Granite countertops are the epitome of elegance and durability, gracing homes with their captivating charm. Yet, maintaining the pristine allure of granite requires more than just admiration; it demands the wisdom of proper care. In this comprehensive guide on cleaning granite countertops, join us on a journey to unveil the secrets to clean countertops and let your surfaces shine as brilliantly as the day they were installed.
Before you embark on this quest for sparkling countertops, make sure you’re equipped with the essential tools and materials to ensure their longevity and beauty. Your arsenal should include:
- Soft Microfiber Cloths: Gentle and non-abrasive to protect your granite.
- Protective Gloves: Ideal for sensitive skin and robust cleaning solutions.
- Spray Bottle: Convenient for even distribution of your chosen cleaner.
- pH-Balanced Granite Cleaner: Formulated specifically for natural stone.
- Stone Sealer: To preserve your countertop’s shine and shield it from stains.
- Mild Dish Soap: An alternative for daily maintenance.
- Plastic or Rubber Spatula: Handy for tackling dried spills or residues.
- Isopropyl Alcohol: A savior for stubborn stains and disinfection.
- Armed with these tools, let’s dive into the ultimate step-by-step approach to maintain the splendor of your granite countertops.
Get Sparkling Countertops: Cleaning Granite Countertops
Step 1: Clear Off the Counters
Begin by decluttering your countertops, removing all items that could obstruct your cleaning process. Safely relocate heavy objects to prevent potential damage. A clutter-free surface forms the foundation for effective cleaning, ensuring your countertops remain dazzling and functional.
Step 2: Cleanse the Surface
For the cleaning stage, choose between two methods, based on your preference and the degree of dirt or stains:
Option A: Mild Kitchen Cleaner
For regular maintenance, blend a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water in a spray bottle or a bucket.
Dampen a soft microfiber cloth or sponge with the soapy solution, then gently wipe down the countertops.
Avoid harsh cleaners that can harm the sealant.
Option B: Granite Cleaner
When dealing with stubborn stains or deeper cleaning, opt for a specialized granite cleaner.
Follow the instructions on the cleaner’s packaging for optimal results.
Regardless of your choice, ensure thorough rinsing with clean water and a streak-free drying to maintain the granite’s appearance.
Step 3: Wring Out Excess Water
After applying the cleaner, use a clean, damp microfiber cloth or sponge to gently wipe the countertops, ensuring you wring out excess water. Over-saturating the granite can potentially damage it over time. Controlled moisture is the key to preserving your countertops’ longevity and shine.
Step 4: Start Cleaning
For cleaning granite countertops, use a gentle, pH-balanced cleaner designed for granite. Avoid harsh chemicals, abrasive scrubbers, or acidic substances. Dilute the cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and spray it evenly on a small section of the countertop. Wipe the surface with a soft, non-abrasive microfiber cloth or sponge in a circular motion. Pay special attention to stains, letting the cleaner sit for a few minutes if needed. Rinse and dry each section thoroughly.
Step 5: Stain Treatment
To tackle specific stains, follow these recommendations:
For oil-based stains, use a gentle liquid household cleaner and a non-abrasive rag. Water spots can be addressed with fine steel wool (0000 grit), used lightly. Organic stains can be treated with 12 percent hydrogen peroxide and a soft cloth. For paint and ink stains, use acetone or mineral alcohol with a diluted solution of warm water.
Step 6: Prevent Future Stains
Now that you’ve 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 as soon as possible. This is especially true for acidic liquids such as fruit juice or tomato juice.
Blotting instead of wiping can keep the stain in 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
PH NEUTRAL SOAP
The simplest way to clean 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 it to sit for a few days. Over time, 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.
Polishing Your Granite Countertops
Polishing your countertops is the crowning touch. Ensure your countertops are dry and free of any cleaning residues. Apply a granite-specific polishing solution or create your own with isopropyl alcohol and water. Use a soft, clean cloth or a microfiber pad, and polish in small, circular motions. Regular polishing not only enhances their beauty but also extends their lifespan.
Achieving gleaming granite countertops is now within your reach, and MTM Granite Ltd. is your trusted partner in all things granite. Contact us today if you have questions about cleaning granite countertops.