The Natural Cleaning Habit That Could Be Ruining Your Granite Countertops

updated Jan 14, 2020
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I’m all for simplifying cleaning routines. (Lately I’ve been trying to clean as much as possible with just microfiber and water.) There’s definitely a time and a place for tools and methods that make cleaning easier and make your life feel more streamlined. But it’s important that you don’t use the wrong tools, products, or methods when you clean your home — especially when there’s risk of harm to people or property. There’s one all-purpose “simple cleaning” staple in particular that could be ruining your granite countertops slowly, each time you spray and swipe: white vinegar.

We love vinegar because it’s inexpensive, effective, and can be used in so many applications, from the laundry room to the kitchen and everywhere in between. Its acidity is strong enough to break down dirt but mild enough to be safe. Vinegar combats bacteria and mold, and can be used on many surfaces, from glass to linoleum … but not on all surfaces.

Credit: Cat Meschia

Why You Shouldn’t Clean Granite with Vinegar

Vinegar spells trouble for granite countertops (and any other natural stone countertop). The acid in vinegar wears away at the protective sealant that prevents spills from penetrating the stone and causing permanent stains. In addition, over time vinegar can cause etching in the granite itself. This is also true for other acidic cleaners, such as lemon juice and citric acid; the latter is commonly found in products designed to clean metal, tub and tile, and some all-purpose cleaners.

Cleaning Granite Countertops the Safe Way

To clean granite countertops without harming them, use mild soap and water. If you want to disinfect your counters, add some isopropyl alcohol to your soap and water solution. Another option is to use a commercial granite cleaner, such as TriNova Daily Granite Cleaner, Method’s Daily Granite, or Granite Gold.

No matter which route you go for cleaning, buffing with a microfiber cloth afterwards helps make your counters gleam. Maintenance is also important. Periodically sealing your granite countertops is important in order to protect your counters from damage and to keep them looking their best.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: How To Clean and Disinfect Granite Countertops