How to Clean Granite Countertops
Serving Portland OR, Vancouver WA, and the Oregon Coast
Proper care is essential to keeping your granite countertops looking great for years to come. Though granite is highly durable and relatively easy to care for, there are still a few guidelines you should follow to avoid accidentally damaging your beautiful countertops. Here are a few tips on how you can safely and thoroughly clean your granite countertops:
- Clean spills quickly. It may be tempting to ignore a spill or drip for a little while, especially if the liquid isn’t notorious for staining – like water. However, even water can leave behind markings on the granite as it dries. To avoid water marks or other stains, clean spills as quickly as you can.
- Only use safe cleaners. Improper cleaners could dull the color of your granite or wear down the sealant over time. It’s best to avoid cleaners that are acidic or full of harsh chemicals, like Windex, vinegar, or bleach. Instead, opt for a granite-specific cleaner, or try making one yourself with our recipes below.
- Watch what you put on the counter. Things like cooking oils, coffee, ink, and cosmetics can cause serious stains. Though you will likely use these items near your countertops at some point, it’s useful to be careful about what things you store on the granite. To avoid tough stains, it may be best to store items like these in cupboards rather than on the counter.
- Keep an eye on the sealant. Sealant is designed to keep granite safe from dirt, oils, and other contaminants that could damage it over time. Generally, the sealant will wear down after a year or two of regular use. Keep an eye out for fissures, etch marks, or regular moisture rings, as these are all signs that your granite needs to be resealed.
- Don’t use abrasive scrubbing tools. If you have a tough stain, it may be tempting to whip out your toughest sponge or steel wool to scrub it away. However, abrasive materials could damage the sealant on your countertops or even scratch the granite. Instead, use a soft cloth to avoid causing any damage.
- Know when to call an expert. An expert can help you resolve issues with your granite countertops, such as major stains, cracks, or old sealant. While you could try to DIY a solution, an experienced technician will help give you a more professional final product.
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How to Make Granite Countertop Cleaners
Not all cleaning products are safe for granite countertops. However, you can easily make safe and effective cleaners using regular household items. Here’s how to make great granite countertop cleaners:
- Everyday cleaner: For an easy everyday cleaner, just mix warm water with a few drops of dish soap. You can apply this with a soft cloth. Just be sure to dry the countertops afterward to avoid water spots.
- Everyday disinfectant: If you want a cleaner that also acts as a disinfectant, you can make one using a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water. You can also add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil.
- For removing oil-based stains: If your countertop has an oil-based stain from something like butter or cooking oil, then you can create a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and water. Apply with a soft cloth before rinsing, taking care to dry the counter afterward. Repeat this process as many times as needed.
- For removing water-based stains: If your countertop has a water-based stain, like a glass ring, then you can create a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Apply with a soft cloth and rinse thoroughly, taking care to dry the countertop afterward. Repeat this process as many times as needed.
- For very tough stains: If you have tried to remove stains by applying one of the baking soda cleaners above and it still won’t lift, then try leaving the paste on overnight. To do so, cover the area with the paste and cover it with plastic wrap. Tape the edges down so it doesn’t dry out, and leave it in place overnight. In the morning, rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly.
Your Local Granite Countertop Experts
If you have questions about how to take care of your granite countertops, or if you want professional advice on fixing any cracks or worn-out sealant, then call the experts at Crowley’s Granite in Vancouver WA! Our experienced specialists have the tools and knowledge needed to keep your granite countertops looking great for years to come, and it’s our goal to always give you the best customer experience. Just give us a call today to speak with one of our experts!
Granite Countertop Cleaning FAQs
With the right maintenance, granite countertops can last 100 years or longer. However, it’s important to properly care for your countertops to keep them in good condition
Yes, granite countertops are easy to care for. Though granite is very durable, you should follow our maintenance tips above to keep them looking and performing great for longer:
- Clean spills quickly
- Avoid harsh or acidic cleansers
- Never use abrasive brushes or cleaners
- Keep the sealant in good condition
Granite countertops require gentle cleaning products that are not acidic or full of harsh chemicals. For everyday cleaning, we recommend using warm water with a few drops of dish soap applied using a soft cloth. After cleaning, be sure to dry the countertops completely to avoid water spots. If you’re dealing with a stubborn stain, try one of our other DIY cleaners listed above to keep your granite in great condition.
Yes, we recommend sealing your granite countertops. Though natural granite is a very durable and stain-resistant stone, your countertops get a lot of daily usage and should have some extra protection. Without sealant, spills and moisture can leave stains that will degrade the appearance of your granite over time.
Granite countertops should be resealed every 12 to 18 months. However, the color and finish of your countertops will determine exactly how frequently you should invest in this service. An expert can help you determine the best sealing routine for your granite.
Yes, you can place hot pans on granite without causing damage – however, we still recommend using hot pads. Though natural granite is very heat resistant and can handle temporary exposure to high temperatures, placing hot items directly on top of the granite will heat up the surface of the countertop and increase your odds of experiencing a burn.
How to Clean Granite Countertops in Portland OR & Vancouver WA
Serving Portland OR, Vancouver WA, and the Oregon Coast