So, today we’re going to talk ‘maintenance’. In particular, using natural homemade granite cleaners to keep your counters looking new!
Many homeowners have outfitted their kitchen with granite countertops (hopefully through us lol). These counters are ideal, since they come in a variety of colors, patterns, and designs. Truly endless possibilities. They can blend in perfectly with almost any décor surrounding your kitchen or home.
Though granite is a naturally rigid material, durable, and can literally last a lifetime, this is not to say you shouldn’t take care of it. It is not damage-proof. If not properly cared for, granite can lose its magic over time, ultimate losing its entire appeal (and that of your kitchen).
Given that you and your family, and perhaps guests, spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you want to make sure your granite counters are in pristine condition and always looking their best. Caring for them regularly is one way to achieve that. That’s what we’ll get into today.
How To Keep Granite Countertops Looking Their Best
1. Seal Your Granite Tops
Apart from the natural beauty found in granite slabs, many homeowners choose granite over other surfaces for its durability. Unlike other options out there, granite is highly resistant to scratches and heat.
However, one downside of granite is that it is porous. Particularly lighter colors. And the only way to counter this drawback, is to apply a layer of a strong quality sealer. Since your tops will come into contact with a lot of liquids and/or chemicals during everyday usage, it is highly recommended that the stone is properly protected with granite sealer.
The sealer will help minimize incidences of stains and other damage when you are cleaning them. It will also help prevent any discoloration should acidic fluids come in contact with the natural surface material. All in all, by sealing your granite countertops, you will be contributing to its durability, its appeal, and its longevity.
Remember that to keep your granite countertops fully protected, you should get your tops resealed periodically, approximately every six to eight months. We strongly recommend speaking with your countertop fabricator about this process before your installation. It’s important that you’re clear on the expectations.
2. Through Regular Cleaning
When I say ‘cleaning’, you may think it simply means scrubbing down your kitchen tops with the nearest household cleaner you can find. That’s not the case however! When it comes to maintaining beautiful granite tops and ensuring their durability, the key is using the right type of cleaning process.
Ideally, when cleaning granite tops, you should use natural homemade cleaning products.
Why You Should Use Natural Granite Cleaners?
• Natural homemade cleaning products do not contain toxic chemicals that can threaten or compromise the quality of your granite countertops.
• Ingredients needed to create natural granite cleaner are cheap to procure and not difficult to find.
• It’s fairly easy, honestly, to make an effective homemade granite cleaning product.
How Often Should You Clean Your Granite Tops?
Daily! In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to clean them a couple – or a few – times a day, especially after use. Now that I think about it, this really applies to everything in our lives, right? I mean, how often do you wash clothes? How often do you wash dishes? How often do you brush your teeth? The more often you clean your counters, the better looking they’ll be.
So my advise is to clean your granite tops every chance that you get.
- Did you spill something? Clean it quickly.
- Did you just cook a delicious meal? Eat first, then clean!
- Did your kids prepare lunch and leave a mess? Sorry, you’ll have to clean!
…well, you get the point here 🙂
Which Ingredients Should You Avoid When Making Your Own Granite Natural Cleaning Product?
When formulating you natural granite cleaner, avoid ingredients that are acidic in nature. Ingredients that have a high pH can potentially penetrate and damage the sealer in your stone. Not sure which ingredients have a high pH, no worries, here ya’ go! Incorporating any of these elements into your homemade granite cleaner can make your counters susceptible to etching, discoloration, or staining (none of which sound good lol).
Here’s a few common household products you should avoid;
Recipes For Effective Natural Homemade Granite Cleaners
There are many different types of Cleaners that you can make using easily available products commonly found at home. Below, the discussion will focus on some of the most effective recipes.
Note: When making any of these cleaning agents use a 12 ounce – 16 ounce bottle.
1. Recipe # 1
• Distilled water
• 4 drops of dish soap
• ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol
• Add the rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle
• Next, add a few drops of dish soap to the rubbing alcohol
• Fill the bottle with distilled water
• Shake the mixture well
2. Recipe # 2
• ½ cup of isopropyl alcohol or vodka
• 3 – 5 drops of dish soap or castile (detergent) soap
• Distilled water or filtered tap water
• Add the alcohol or vodka into the bottle
• Add the drops of castile (detergent) soap or any available dish soap
• Add water so that the spray bottle fills to the brim
• Shake the mixture well
WARNING: Please do not drink these!… or taste them for that matter 🙂
The recipes above discuss the general preparation method for natural granite cleaners.
As you may have noticed, alcohol is a key ingredient in both recipes. This is because it is a good disinfectant. However, the smell of alcohol may be something you are looking to avoid. To get rid of the smell of alcohol, you can add a few drops of essential oils in each cleaning agent. You can choose the flavor and scent that you like best!
How Should You Clean Your Granite Countertops?
When it comes to cleaning your tops perfectly, making the right cleaning potion is just half the battle.
The next step is choosing the right cleaning cloth. Avoid rough cloths as they can damage the sealant exposing the granite underneath to damage. Ideally you should use microfiber cloths for the best effect.
To clean your tops, first spray the cleaning agent across the surface and also along the edges. Use the microfiber cloth clean the entire surface in circles. Depending on the level of dirt on your granite countertops, you can repeat this procedure several times (no science here!).
Some Additional Pro Tips!
Here are a few pro tips to help maintain your granite countertops in great condition. In addition to using your magic homemade granite cleaner and cleaning them, you can also:
- Get some nice coasters so as to prevent items such as mugs and plates from scratching the surface of your tops.
- Though granite does not scratch easily, you can still make your tops more durable by acquiring a cutting board (or several, if you’re paranoid like me!)
- Use hot pads to prevent the granite surface from getting too hot and prevent potential chipping or cracking, especially if you’re placing super hot items on the surface.
That’s it! What do you think, a ton work? 🙂