Granite is a naturally beautiful stone that radiates elegance and luxury, so it’s no surprise that many homeowners choose it for their homes. Whether you have granite in your kitchen, bathroom, staircase, or on your floors, it’s bound to get dirty from time to time. Therefore, cleaning is an integral part of granite countertop maintenance.
The stones don’t wear easily, so returning the sparkle to your granite is as easy as wiping it down with a simple cleaning solution. Here are our tips for cleaning the granite surfaces throughout your home.
Prepare Your Tools
Caring for granite countertops starts with gathering the right tools. You’ll want to grab mild dish soap, cleaning cloths, granite countertop cleaner and sealer, microfiber cloths, a spray bottle, hydrogen peroxide, and rubbing alcohol. All of these will be helpful in getting stains out of granite and restoring its natural beauty.
Steps Involved in Cleaning Your Countertops
Step 1: Make a Solution with Dish Soap
Mild, natural dish soap that is diluted with water is surely the best way to clean granite countertops. Take a clean sponge that doesn’t have any rough surfaces or edges, as abrasive surfaces may cause damage to your granite, and get it damp.
Gently squeeze the dish soap in the center of the sponge and prepare to start wiping the counters down. There should be no more than half of a tablespoon of soap on your sponge. This DIY granite cleaner may seem simple, but it is effective.
Step 2: Wring Out Excess Water
Before you start wiping your granite down, make sure to wring out any excess water that’s compiled on your sponge. Although granite is durable, too much standing water can make it become discolored.
Step 3: Start Cleaning
Once your sponge is the right dampness, you can begin cleaning your countertops. Use small circular motions using light-to-medium pressure to remove dirt and grime. In the case that you find small food particles, you may need to press a bit firmer to loosen them.
If you want to protect your hands, consider wearing a pair of rubber gloves while you clean.
If you want to disinfect the surface, you can create a mixture of equal parts water and isopropyl alcohol and put it in a spray bottle. After spraying the solution, wait 5 minutes and wipe it down with a clean microfiber cloth.
Step 4: Stain Treatment
How to remove stains from granite? We’ve had to answer this question quite a number of times, because coffee, water or oil stains on granite can really be an eyesore in your otherwise beautiful space. If you are aware of how a particular stain got there, you can use a DIY solution to remove it yourself. Keep in mind that you may need to reseal the stone after you are finished.
Oil-based stains: Use a gentle liquid household cleaner and a non-abrasive rag to target oil stains.
Water spots: Use fine steel wool with 0000 grit and lightly run it over the stain. Remember to not use too much pressure or you could damage the stone.
Organic stains: Use 12 percent hydrogen peroxide and a soft cloth to eliminate organic stains.
Step 5: Prevent Future Stains
Now that you have put in the work to complete your granite countertop maintenance, go one step further and prevent stains before they have the chance to set in and cause damage.
As soon as a stain occurs, do your best to clean it immediately. This is especially true for acidic liquids such as fruit juice or tomato juice.
Blotting instead of wiping can localize the stain to one area instead of spreading it over a larger surface area. Microfiber cloths are perfect for these types of spills.
Finally, coasters are your friend and can help reduce the need for granite stain removal in the first place.
DIY Granite Cleaner Options
We’ve compiled some DIY granite cleaner options for you to consider.
PH Neutral Soap
The simplest way to routinely clean your granite is by making a soap solution by diluting dish detergent with warm water. Wipe the surface with a rag or towel dipped in the solution and work your way across the stone countertops using circular motions to ensure an even polish.
Ammonia Or Bleach
You can also make a cleaning solution with a small amount of ammonia or bleach and warm water. Ammonia is better because it’s basic rather than acidic, which is less likely to cause long-term damage to the stone. CAUTION: Never mix them together — combining ammonia and bleach produces a deadly toxic gas.
Talcum Powder / Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
Porous and/or untreated stone can acquire stains over time. The best way to remove oily or fatty stains is to clean granite with baking soda or talcum powder. Liberally apply some powder or a mixture of baking soda and water and leave for a few days. These chemicals will draw out the oils in the stain and allow you to wipe them off with a cloth.
Acetone / Mineral Alcohol
Other persistent stains can come from paints and inks. To remove paint and ink stains from your granite countertop without scratching or scrubbing the stone, use acetone or mineral alcohol. Wearing gloves, make a diluted solution with warm water, and rub off the stain with a cloth.
Now that you cleaned your granite, you want to make it shine as brightly as possible. Some household polishing solutions include saltwater, glass cleaner, and floor wax.
Looking to update your kitchen with a granite countertop? Check our Black Pearl project to get inspired for your remodel.
With the right approach and the right supplies, you can transform your granite countertops and have them looking like new once again. If you have further questions about getting stains out of granite, our team at Granite Selection is happy to serve you.
Paul Batashev is the owner and CEO of Granite Selection. The company began in 2011 Pay Less for Granite and has been transforming homes since 2011 with its expertise as a kitchen countertop company and manufacturer of fine custom granite countertops.