In the wide world of cleaning products, so many of them are multipurpose — but even the most versatile of products are not good for cleaning granite. You can’t use Bar Keepers Friend or the poorly-named “all-purpose” cleaner on it, for instance. So what can you use that won’t damage the stone you spent a small fortune installing in your kitchen? Here’s what you need to know.
Why is granite so hard to clean?
Granite is porous, so it absorbs liquids (though not as badly as marble does, which is a topic for another time), so it can not only get stained by spills, but if you use the wrong chemicals on it, they can sink in and cause lasting damage. It’s also susceptible to scratches, so you have to use something soft to clean it. As hard and sturdy as granite is, it can’t withstand steel wool or other abrasive materials. Granite is usually sealed, which is good, but that sealant can be worn away by acidic or basic chemicals like vinegar or bleach, too.
How can you clean granite?
So, how do you clean something that doesn’t tolerate vinegar, all-purpose cleaner, or bleach? Soap and water, according to HGTV. Add dish soap and warm water to a soft sponge to avoid scratching and make sure you wipe up all the suds, since the surface is porous. You can use a razor blade with gentle, even pressure to remove any seriously-stuck gunk.
A paste of baking soda and water is also good for removing stains, per HGTV, but you still need to use a soft cloth, and it’ll probably take a few applications to get stains out. You can put the paste on difficult spots, cover it with plastic wrap, tape the edges, and let it sit until it dries, which could take a few days. Wipe it off with a soft cloth and warm water.
If wiping up stains is becoming harder and harder as time goes on, it is probably time to get the granite resealed, per Molly Maid. You should do this every four years or so, as the sealant wears off over time.
Avoid stains as much as possible by wiping up any spills the moment they happen. The porous nature of granite dictates that the longer something sits on it, the deeper the stain will set in. No matter what, dry the countertop completely every time it gets wet.
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