Keep Your Granite Counters Clean and Safe

Granite counters are not only beautiful, but also very easy to clean. Properly sealed granite doesn’t let in much bacteria either, but disinfecting its surface is not as simple as buying an over the counter disinfectant. The points below apply to marble and quartz, although there are a couple of differences that we’ll cover

Sealing:

Natural stone counters like granite need to be sealed both for hygiene’s sake as well as for keeping the stone looking pristine. Many fabricators, Granite Busters included, offer a permanent sealer. We highly recommend this. If you don’t have one, follow these steps:

  1. Check to ensure your counters are sealed by pouring some water on them.
  2. The water should bead up.
  3. Come back in about 15 minutes.
  4. If the water is still beaded up, you’re good to go.
  5. If the counters are darker and the water’s gone, you need to seal!
  6. Sealing should be done annually and checked every 6 months

Recommended Cleaners:

Simple cleaners are not only the safest for your granite, but also the best. Cleaning with a soft cloth, like microfiber, also makes the cleaning not only better, but also quicker.

  1. Soap and water is the recommended cleaner for natural stone counters.
  2. Organic cleaners tend to be fine as they don’t have anything too harsh or abrasive.
  3. Half glass cleaner/half water works well despite the ammonia

Cleaners to Avoid:

You want to avoid harsh and abrasive cleaners. They not only dull the counters over time, but also break down sealers, whether permanent or year-long ones. These include the following:

  1. Bleach (it’s just a big no!)
  2. Ammonia
  3. Vinegar
  4. Anything too acidic

Disinfecting:

This can be tricky as many over the counter disinfectants utilize bleach or other harsh cleaners. We have two recommendations:

  1. Spray 70% isopropryl alcohol on your counters and leave on for about 5 minutes. After five minutes or so, wipe off then clean with soap and water.
  2. You can also make your own cleaner/disinfectant:
    1. 2 cups 100% alcohol
    2. 1 cup warm water
    3. 1 teaspoon dish soap
    4. Mix it thoroughly in a sprayer. This will result in a alcohol content above 60% which will kill germs and viruses.

Granite Safe Cleaners.

The bottom line is that you don’t need them. There are some ones out there that aren’t so safe, and it tends to be an unnecessary expense. If you do decide that you really would prefer one, make sure to vet the product thoroughly before using.

Tough Spots:

Sometimes we don’t get to things quickly enough and they become very challenging to remove. If you have some mineral or food build up, and normal cleaning isn’t working, a razor blade and some undiluted alcohol should do the trick.

  1. Use a safety or box razor blade.
  2. Hold it at a 45 degree angle to the counters and remove it from the surface (don’t worry, granite is much harder than steel).
  3. As you get toward the bottom, you may need to pour a little alcohol on to break up the build-up further.
  4. If you have marble or quartz, we recommend a plastic or ceramic razor blade to avoid scratching the surface.

Quartz:

Everything above is true for quartz except that you don’t need to seal quartz counters and you can use some products that we wouldn’t recommend for granite or marble.

If you have a tough persistent spot in quartz, follow these steps to get it out as gently as possible:

  1. Barkeeper’s friend or glass cooktop cleaner with a non-scratch scour pad
  2. SoftScrub used on a very limited basis. You should test this first, but if you have a white quartz counter, it should be fine. Too much use can affect the color and surface.