With the recent COVID-19 outbreak, disinfecting kitchen countertops has never been more important.
However, cleaning natural stone countertops requires a little more extra effort if compared to engineered stone. This is because natural stone countertops have a porous surface meaning water, oil and other liquids can enter the countertop’s surface causing the material to stain and darken. These liquids also have a chance of carrying bacteria which will expose you and your family to a higher risk of sickness.
Best way to clean granite countertops
Granite is one of the most popular stones in kitchens and bathrooms for many years now. Its surface is the least porous out of all the natural stone countertops in the market and it is also extremely resistant to bacteria. However, cleaning granite countertops regularly is still important in order for them to last and to be sanitary.
The best way to clean granite countertops is to wipe spills as soon as they happen to help prevent them from penetrating the surface. For daily maintenance, you only need a mild dish soap diluted in warm water. Wipe the surface with a soft cloth or a microfiber cloth if you have one in your house. It is important to use the right type of cloth because granite scratches easily and abrasive scrubbers will surely damage your countertop. Make sure that the surface is completely wiped dry so as not to compromise the highly absorbent stone.
Avoid harsh, acidic cleaners like lemon, lime, vinegar or anything with bleach or ammonia. Using these products frequently will weaken the sealant of the counterop’s surface over time and will make the surface more susceptible to staining.
Yes, granite can be resealed but you would need to seal your granite far more often than is typically recommended if you were using acidic cleaners. Resealing requires a considerable amount of time and money so it is best to stick to the cleaners that won’t damage your countertop. Some harsh cleaners even stain natural stone instead of cleaning them. Avoid harsh cleaners if you want your granite countertop to last.
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Disinfecting surfaces is a must nowadays due to the coronavirus outbreak that has taken over the whole world. However, when it comes with disinfecting granite countertops, you can’t use a regular type of disinfectant. Sure, there are cleaners that are specifically made to sanitize and disinfect countertops but finding one that works on natural stone is a bit tricky.
So how to disinfect granite properly?
One way is to spray 70% isopropyl alcohol on the surface and allow it to sit there for three to five minutes to ensure that the countertop is thoroughly disinfected. Then, wipe the surface dry with a microfiber cloth. Doing this will surely get rid of any unnecessary germs on your granite countertop. It is best to work in sections, this way, you can effectively disinfect and clean every part of the granite’s surface.
Don’t dilute the alcohol with water because the alcohol’s effectiveness at killing germs drops when it is diluted below 50% concentration. In fact, the most effective concentration for killing bacteria is 60% to 90%. So 70% isopropyl alcohol is the best disinfectant for granite countertops.
If you don’t have 70% isopropyl alcohol or can’t find one in the store, you can also use soap that has antibacterial properties. There are a lot of dishwashing soaps that are antibacterial which makes them ideal for disinfecting kitchen countertops. Mix the dishwashing soap with warm water and wipe the granite surface using the solution on a microfiber cloth.
Can you use disinfecting wipes on granite?
No, you can’t use disinfecting wipes on granite countertops.
This is because disinfecting wipes contain citric acid as their primary ingredient. This is highly acidic and weakens the seal on your countertop’s surface leaving them vulnerable to stains and discoloration. Disinfecting wipes are convenient and they are effective but you should avoid using them on granite or any other natural stone surface.
Keeping granite countertops in top shape
At this point, you already know how to properly clean and disinfect granite countertops during COVID-19. Here are some additional tips on how to keep your granite countertops look and feel brand new for many years to come;
Seal and reseal
Granite countertops need to be sealed to keep liquids from seeping into the surface and over time, the seal wears down. It needs to be resealed every year but keep in mind that every slab of granite has different porosities which means some areas of the counter might need to be resealed more than the others.
To see if the area needs to be resealed, apply a small amount of water onto the surface and wait for ten minutes. If the water beads up then that means the current still is still working effectively. If it doesn’t and the water has penetrated the surface, then you will need to have your countertop resealed immediately. You will know that the water has seeped into the surface because a dark spot will appear on your granite.
Cleaning stains off of granite countertops is not difficult. All you need is baking soda and water to remove oil-based stains. Combine one teaspoon of baking soda with water until the consistency resembles paste. Spread the past onto the stain and allow it to soak for a couple of minutes. If the stains are particularly stubborn, you will need to let it soak for several hours. When that is done, simply wipe the surface with warm water and a microfiber cloth. If the stain is still there, repeat the process but let the paste sit on the stain for a longer period of time.
Disinfecting your countertops is recommended to be done once a week but with the recent COVID-19 outbreak, sanitizing should be done more frequently. Again, make sure to use 70% isopropyl alcohol or soap with antibacterial properties to ensure that you and your family are protected from the dreaded coronavirus.
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.