “Granite can scratch easily from an abrasive pad or an acidic cleaner. It can also absorb oil stains easily, so it’s important to wipe them promptly. Unsealed granite is porous, and therefore more difficult to clean. It also darkens when water or oil is spilled on it.”

Sokolowski suggests steering clear of harsh abrasives, including your favorite streak-free glass cleaner, because of chemical additives that can break down the surface of your granite. Using Windex is one of the most major things you should not do to your kitchen countertops next to cutting directly on their surfaces. “These have chelating agents that cause microscopic etching of the stone. This is the main reason so many granite countertops begin to feel gritty,” she says. “Avoid using bleach, ammonia, scouring pads and other harsh, abrasive or acidic cleaners.”

If you have a little bit of extra time, making your own natural cleaning products can be a great way to clean granite countertops. Simply add a few drops of mild dish soap to a spray bottle of water. To help it dry faster and to provide some disinfecting power, add some rubbing alcohol. A ratio of three parts water to one part alcohol with 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap works well at killing bacteria, cutting grease and protecting the shine. Alternatively, you can buy a non-toxic granite and stone cleaner like this pH balanced Weiman spray.

How to Clean Granite Countertops

Properly cleaning your granite countertops at least once a week is one of the clean house secrets you’ll wish you knew sooner. It preserves their integrity and shine while offering a more hygienic working and eating space. Plus, Sokolowski says it takes just a few minutes for even large granite countertops with these simple steps.

Tools You’ll Need

Directions

  1. First, remove all debris with a soft, dry sponge.
  2. Spray generously with a natural kitchen cleaner.
  3. Scrub with a soft sponge from back to front in a pattern that resembles the letter “S.”
  4. Wipe with a microfiber cloth or Swedish dishcloth till the surface is dry.
  5. For stubborn stains, make a paste with baking soda and water. Scrub, then rinse thoroughly.
  6. Allow to dry, and follow with optional granite sealer.

What can I use instead of Swedish dishcloths?

“You can use any type of lint-free microfiber cloth because they’re relatively smooth,” explains Sokolowski of one of the best cleaning hacks out there. “That means you won’t damage or scratch your countertops and you’ll get even product distribution. They’re also very absorbent, so they will remove moisture. That’s very important for unsealed granite countertops.”

Other important considerations for cleaning granite

No matter how porous your countertop is, to keep it looking as beautiful as when it was installed, experts suggest the following:

  • Always use a cutting board to prevent scratches. Never cut directly on granite.
  • Never place frozen items or hot pans from the oven directly on the granite. Instead, prevent thermal shock by using a protective mat or trivet.
  • Wipe up spills as soon as possible.
  • Clean and seal granite surfaces regularly.

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Bryce Gruber
As Home Editor, Bryce Gruber is an expert in gift ideas, shopping, and e-commerce at Taste of Home. You've likely seen her work across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting outlets and on TV shows. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.