Whether you have granite countertops installed in your kitchen right now or are thinking about investing in a granite countertop upgrade, you know just how beautiful this natural stone can be. However, if you cook at home often and use your counters for food prep, then chances are they could use a proper cleaning to remove food residues, handprints, smudges and more.
So, what is the best way to clean granite surfaces? Some sources will say you should use a special granite-only cleaner, while others offer up homemade cleanser recipes or store-bought cleaning solutions.
The good news is that you don’t need anything special to keep your granite countertops shiny and streak-free. Here’s what you need to know about cleaning granite countertops in Northern Minnesota, followed by tips for using dish soap as a surface cleaner.
What to do—and what not to do
Before you start using any type of cleaning solution on your granite countertops, you must memorize the dos and don’ts of cleaning granite.
DO: Seal your granite countertops
Make sure your countertops are properly sealed. Because it’s an extremely hard surface and less porous than marble, granite that is unsealed or poorly sealed will soak up spills, oils and stains easily. The easiest way to ensure your granite is sealed is to leave a few drops of water on the surface and observe for a few minutes. Water will bead up on a sealed surface but soak into an unsealed surface.
DO: Clean gently
Granite is tough, but be gentle when cleaning it. Ideally, use warm water, a mild dishwashing soap and microfiber cloth for daily wipe-downs and spill cleanups.
DON’T: Apply harsh cleaners or abrasive sponges
Avoid putting anything on granite that contains chemicals like ammonia or bleach—including Windex and acidic cleansers like lemon or lime juice and vinegar. Using harsh chemicals frequently will dull and weaken the granite sealant over time, and wiping granite with abrasive sponges or cloths is likely to do the same.
Cleaning and disinfecting
A daily wipe-down is one of the best things you can do to preserve the beauty and integrity of your granite countertops. However, even though well-sealed granite is relatively impervious to bacteria, you do want to disinfect it from time to time. This can be done by mixing hot water and a gentle dish soap together, or, for a stronger disinfectant, mix together a 50/50 solution of water and 91 percent isopropyl alcohol. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray onto the granite (or wet a dish cloth in the soapy solution and apply by hand), let sit for a few minutes, then rinse with water and use a clean microfiber cloth to dry it.
For information about installing new granite countertops in Northern Minnesota or the best products to keep your granite looking great for as long as possible, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at L & L Granite Countertops. We’re also here to help install the granite kitchen countertops of your dreams!