Easy Steps To Clean Your Granite Countertop

Clean granite countertop

Do you want to learn how to clean and maintain that beautiful granite countertop of yours and have it looking brand new?

Granite countertops are right up there in the premium countertop materials category and it is known not just for its durability, stain and bacterial resistance, but also for its legendary elegance and beauty. 

Although tough as nails, granite does require maintenance and regular cleaning to keep it that way.

To learn exactly how to achieve this goal, just keep on reading!

In this article I will discuss:

What are granite countertops?

Granite is one one of several different kinds of stone that is used as a surface material in kitchens, bathrooms and more.

Marble, soapstone, quartz and limestone are some other examples. 

Granite is formed from magma that crystalizes underneath the Earth’s surface under huge pressure over thousands of years.

Large granite slabs are cut from solid granite bedrock and cut down and polished to the sizes that gets used as the final products.

Clean granite countertop
Granite comes in many different colours and pattern variations

What is granite sealant

Granite is porous, like almost all natural stones.

That means it can absorb liquids.

Granite is, though, one of the denser types of rock because the pores are really small and it will not absorb so much liquid as some of the other stone types.

To prevent liquids getting into the granite surface, it is usually sealed with a special sealant.

This sealant covers the pores and at the same time gives the granite a protective layer and a glossy finish.

Over time with wear and tear this protective sealant gets worn out and it is necessary to re-seal the granite surface.

There are several options available to do that yourself but given the value of these granite countertops, it is highly recommended to have it done by someone professional.

That way you can be sure that your investment will be protected and will last much longer.

How often re-sealing has to be done depends on several factors including how well the granite was looked after and the type and color of granite.

Lighter granite will normally have to be resealed every one to three years and darker granite every three to five years.

You will know it is time to reseal your granite countertop when water droplets don’t form beads anymore and it becomes more difficult to wipe up spills.

Clean granite countertop
Granite sealer

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Why are granite countertops so popular

Granite countertops are very popular because they are so beautiful, durable, stain resistant and bacteria resistant.

With proper care a granite countertop will last for many years.

How to do a regular clean of a granite countertop

To make it easier to clean the granite countertop, you should wipe up spills as soon as they happen.

This prevents the spill to soak into the granite.

To do a regular clean of the granite countertop is very easy.

The first step is to remove larger food particles and spilled liquids using a disposable paper towel.

Then use a soft sponge and some dishwashing liquid to give it a wash.

Rinse the sponge and use it to clean the dishwashing liquid from the countertop.

Finally, dry it with a microfiber cloth.

Never use any harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning materials that could scratch and damage the granite surface and sealant.

You can also use granite countertop cleaners instead of dishwashing liquid although dishwashing liquid will most of the time get the job done.

Clean granite countertop
Granite cleaner

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How to remove stubborn spills and stains

It happens that you get those more stubborn stains on your granite countertop that you won’t be able to clean with just dishwashing liquid or granite countertop cleaners.

There are a few types of stains that you will normally encounter and I will cover each of them.

Take note that several of these methods include the use of hydrogen peroxide which can discolor darker granite.

Test the mixture on a small less visible spot to see what happens before attempting to clean the stain itself.

Water spots

These occur when hard water evaporates and leaves behind mineralized calcium and magnesium.

To clean these stains from your granite countertop, make a paste with baking soda and water and use a soft brush to scrub the area with the paste.

Clean and dry the area and repeat if necessary. 

If that doesn’t work, make a paste of baking soda and 6% hydrogen peroxide.

Cover the stain with the paste and then cover the whole area with plastic and tape down the edges.

Leave this for a day and then remove the plastic and let it sit for another day to dry.

Clean up and wash down the area.

Repeat if necessary.

Oil based stains

To clean oil based stains use dishwashing liquid with a few drops of either ammonia or acetone.

If this does not work, make a paste from baking soda and acetone.

Cover the stain with the paste and then cover the whole area with plastic and tape down the edges.

Leave this for a day and then remove the plastic and let it sit for another day to dry.

Clean up and wash down the area.

Repeat if necessary.

Food and drink stains

Clean the area with a mixture of 12%  hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of acetone.

If this does not work, make a paste from baking soda and 6% hydrogen peroxide.

Cover the stain with the paste and then cover the whole area with plastic and tape down the edges.

Leave this for a day and then remove the plastic and let it sit for another day to dry.

Clean up and wash down the area.

Repeat if necessary.

Mold and mildew

Use a special granite mold cleaner.

If this does not work, call in the pros.

There are several home remedies proposed out there, but we recommend you get someone qualified to do the cleaning and preserve the granite.

Clean granite countertop
Mold and mildew cleaner

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Rust

These stains usually occur when you leave a metal object for too long on the granite surface and there is moisture present.

They are really hard to remove and chances are the stain is permanent.

You can try removing the stain with a paste made of baking soda and a rust remover.

Cover the stain with the paste and cover the area with plastic with the edges taped down.

After a day remove the plastic and let it dry for another day.

Clean and wash the area and see if the stain is removed.

If you do notice a difference it would be worth it to give it another try and see what happens.

If it doesn’t do anything it is best to call in the pros and have them evaluate the granite and recommend a way forward.

Conclusion

Granite countertops are truly something that adds another level of elegance and beauty to your kitchen.

These countertops will last for years when looked after and with regular cleaning and maintenance.

I absolutely recommend considering granite countertops as a long term investment in your kitchen.