How to Clean Granite Countertops

Keep granite countertops shiny and stain-free with these cleaning and maintenance tips from DIY experts.

Kitchen With Spacious Island

Kitchen With Spacious Island

This open kitchen has a charming floral valance, and two decorative pendant lights that act as the focal point above the new island.

RS_Designer-Joan-Suzio_h
From: Joan Suzio

Photo by: Norman Sizemore / Mary Beth Price

Norman Sizemore / Mary Beth Price

Granite has been one of the most popular materials for counters in kitchens and baths since the early 2000s. Granite is everywhere. It isn’t as porous as marble, so it is less prone to soaking up oils, spills and stains. That said, prevention is key with granite countertops. Mop us spills as soon as they happen so they cannot penetrate the surface.  

Granite is extremely resistant to bacteria, an important consideration for kitchen counters in particular. And the granite in countertops has been sealed to make it stain-resistant. To keep the glossy shine for which it’s prized, you need to clean granite counters regularly and carefully. Here’s how to clean a granite countertop. 

First, wipe the counter surface with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. You can also use a 50:50 solution of isopropyl alcohol and water. Don’t use vinegar, Windex or bleach on granite. Frequent uses of these acidic substances will dull the granite and weaken the sealant. Don’t use abrasive cleaner or pads, either, because granite can be scratched. The good news: You don’t need specialty cleaners for granite. It’s OK to use those products, but you’re paying for a product you don’t need. Mild soap and hot water will do just fine.

Knowing how to clean countertops means knowing how to remove stains. To remove stains from granite, make a paste of baking soda and water. Gently scrub the spot with the paste and a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly. It may take several tries to get out a tough stain. For an extremely tough stain, put the paste on the spot, cover with plastic wrap and tape down the edges. Let it sit until the paste dries. This can take a couple of days. When the paste is dry, use a soft cloth to wipe away the paste. Rinse with warm water. 

To put a shine on your granite put a little cooking oil on a soft cleaning cloth and wipe it across the countertop. Buff it gently. This makes the counter a little bit stain-resistant and gives it a glossy shine. Even if you know how to clean countertops correctly your granite will need to be resealed periodically. Normal wear and tear will wear the sealant off, leaving the counter dull and susceptible to stains. Resealing granite counters is a job best to left to professionals; don’t DIY this one. Plan on having your granite counters resealed every two to four years. Knowing how to clean a granite countertop will make the sealant last and keep the counter beautiful for years.

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