Granite surfaces such as countertops and sinks add value to any facility and they look amazing, too. Unfortunately, frequent use can take its toll on shiny granite. Food, drinks, and other spills can leave them looking dingy and dirty. Before you reach for the bleach, there are some things you need to know to keep your granite looking grand. Follow these green tips on how to clean and care for granite countertops and surfaces safely.
Follow these 6 tips on how to clean granite countertops and other granite surfaces:
- Don't use vinegar
- Do skip the harsh chemical cleaners
- Do make your own granite cleaner
- Don't scrub
- Do wipe granite down daily
- Do protect your granite
Don’t Use Vinegar
You may realize that bleach is too harsh for granite, but don’t be tricked into using vinegar to do the job, either. Anything acidic (like vinegar) can strip away the sealant and penetrate the stone, causing etching and stains. While vinegar is great for other cleaning jobs, you need to avoid it when it comes to your granite surfaces.
Do Skip the Harsh Chemical Cleaners
Bleach and vinegar aren’t alone in their “enemies of granite” status. Many commercial cleaners are not suitable for use on granite, including window cleaners such as Windex and Formula 409, which are staples in many facility cleaning supply closets.
Do Make Your Own Granite Cleaner
It’s easy to make your own DIY granite cleaner. Just mix one part rubbing alcohol to three parts distilled water and add 2-3 drops of your favorite natural dishwashing liquid. Or you can omit the dishwashing liquid and put in liquid Castile soap, which is a vegetable-based soap, and add 10-15 drops of essential oils to freshen the scent.
Pour your cleaner in a spray bottle, spray a little on your granite surface, then wipe it away with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. This will help keep your granite shiny and lustrous. This mixture can also be used to clean appliances, but keep it away from wooden surfaces as the alcohol can strip away varnishes and damage the wood’s finish.
Remember that sealant you put on your granite surfaces to protect the stone? Scrubbing your surfaces can strip that sealant off, leaving the stone vulnerable to stains. Just wipe gently and be sure to clean up spilled food or drinks as soon as you notice them, so they won’t have a chance to leave their mark on your granite.
Do Wipe Granite Down Daily
Even if you don’t use a cleaner on your granite surfaces every day, you should wipe them with a dry, absorbent cloth to remove any spills that could stain or damage them. Daily wipe-downs fall under the “prevention is better than cure” category of granite maintenance, so make sure you’re preventing damage by keeping the surface clear.
Do Protect Your Granite
Granite’s got a reputation as a tough guy, particularly since it’s harder than most knife blades and sturdy enough to handle a fair amount of abuse. However, your sealant isn’t that strong, so unless you want to risk stains, etching, and discoloration, have facility residents always use coasters, trivets, and chopping boards.
Prevention is the most important part of natural granite maintenance, so make sure you’re wiping the surfaces down daily and catching spills as soon as possible. Follow a gentle approach to cleaning your granite and it will look great for years to come.