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How to Polish Granite Countertops So They Sparkle Like New


Figuring out how to clean granite countertops is one of the biggest challenges homeowners face after renovating their kitchens. While resilient, granite countertops are still susceptible to scratches, stains, and cracks without the right care. Regular maintenance can help sustain the beauty and performance of your counters for the long-term. 

Wondering how to deep clean granite countertops in your home? We asked cleaning experts for their advice. Before you grab just whatever’s under the sink and start spraying and scrubbing, read what the professionals have to say about what cleaners are safe for countertops and the best homemade cleaner for granite. With a regular cleaning schedule and the right products, your granite countertops will stay shiny and sealed for years to come!

What cleaners are safe for granite countertops?

how to clean granite countertops water stains

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

When you’re figuring out how to clean and shine granite countertops, the most important thing to consider is the sealant. It guards the stone against stains and scratches, but it can wear out from improper cleaning — leaving your granite countertops vulnerable to damage. Checking the sealant should be the first step in any guide on how to clean your granite countertops.

“You know the granite is securely sealed when water splashed on the surface beads up. Sealing the porous stone once a year or every couple of years is a good way to save its colors and patterns, as well,” said Harriet Jones, cleaning and maintenance supervisor for Go Cleaners London. 

Once you’ve confirmed the counters are sealed, you’ll need to stock up on cleaning products that will make them sparkle. A quick online search will bring up sales on any number chemicals specifically designed to clean this particular stone.

However, you might already have everything you need at hand, no matter the color or location of your countertops, said Lily Cameron, a cleaning expert at Fantastic Services. “All you need to clean your granite countertop is warm water, gentle liquid dish detergent, a clean microfiber cloth, and a dishcloth,” she said. 

A lot of readers may wonder, “Is alcohol good to clean granite countertops?” The answer is yes — but it’s too strong on its own to apply directly to the surface of your countertops. A spray bottle filled with one part isopropyl alcohol and one part water is a safe tool if you need to disinfect granite countertops, said Cameron. 

How do you clean granite countertops?

Now that you’ve got everything you need, it’s time to get to work. Here’s Cameron’s simple six-step method:

  1. Fill your sink or a bucket with warm water and gentle dish soap.
  2. Submerge your dish cloth into the solution, then wring it out. It should be moist, but not drenched.
  3. Wipe any spills and food particles off the countertop using the wet cloth.
  4. Spray the alcohol solution on the countertop and let it sit for 3-5 minutes if you want to disinfect the surface. This step is optional.
  5. Wipe your countertop with the soapy dish cloth.
  6. Use the microfiber cloth to dry and polish the surface.

This method for how to clean and maintain granite countertops should generally be enough to keep them pristine. However, if you still notice stubborn stains, you’ll need to take some extra measures to remove them. Here’s how to clean stains on granite countertops, according to Meg Roberts, president of Molly Maid residential cleaning company.

How do you get grease stains out of granite?

  1. Mix three parts baking soda with one part water to create a paste. 
  2. Apply the paste to the counter.
  3. Scrub the counter with a soft cloth and rinse thoroughly.
  4. Repeat until the stain is removed.

Water, juice, and other liquids can also leave unsightly marks on your countertops. If you’re wondering how to clean granite countertops stains from organic liquids, simply follow the same steps above, but replace the water with hydrogen peroxide in the baking soda paste.

What is the best homemade cleaner for granite?

how to clean granite countertops with natural products

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Kitchen countertops come into close contact with our food, so it’s no surprise that many people want a natural way to clean granite countertops. The good news is that you don’t need any harsh chemicals. Ingredients like soap, water, baking soda, and peroxide are all you need to clean granite countertops naturally without introducing poisonous chemicals into your kitchen.

If you’re looking for how to clean stains from granite countertops in an even healthier way, simply follow the technique outlined above, but add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to the solution. Lavender or orange essential oil will make your kitchen burst with a fresh, natural scent. 

How often should you clean granite countertops?

Who doesn’t want their kitchen to look spotless all the time? While there’s no need to do a deep clean of your granite kitchen countertops every afternoon, regular maintenance can go a long way toward helping them stay stain-free for years. 

“If your kitchen sees much action, take care of your countertops on a daily basis,” says Jones.

So how do you clean granite countertops daily without wearing down the seal? Whatever you do, don’t let spills linger. Use a soapy dish cloth to blot up liquid as soon as you see it, then dry off the counter with a microfiber towel.

If you choose to use a cleaning chemical on your granite countertops, use it sparingly. Soap and water should be enough to keep your countertops clean on a daily basis. Limit the use of harsh chemicals to once every couple of weeks to avoid damaging the seal on your granite.

Even though granite is a strong, durable material, gentle cleanings as part of your daily clean-up routine will protect your countertops from stains and keep them shiny.

How do you clean granite countertops in a bathroom?

what to clean granite countertops with

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Bathroom countertops come with their own set of challenges, from toothpaste splatters and soap residue to microscopic germs that you’ll want to destroy. Be extra vigilant about wiping down your granite countertops in a bathroom with a soapy dish cloth every day, and mopping up spills as soon as they occur.

One thing that differs from how to clean granite countertops in bathrooms as opposed to kitchens is the importance of frequent disinfections. You’ll want to disinfect your bathroom countertops at least once a week, if not more often. You might wonder: “Is vinegar safe to clean granite countertops in the bathroom?” Not exactly — acidic liquids can damage granite countertops. Instead, stick with the alcohol-and-water solution to kill the germs, and save the vinegar for your salads.

Can I use Windex on granite?

Granite countertops are a serious investment for any homeowner, so it’s normal to have a lot of questions about how to care for them: Does Windex clean granite countertops? How about lemon juice? 

You want to be extremely careful when choosing products to use on your granite countertops. When it comes to the question of is it OK to clean granite countertops with Windex, the answer is to avoid it entirely.

“Although granite is extremely hard and durable, it is pliable to acidic cleaners, which eat away at its surface. Avoid using harsh and abrasive solutions, like ammonia (an ingredient in Windex), bleach, vinegar, lemon, lime, and scrubby sponges. The harsher a cleaner is, the quicker it will break down the sealant and damage the granite surface,” said Jones.

Gentle, non-toxic cleaning products (and a little elbow grease) are an easy way to clean granite countertops anywhere in your home.

If you’re looking for more tips to keep your home sparkling, check out our guides on how to clean a coffee maker, how to clean a grill, and how to deep clean carpet without a machine.

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