Stop Cleaning Your Granite This Way

Stop Cleaning Your Granite This Way

It’s hard to know how to clean granite. 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. Marla Mock, president of Neighborly company Molly Maid, tells Lifehacker you can only use microfiber cloths, washcloths, or other non-scratch sponges on it—which narrows your options significantly.

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 do you clean granite?

So, how do you clean something that doesn’t tolerate vinegar, all-purpose cleaner, or bleach? Mock recommends plain old soap and water: “Wet a cloth and apply a bit of soap to the countertop or your cloth and wipe the entire surface once.” That should do the trick, but you can use a razor blade with gentle, even pressure to remove any seriously-stuck gunk.

If you have stains, Mock says you can make a baking soda paste by mixing baking soda with water or hydrogen peroxide. Keep in mind that water will be better for oil-based stains and hydrogen peroxide will be better for water-based ones. Rub your paste into the stained area and scrub with a soft cloth. If it doesn’t remove the stain, reapply some paste, cover it in plastic wrap, and leave it on there overnight before scrubbing again.

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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