They are lovely, long-lasting and valuable. They are also picky in the types of cleaners that they prefer to keep them looking gorgeous for decades. Granite countertops love a good mix of homemade ingredients to keep them shining and in good shape.
A cloudy film on granite countertops is fairly simple to buff out. Surprisingly, the most affordable and mundane household cleaners are often the best to reach for when looking to cleaner shine up old and grimy granite.
What Not to Use on Granite
They may seem like the usual suspects in the home's cleaning arsenal. However, the basic cleaners that are safe for ceramic, laminate, linoleum and stainless steel, among other typical countertop materials, can ruin the sealed surface of granite.
The list of cleaners to avoid include vinegar, bleach, Windex, Formula 409 or other cleaners meant for soap scum build-up on tile and plastic.
Tough scrubbers, steel wool and some nylon brushes can scratch the sealed surface of the granite that has been weakened by the use of acidic cleaners.
Homemade Cleaner with Liquid Dish Detergent
A simple solution of warm water (not high heat) and a mild liquid dish detergent works wonders on a granite countertop. It will pick up basic dust and debris, along with hardened sauces and oil spills.
Distilled water is the best foundation to use for a streak-free shine that also removes any film left behind by other cleaners. The minerals in hard water can leave streaks or build-up on the slick stone surface, which means the granite looks cloudy.
Add 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap to 1 gallon of warm water and mix until suds form. This can be used daily without harming the granite countertop.
Pumping Up the Basic Cleaning Formula
The soap mixed with distilled water is ideal for basic cleanup every day. However, if you have some serious spills or hardened food bits on the top of the granite countertop surface, then you may want to bump up the basic granite cleaning formula.
Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to the gallon of warm distilled water and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap. This will add a bit of scrubbing action to your cleaning efforts and deodorize the area, as well.
Apply the baking soda and soap mixture to the granite with a soft cloth. Rub it into any spills or stains that have attached to the surface of the granite. Rinse with warm water and buff clean.
Alcohol to Take Out Filmy Residue
Alcohol can quickly cut through grease while not soaking the surface of the granite countertops. Fill a spray bottle with a solution of 1 cup each of household rubbing alcohol and distilled water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
This will quickly deodorize, clean and shine up dull granite with little effort. Use it daily or weekly to keep granite sparkling clean.
Removing Serious Stains from Granite
Picking at hardened globs of grease or food can pit the sealant if you aren't careful. Don't grab a commercial cleaner to get rid of hardened food and grease. Use a paste of baking soda and water to remove problems on the granite.
Let the paste sit on the stain for a minimum of 15 minutes or an hour. It won't affect the sealant. If it dries, cover it with a damp washcloth and wipe up when it has become moist.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.