Clean granite countertops
Granite is a natural stone and needs some maintenance to keep looking clean and shining through daily use. The countertops installed in kitches go through lots of processing to make them resistant to water and dirt.
Granite is so durable that with regular cleaning you can actually keep your countertop shining for many years. Though you need to know the proper way of cleaning granite, or else the cleaning itself can ruin the looks of it.
When cleaning granite, you need to ensure that the protective coating (sealant) is not affected. A pH neutral or pH balanced cleaning solution is best for granite. The cleaning solution should not be too much acidic or alkaline.
Anything that is too acidic will etch the protective coating within minutes and then start damaging the porous stone underneath. Highly alkaline substances will have a similar effect.
If you are using some commercial cleaning solution then check the instructions on the label. Not all commercial cleaners are actually pH balanced or suitable for stones like granite. Just because you can use a cleaner for removing water stains from steel sinks or porcelain basins, they may be not be suitable for granite.
So in this post we are going to talk at length about the best options for cleaning granite countertops.
Things to avoid
1. Avoid scrubbing with dry baking soda. The abrasive nature of the baking soda can lift the protective seal coating on the granite.
2. Avoid strong cleaning agents like ammonia, bleach. Though they can be used in very diluted form, but there is always a risk of adding things in the wrong proportion and ending up damaging the granite.
3. It is recommended to even avoid acidic cleaners like vinegar and lemon juice because the acid reacts with the granite minerals causing corrosion. The same way, if you spill lemon juice on the surface while cooking, wipe it out immediately. The long the lime juice stays on granite, the more it will etch it.
4. Be careful with whatever you use for rubbing the granite. Do not use cleaning scrubbers. The rigid fibers of the scrubber will surely etch the seal coating on the granite. Use only microfiber cloth or sponge.
Its best to use a pH neutral or pH balanced cleaning solution like the one we shall be preparing a little later in this article.
1. Microfiber cloth and water
To begin with, just use a damp microfiber cloth to rub the entire granite area. Lift up as much dust and stains the cloth can pickup.
Rinse the cloth in fresh water, if it gets too dirty. Repeat the process as many times as you feel necessary. When there is no further progress, its time to switch to a cleaning solution that will lift the stubborn stains and other residues.
2. Home made Cleaning solution
You can prepare a very effective cleaning solution at home, that is not very harsh on the granite. Use the following ingredients and store them in a spray bottle.
1. Rubbing Alcohol
2. Liquid Dishsoap
4. Few drops of essential oils for fragrance (optional)
The dishsoap will do the cleaning of the granite and the alcohol will help lift many different kinds of stains without streaking the surface. Liquid castile soap can also be used instead of dishsoap.
Spray this solution generously all over and wipe with a microfiber cloth or sponge. You may need to do it more than once before you see a bright and clean countertop almost as good as new.
Essential oils improve the cleaning solution in many ways. They help mask the smell of the alcohol with a natural fragrance that is pleasant. Also some essential oils are very effective in repelling small insects out of your kitchen. Eucalyptus oil is known to be very effective in repelling ants out.
Commercial cleaning products
There are plenty of cleaning solutions available in the market that are formulated specially for cleaning granite and similar stone surfaces. You can find almost all varieties on amazon or some of them in your local hardware store.
Make sure to read the cleaning instructions on the label of the product to do things right with your granite countertop.
Extra tips and advice
If there are water stains on the countertop, you might want to use vinegar. However first dilute it by mixing equal amounts of water and then spray only as little as necessary and wipe quickly.
Another trick for cleaning hard water stains is to use a solution of baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide in water.
Baking soda can be effective in lifting off greasy stains and dirt. Prepare a paste of baking soda and water and apply it on the stains and just let it sit for a few hours. Afterwards wipe it away with a wet sponge.
If you too know of some wonderful ways of cleaning granite then let us know. Thanks for reading.