Made of quartz, feldspar, silica and other minerals, granite countertops present a natural, beautiful addition to any kitchen. Improper cleaning, however, can damage the beauty and integrity of your counter, dulling its finish or discoloring it. Keep your granite counter looking like new by cleaning it using the right techniques.
How to Clean Granite Countertops
Granite can be cleaned using one of several different methods. Any of these methods are perfectly fine, and will not harm the stone.
Soap and Water
Granite can be cleaned with any PH neutral dish soap and water. Avoid any soaps that contain acids or alkalines, as these may etch the stone.
- PH neutral dish soap
- Lint free cloth
- Wet a sponge with water and apply a small amount of PH neutral dish soap to the wet sponge.
- Work the sponge in circles over the granite.
- Rinse the sponge free of soap.
- Work the soap-free sponge in circles over the granite to remove any excess soap.
- Dry the granite with a lint-free cloth to avoid water spots.
You may also choose to use a stone or granite cleaner on your granite counter. Stone cleaners are PH balanced to gently clean the granite, and many will also disinfect the stone at the same time.
- Granite or stone cleaner
- Soft, lint-free cloth
- Brush any crumbs or other physical debris off the counter.
- Spray the stone cleaner onto the granite's surface.
- Buff the granite dry with a lint-free cloth.
For fast cleanup of a spill or to quickly disinfect a section of the counter, you may choose to use granite-safe wipes. These disposable cloths are typically sold at granite fabricators and stone yards and are safe for use on any stone counter. To use them:
- Wipe the cloth over the granite in a circular motion.
- Turn the cloth when a section becomes soiled.
- Dispose of the cloth after use; there is no need to rinse the granite.
Removing Stains from Granite
Not all countertops sold as granite are actually made of the igneous rock granite. Some are dolomites, others are gabbros and some are carved from the bottoms of river beds. Some of these stones are extremely porous and likely to stain if oil or fruit juice is left to sit on them for too long. If this happens, cleaning the surface of the granite is not enough to remove the stain, because it may have penetrated through to the center of the counter. To clean a stain like this, you need to use a poultice. Poultices can be found at most stone yards or fabricators.
Not all poultices will remove all stains; purchase a poultice designed for the specific stain you are trying to remove, such as oil-based, fruit-juice based, etc.
- Granite cleaner
- Soft cloth
- Poultice powder
- Scrub brush
- Plastic wrap
- Clean the surface of the granite well with granite cleaner and dry with a soft cloth.
- Mix up the poultice powder with water according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Scoop up a small amount of the mixed poultice and apply it to the stain.
- Work the poultice into the granite gently with a scrub brush.
- Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the poultice and press down around the edges to help "seal" the poultice beneath the wrap.
- Allow the poultice and wrap to sit undisturbed for one hour.
- Remove the plastic wrap and wipe away the poultice.
- Clean the granite to remove any stains the poultice has pulled to the surface.
- Dry with a soft cloth.
Maintain Your Granite
With proper maintenance, your granite countertop will outlast anything in your home. Learn the proper care and cleaning of your granite counters and keep them looking as good as the day you had them installed.