Published: October 8, 2012

    How to Keep Your Granite Countertop Completely Clean

    Granite is a gorgeous material that provides a timeless appeal to any bathroom or kitchen. Granite is a super tough stone that is formed from volcanic magma, and it has a reputation as a durable, dependable material choice for a variety of home improvement projects.  It ranges in color, but no matter what pattern of granite you choose, your home is sure to look stylish, sophisticated, and beautiful. However, that beauty comes with a price: added maintenance.

    Benefits of Granite Countertops

    • Granite is widely available
    • You can purchase granite countertops in thousands of colors
    • Hot items will never damage or warp granite countertops
    • Granite is sanitary and non-porous to prevent damage to other structures and materials
    • Granite is durable and resists heat

    Disadvantages of Granite Countertops

    • Granite requires regular cleaning and maintenance
    • Granite is susceptible to cracking

    Investing in a water softener or filter system can reduce the amount of cleaning you need to dedicate to your counters, but general maintenance is part of the package. Darker granite can show water spotting easily, especially in places where water sits or drips down off faucets. A properly cleaned and sealed granite countertop can be rid of any water spotting with little effort.

    Here’s a quick guide to taking care of those gorgeous granite countertops:

    How to Clean Granite Countertop

    To keep granite countertops clean, first use a microfiber cloth to dust off the surface.  Wipe down the granite countertop daily and as needed using water. Once a week, wipe down with a damp cloth and a stone cleaner formulated with a neutral pH. 

    Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. They can scratch, pit, and etch the surface of the stone. For oily stains, try a poultice made of a cup of flour or baking soda and 5 tablespoons of dish soap. Add water to make it the consistency of sour cream, and place the solution directly on the stain and cover with plastic wrap overnight. In the morning wash away the poultice.

    Do not clean granite with acidic ingredients such vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice, as they can be abrasive. Don’t use cleaning instruments like scrubs and steel wool pads on granite — opt for other materials. Avoid cleaning products that contain bleach, degreasing substances, or ammonia. Dish soap should be used sparingly, because it eventually will dull the countertop appearance.

    You can also use “green” cleaners that don’t contain harsh chemicals. A DIY, inexpensive, safe cleaner you can make in your home — add equal parts water and alcohol in a spray bottle. Spray your counter, and then scrape along the surface to remove any remaining dirt. Use a soft sponge to wipe the counter down, and then buff dry to a shine with a soft cloth.

    How Often Should You Seal Granite?

    Granite owners should get accustomed to sealing their counters for longevity. Not all granite is created equal — to determine how often you should seal your granite conduct a quick “water test.”

    Pour ¼ cup of water onto your granite countertop and note the time you did so. Time how long it takes for the water to absorb.

    • Immediate absorption — seal granite at least twice a year.
    • 4 to 5 minutes — apply multiple layers of sealer and redo every 3 to 5 years.
    • 10 minutes — apply a single layer of sealer. This should last several years.
    • 30 minutes or longer — no sealer needed!

    Examine your granite and conduct a water test at least once a year.  Check all areas to ensure there is no cracking or shifting at the seams.  Inspect for stains and scratches, and contact a stone-care professional for repair if you spot damage.

    How to Reseal Granite Countertops

    Using our guide above, completely clean your granite countertop, buff it clean, and then wait one hour. When you’re ready to begin, open all kitchen windows and turn on the kitchen fan to alleviate the smell. Pour the sealer into a large bowl.

    Dip a brush into the sealer and fully saturate it. Apply the sealer by pushing the foam against the granite gently but firmly. Start at the back of your counter and work your way forward, taking care to coat all edges including the area around the kitchen sink. Allow sealer to absorb for 10 minutes, and then wipe away sealer with an absorbent cloth and dry the countertop promptly.

    Stock Up on the Right Cleaning Products

    In order to clean your granite countertops and other surfaces in your home you should invest in high-quality cleaning products to deal with damage efficiently. Pelican Water’s Lemi Shine Dishwasher Booster and Rinse Aid isn’t just for dishwashers (though we highly recommend it for that purpose) — it can also be used in your toilet bowl, garbage disposal, and even in your coffee pot!

    For those counters you can dilute dish soap with water for regular cleaning. Spot a stain? Mix baking soda with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl and wipe until the stain isn’t visible. A well-maintained granite countertop can last for a generation — take proper care of your granite with the best water quality and the right cleaning products and schedule.