Natural stone requires more TLC than most countertops. From the very beginnings of the installation process to regular maintenance, these surfaces tend to be a bit more finicky than others. However, even though they require more work, they’re well worth it.
In order to keep your granite kitchen countertops pristine and beautiful for many years, you need to correctly take care of them. Part of this process involves cleaning, but you shouldn’t reach for Windex to quickly clean the surfaces.
Is It OK To Use Glass Cleaner On Granite Countertops?
Glass cleaner is convenient to use on windows and other glass surfaces. While you could use it on your granite countertops, it’s technically not designed for use on stone. Over time, you may dull the shine of the stone.
If you have onyx, marble, or limestone, glass cleaner can be particularly harsh on the surface, leading to damage over time. In addition, the cleaner may affect the sealant you used to protect the granite.
Although certain glass cleaners, like Windex, are safe for use on quartz countertops, the same doesn’t apply to granite.
Which Windex Is Safe For Granite?
Some websites state that Windex is safe for use on granite countertops. And while certain types of Windex may be safe for use on granite counters, it’s generally best to steer clear of Windex and other chemical cleaners altogether. Acidic cleaners that contain vinegar, lemon, lime (or any other type of cleaner containing citric acid) , ammonia, or bleach can damage the granite.
These ingredients can wreak havoc on the sealant protecting the stone. In some cases, caustic cleaners can strip away the sealant altogether. This leaves the stone susceptible to stains, which can be tricky to get out.
With that said, not all Windex cleaners contain these ingredients. Unless you want to carefully sift through the ingredients list on Windex bottles, it’s usually best to stick to a simple, homemade cleaner. This way, you know exactly what you’re putting on the countertop.
What Is The Best Way To Clean My Granite Countertops?
The best course of action for cleaning granite countertops is to avoid cleaners entirely. Instead, a mild dish soap and warm water will do the trick. Avoid using harsh or abrasive scrub pads, as they can scratch the granite.
Here’s what you’ll need to clean your countertops:
- Mild dish soap
- Warm water
- Soft sponge
- Razor blade (as necessary)
- Baking soda (as required)
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Microfiber cloth
For Daily Cleaning
For daily cleaning, you won’t need all of the items on the list. All you’ll need are the first three items: dish soap, warm water, and a soft sponge. Mix together a drop or two of dish soap with warm water. Dip the sponge into the water, then squeeze out the excess water.
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Gently scrub your countertops from back to front in an “S” pattern. Depending on how dirty your counters are, you may need to scrub a bit more. Once the counters are clean, rinse out the sponge with clean water and wipe away any leftover suds. Use a clean cloth to dry the counter.
For Tackling Stubborn Stains
In some cases, simply scrubbing a stain or spill won’t do the trick. A razor blade may help lift the gunk off the counter. Wearing gloves to protect your hands, use a razor blade to scrape away gunk and buildup off the counter.
Be careful to keep the entire edge of the blade on the counter so it doesn’t tip to one side and scratch the sealant. Once the spot lifts, wipe the area clean with a sponge.
Alternatively, if the stains are deeper set or you don’t have a razor blade on hand, you can use baking soda to tackle the stain. Make a thick paste with a tablespoon or so of baking soda and a bit of water. Depending on the size of the stain, you may need to make more.
Apply the paste to the stain, then gently massage the mixture with a sponge. Rinse the area thoroughly with a clean sponge. If the stain persists, you may have to reapply several times. For extremely tough stains, apply the paste on the spot, then cover it with plastic wrap and tape down the edges.
Allow the paste to sit until it dries, which may take a few days. Once the paste dries, use a soft cloth to wipe it away. Remove residual baking soda with a clean cloth and warm water.
For Disinfecting The Countertop
In some cases, soap and water won’t cut it. You can easily disinfect the counters with isopropyl alcohol and water. In a spray bottle, mix 50/50 of each ingredient. One cup of each is usually sufficient.
Spray the entire surface with the mixture, then allow it to sit for five minutes. Once the time is up, use a clean cloth to wipe away the moisture.
For Adding Shine
To add shine back to your countertops, pour a little bit of oil on a soft, microfiber cloth. Wipe it across the entire surface of the countertop, then buff it gently. This helps the counter with stain resistance and gives it a glossy shine.
Although mineral oils can help lightly protect the stone surface, resealing will be necessary from time to time. If you’re not sure if it’s time to reseal the surface of your granite countertops, do the water test.
Drip a few drops of water onto the counter. If it soaks in and creates a dark spot on the stone, it’s time to reseal. If it sits on top of the counter in a small bubble, the countertops don’t need to be resealed. Resealing can also help give your counters a shiny appearance, depending on the granite sealer you use.