How to Clean Granite Countertops

November 8, 2018

Granite is one of the most popular materials for countertops, especially kitchen countertops. They are strong, resilient, and durable countertops, but they need to be resealed annually and cleaned regularly to maintain their notable glossy shine. You do have to clean with caution as the stone and be damaged over time by products and techniques that are normally perfectly safe for other kitchen surfaces. Here’s how to clean granite countertops:

How to Clean Granite Countertops

Use Mild Dish Soap and a Soft Sponge

One of the best ways to clean granite countertops is to keep things simple and nonabrasive. You can use a mild dish soap that is diluted with water and a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to wipe down granite surfaces.

Granite can be easily scratched by more abrasive scrubbers, so it’s important to use the proper type of sponge or cloth and to clean gently. It’s also important to stay away from common household cleaners as these are often abrasive and can weaken the surface sealant over time. Usually, a good approach is to wet the sponge or cloth with tap water and then squirt a little bit of the dish soap onto it.

Remove Excess Water, Wipe Gently, and Dry

Once you’ve worked up a lather on your sponge or cloth, it’s important to wring out the excess water. Granite tends to be highly absorbent, so standing water can cause it to become discolored. This is less of an issue if the countertop has been sealed properly, but it’s usually best to keep standing water to a minimum.

Using small circular motions, gently work your way across the countertop. If there is any dried food or splatter, you may have to use a little more pressure, but you don’t want to go overboard with it. Abrasive scrubbing can end up causing your granite countertop to stain.

After you’ve wiped down the entire countertop, use another soft towel or cloth to dry it. This will protect the countertop from any lasting water damage. It will also help to eliminate streaks and ensure a glossy shine.

How to Remove Stains from Granite Countertops

Even with proper sealing and regular cleaning, granite countertops can sometimes become stained. The standard cleaning process with mild soap and a soft sponge usually doesn’t cut it for stains. But, you don’t have to worry; most of the time, stains can be cleaned with common household items. Here’s how to remove stains from granite countertops:

Use Baking Soda as the Base

Whether the stain is a water stain or an oil stain, you will still start with baking soda. For water stains, you will want to mix baking soda with a little bit of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl. For oil stains, you will want to mix baking soda with water. Both of these combinations should produce a mixture that looks like a thick paste.

Cover the Stained Area

Gently spread the mixture over the stained area until it is thoroughly covered. Then, grab some plastic wrap, cover the area, tape down the edges, and leave it overnight or for a few days if needed. When it’s time to remove it, rinse and wipe down your granite countertop following a standard cleaning process.

As a note, stains that do not come off are sometimes an indication that the sealant has failed or malfunctioned. If the stain was caused by improper sealing or failing sealant, you will likely need a professional to completely clean and reseal your granite countertop. Making sure your countertop is resealed annually and regularly keeping it clean can help to reduce stains and protect your countertop long-term.