How to Clean Granite Countertops

by Team HomeServe
Sterilizing kitchen counter tops

Brand-new granite countertops can add a luxurious feel to your kitchen. The natural stone is beautiful, and the smooth surface seems to glisten and radiate in the light — until you put it to use, that is. Once it’s covered in grubby handprints, dried-on food and liquid spills, the lustrous shine can start to dull.

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Here's how to clean your granite countertops and bring them back to their former glory.

Check the Seal

Most granite countertops are covered with a layer of sealant to protect the pores in the natural stone. This wears off over time, leaving your countertop more susceptible to stains. It needs to be replaced every two or three years.

To check if your counters need to be resealed, pour a small amount of water on the surface. If water drops don’t bead up or it’s difficult to wipe up the spill, it’s probably time to reseal the counter. This can be a DIY job, or you can call in the pros.

Which Cleaners Are Safe for Granite?

There are a variety of granite cleaners on the market that can take the guesswork out of cleaning your natural stone. These products tend to have a neutral pH. They can remove streaks and grime while also protecting the seal and keeping the countertop in pristine condition. You can also find granite polish that’s specially designed to restore the luster to dull countertops.

Which Cleaners to Avoid

Avoid using cleaners that contain harsh chemicals, such as citric acid or bleach, as they can weaken the seal on the granite. Vinegar may be great for most household cleaning applications, but it’s a strong acid that can damage granite countertops with frequent use. You’ll also want to steer clear of scourers and other abrasive cleaning products that can scratch the natural stone.

Can You Use Lysol Wipes on Granite Countertops?

The simple answer is no. Although they’re handy for quickly wiping away spills in the oven or giving the microwave a once-over, Lysol and other disinfecting wipes contain harsh chemicals and acids that can cause permanent damage to porous granite.

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How to Clean Granite Countertops Using Everyday Ingredients

If you don’t have granite countertop cleaner, don’t panic. Spills and dirt can be easily wiped away using dish soap and water.

Fill a bowl with warm water and a few squirts of mild dish soap. Wet a soft cloth in the soapy mixture and wipe down the counter. Rinse with clean water and dry with a microfiber cloth.

How to Disinfect Granite Countertops

A properly sealed granite countertop is pretty hardy and resistant to bacteria. Using soap and water or a granite cleaner will do enough to sterilize it. However, if you want to give your counter a thorough disinfection, you can use diluted rubbing alcohol.

Mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the countertop and let it sit for five minutes. Then, rinse with clean water and dry.

Going Forward

Even though your granite countertops are sealed, they’re still susceptible to stains. Always clear up spills straight away — especially liquids such as red wine or oil — so they don’t have time to soak in and blemish the granite.

A granite countertop is a sizable investment, so you need to clean it properly. Knowing how to care for your granite countertop will keep it looking like new for years to come.

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