How to Keep Your Granite Counter Clean

Chances are if a kitchen is used daily, as most are, there will be messes.  And, unfortunately, some of those messes happen on the beautiful new granite counter that was recently installed in the kitchen.  To keep that counter looking as striking as the day it was installed here are a few tips and cleaning items to keep on hand for cleaning.

Crumbs on dark colored granite are incredibly hard to see.

Crumbs on dark colored granite are incredibly hard to see.

Keep the granite sealed.  

If unsure whether granite was recently sealed or not, try the water trick.  Add a few drops of water onto the counter and watch what they do.  If a counter is well-sealed the water will bead in a few drops and can easily be wiped up with a soft cloth.  If the water droplets do not bead, then it will need to be.  Make an appointment quickly so it can be done quickly and stains can be avoided.

 Wipe the crumbs and other debris off the counter.  

Daily use of a clean microfiber cloth to brush the dirt that is nearly invisible to the eye off the counter.  Move appliances and brush the dust and dirt around them as well.  Depending on the color of the granite crumbs may be easily visible, such as on white, but if granite is a brown or gray color the dust and crumbs blend in easily.
To avoid having your counters stained by wine, spaghetti sauce, Kool-Aide or other liquids or solids that can stain, wipe spills up immediately.  The liquid will not have time to try to seep under the surface of the counter.

Cleaners  

Recently sealed counters 'bead' water.

Recently sealed counters 'bead' water.

There are varying ideas on what cleaners to use.  There are specialty granite cleaners that can be purchased at most retailers or online, but a simpler plan is to use a pH balanced mild and gentle dish soap.  While some dish soaps are also antibacterial as well, this is not necessary as granite is relatively impervious to bacteria as it doesn’t seep into deeper layers (this is again, why the counter should continue to be well-sealed).  A little bit of dish soap and hot water mixed on a soft microfiber cloth will clean the counter without scratching the surface and keep that granite gleaming.  Cleaners such as bleach, lemon, lime, vinegar or Windex can weaken the sealer, so they should be avoided.

A soft cloth is the best tool to use for cleaning the counter.  

For the same reason, chemicals shouldn’t be used frequently on granite, abrasive and scratchy sponges should also be avoided.  Soft microfiber cloths are generally the best bet and after a round of wet cleaning a dry cloth should be used for buffing and drying the counter.
If the granite needs to be disinfected a simple and inexpensive 1:1 ratio of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol can be sprayed on the counter.   Simply mix, spray and let sit for three to five minutes.  The counter can then be wiped off with a microfiber towel and will be sanitized enough to hold a baby’s pacifier.