How To Clean and Disinfect Granite Countertops

Cleaning Lessons from The Kitchn

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What's the best way to clean granite countertops? We've read a lot of varying views on this — use Windex! No, never use Windex! Use a special granite-only cleaner! No, you don't need a special granite-only cleaner! — but after doing our research, we think we've discovered a consensus among stone experts on how to care for granite. The best part? You really don't need any special cleaners to get those countertops shiny and streak-free.

The Dos and Don'ts of Cleaning Granite

DO: Make sure your granite countertop is sealed. While granite is a very hard surface and less porous than marble, unsealed or weakly sealed granite will soak up oils, spills, and stains. To check whether your granite is sealed, leave a few drops of water on the surface. If it beads up, you have a secure seal. If after a few minutes the water has soaked into the granite, then it's time to reseal the stone.

DON'T: Use harsh or abrasive cleaners and sponges, Windex, acidic cleaners like vinegar, lemon, lime, or anything with ammonia or bleach. Frequent use of these chemicals will dull and weaken the sealant over time. Basically, the harsher the cleaner, the quicker it will break down the sealant.

DO: Wipe up spills as soon as you notice them.

DO: Use warm water, a mild or gentle dish soap, and a nubby washcloth or microfiber cloth for daily wipedowns.

What About Disinfecting?

A well-sealed granite countertop is relatively impervious to bacteria. Hot water and dish soap should be adequate for daily sanitizing. However, if a stronger disinfectant is desired, mix together a 50:50 solution of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Spray onto the granite, allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse with water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth. Avoid bleach or ammonia-based cleaners.

What About Special Granite-Safe Cleaners?

There are granite cleaners out there, like this one from Method and this one from Granite Gold. Some all-purpose surface cleaners also specify that they're safe for granite. Use these cleaners if you want — just know that you don't have to buy them if you don't want to. The cleaning tutorial below will work just fine!

How To Clean and Disinfect Granite Countertops

What You Need

Materials
Warm water
Mild or gentle dish soap
Dish cloth
Clean microfiber cloth or terrycloth towel
Isopropyl alcohol (optional)

Instructions

  1. Wet your dish cloth with warm, soapy water. Fill the sink with warm water and a mild dish soap, then thoroughly wet a clean dish cloth.
  2. Wipe down the granite countertops. You don't need us to tell you how to do this part. Just wipe away any spills or crumbs on your countertop!
  3. Dry with a microfiber cloth to avoid streaking. Dry and buff your granite countertop thoroughly with a microfiber cloth or soft terry cloth towel to avoid streaking.
  4. Shine and disinfect with a water and isopropyl alcohol solution. To periodically disinfect your granite countertops, remove soap residue, and restore shine, mix together a 50:50 solution of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Spray onto the granite, allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse with water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
  5. Enjoy your nice, shiny, clean granite countertops!

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(Image credits: Cambria Bold)

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