Using granite as a countertop material is becoming increasingly popular. But you cannot clean granite in the same way that you can clean many of the other common countertop materials. Knowing how to properly clean and maintain your granite is the best way to make sure that it lasts and looks like new for many years to come.
There are three main ways to clean granite and to help preserve the quality of your countertop. The first method of cleaning is the regular maintenance that needs to happen on a constant basis. You will want to begin by preparing your countertop surface to be cleaned. If anything can be moved off of the countertop, it should be. If there are any wet or sticky spots, clean those areas up with hot water before beginning any other cleaning. From there you will run a rag in warm soapy water. Use this to wipe down the entire countertop space, making sure to clean up any crumbs or other similar messes.
To clean the granite countertop, mix a mild dish detergent with rubbing alcohol (75% to 25%). Add this mixture to warm water, if possible use filtered water since that will be better for the granite. Be sure that whatever you add to this mixture does not have ammonia, vinegar or any lemon cleaners since this will damage the granite. Using a clean cloth, wash your granite countertops thoroughly. Once you are sure that the entire countertop has been completely cleaned, take a dry cloth and wipe over the counters again. This will help prevent any streaks and also give your countertops a very nice shine.
Another method of cleaning granite is to use baking soda. This is ideal if you have a tough stain that is resisting your attempts to clean it. If your stain is water-based, you will want to make a mixture that is 1 cup of baking soda and 5 tablespoons of dish soap. Slowly add hydrogen peroxide until you have something that is the consistency of yogurt. If your stain is oil-based, you will use the same mixture except you will substitute water for the hydrogen peroxide. You will want to apply this mixture directly to the stain. Lay plastic wrap on top of the mixture and allow this to sit for an estimated 24 hours. Wipe the mixture off and the stain should be removed.
A step that you will want to take every couple of years is to seal your granite countertop. Taking this extra step will help you prevent any stains on the granite. You will know when to reseal the countertop when the water no longer beads up on top of the counter. The thorough cleaning that was mentioned above must be done to the countertop before you proceed to sealing it. Once the countertop is completely dry, you can proceed to sealing the countertop.
You can buy a good sealant at a large number of places such as a hardware store. Spray the entire countertop thoroughly and evenly with the sealant. Make sure that you have not missed any spots. Leave the sealant to work for at least ten to fifteen minutes before messing with it. Wipe away whatever remains of the sealant and do not be alarmed if there appears to be a slightly hazy look to your countertop. This is not permanent.
Taking care of your granite countertop involves maintaining the granite each day and cleaning up any messes as they occur. If any stains are noticed, they need to be cleaned up right away so that they can be completely removed. Taking daily care of your granite countertops as well as making sure that it remains clean will help extend the life of your countertop. Failing to take each of these steps can easily cause staining and damage to occur that can be difficult if not impossible to remove or undo.