How to Properly Clean Granite Countertops
Stock up on the microfiber towels, says our expert.
Granite is the most popular choice of stone for countertops, says Gayla Sessa of Missouri Table & Chair. "It's harder than marble, and its shiny surface has the ability to improve the aesthetic value of the area where it is installed," she explains. "Granite even has antibacterial and heat resistant properties, which makes it a popular choice for floor and wall tiles, as well." This type of rock can consist of a variety of minerals, including quartz and mica. Because of its unique makeup, you'll need to make sure to clean it carefully: Avoid harsh cleaners or abrasive scrubbers. Ahead, more tips for gently, but thoroughly cleaning this countertop type.
Use a gentle cleaning solution and dry the surface thoroughly.
Jennifer Parnell, the co-founder of Humble Suds, says that a gentle cleaner will prevent the erosion of the granite countertop's sealant and won't cause any physical damage to the stone. "We recommend a gentle all-purpose cleaner (check your bottle's ingredients to ensure they do not contain citric acid, bleach, or ammonia) or warm water and a small amount of Castile or dish soap," she says. "Make sure to remove crumbs or other particles from the surface with a microfiber towel prior to applying your cleaning solution." Post-cleanse, Parnell says to go back in with your microfiber towel to dry the surface and remove any soap residue; be sure to remove every drop of water, which can actually stain granite when left on for too long. "There isn't a best way to wipe a surface, but I prefer going in a circular motion to ensure I'm not missing a spot," notes Parnell.
Target stubborn spots.
For heavy-duty messes, you have a few options, notes Parnell. "For sticky residue, place a damp (with hot water) microfiber cloth on the spot and let it sit for a few minutes," she says. "Wipe it away with another towel or non-abrasive sponge, and dry the spot immediately." If you notice any stubborn water stains, try wiping the area in a circular motion after applying a combination of soap and water or an all-purpose cleaner. "Then, wipe it with a dry microfiber cloth, going in the same circular motion for a few cycles after the spot is dry," she says.
If that fails, try a baking soda paste. "Baking soda is gentle, non-abrasive stain lifter," Parnell says, noting to mix in a bit of water to create a thick solution. "Leave it on for a few minutes, wipe it away with a dry towel, clean the area with warm water, and dry it thoroughly." Another option? "You can also spray a small amount of hydrogen peroxide onto the stain or mix a bit of an oxygen powder into your baking soda paste," she says, adding that you should resist the urge to scrub.
Avoid acidic cleaners.
"Granite is a delicate stone, though it is not as sensitive as marble," Parnell explains. Still, when you clean your granite surfaces, you should avoid using anything acidic. "This includes lemon juice, products with citric acid, vinegar, or corrosive cleaning agents, such as bleach or ammonia," she says. "You also want to avoid any scratchy sponges or scrubbers." Soft, tight-knit microfiber towels are the best for cleaning this surface type, she notes.