How to Clean Granite

Modern kitchen sink and faucet in granite countertop

Krblokhin/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus

Overview
  • Working Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Because granite comes in such a wide variety of colors and patterns, the natural stone has become an almost must-have in new homes and renovated kitchens. Prized for its beauty, the stone is used for kitchen and bathroom vanity countertops as well as backsplashes, desktops, fireplace mantels, and even floor tiles. The fact that granite is naturally resistant to bacterial growth makes it perfect for both kitchens and baths.

While granite is extremely durable, it is a porous natural stone. But with proper installation, some preventive maintenance, and proper cleaning, granite can maintain its good looks and last for decades. Almost all installed granite is sealed by the installation company. The stone will need to be resealed every two to four years to keep the glossy finish and prevent difficult-to-remove stains. Resealing should be done by a very experienced homeowner or a professional stone installer.

The key to the proper cleaning of granite is using the right type of products and, fortunately, many of them can be found in your pantry.

How Often to Clean Granite

Granite countertops in a kitchen should be cleaned after each session of food preparation or at least daily to remove spills, splatters, and food residue. Bathroom countertops should be wiped down after every use and thoroughly cleaned weekly.

Granite floors should be swept or dust-mopped daily and cleaned weekly using a dishwashing liquid and water solution, depending on the amount of use. Most desktops and mantles simply require weekly dustings.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Spray bottle
  • Small bowl
  • Dust mop
  • Microfiber or disposable duster
  • Microfiber wet mop

Materials

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Plastic food wrap
  • Tape
  • Vegetable oil
  • Paper towels

Instructions

How to Clean Granite Daily

Granite countertops in kitchens and bathrooms need daily attention to prevent stains and to protect the sealant finish. Granite floors should also be cleaned daily to prevent scratches.

Warning

Harsh cleaners like foaming bathroom cleaners, ammonia, scrubbing powders, and chlorine bleach can damage the finish of granite. Even the acidic nature of distilled white vinegar and lemon juice can dull the finish of granite over time.

  1. Wipe Up Spills as They Happen

    Always wipe away spills as soon as they happen. Acidic foods like pickles, ketchup, and soft drinks can damage the finish.

  2. Mix a Cleaning Solution

    To clean granite countertops, mix warm water with a bit of dishwashing liquid to create a cleaning solution. For ease of application, mix one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and four cups of water in a spray bottle.

  3. Spray and Wipe

    Lightly spritz countertops with the water and dishwashing liquid solution—don't forget to clean under countertop appliances. Wipe with a microfiber cloth and allow the counters to air dry.

  4. Sweep or Dust Mop Floors

    Granite floors should be swept or dust mopped daily to remove grit and loose soil which can scratch the finish.

How to Remove Grease and Stains on Granite

Even with daily cleaning, countertops can become slightly sticky with grease or get some stains that require extra care.

  1. Remove Greasy Film

    To clean countertops and backsplashes near stovetops, mix a cleaning solution of one cup of cool water and one cup of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol in a spray bottle. Lightly spritz the granite and wipe down with a microfiber cloth. Allow to air dry.

  2. Tackle Tough Stains

    If stains have set and are difficult to remove (red wine, colored drinks) create a stain-removing paste. In a small bowl, mix enough baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to form a thick paste the consistency of peanut butter. Spread the mixture about one-fourth inch thick over the stain and cover with plastic wrap. Tape down the edges of the plastic wrap to hold it in place. Allow the mixture to remain on the stain for 24 hours. Remove the plastic wrap and allow the mixture to dry completely, then wipe away. Repeat as needed until the stain is gone.

  3. Restore the Shine

    If granite countertops are looking a bit dull, you can temporarily restore the shine until a new coat of sealant is applied.

    Warning

    Do not use oil on granite floors. The finish may become slippery and cause falls.

    Apply just a few drops of vegetable oil to a microfiber cloth. Wipe it on the countertop and then use another microfiber cloth to buff the finish to a glossy shine. 

Tips to Keep Your Granite Counters in Top Condition Longer

  • Always use a cutting board when chopping or slicing foods to prevent scratches.
  • Avoid drastic changes in temperatures from hot and frozen foods. Use trivets that allow airflow under hot and cold items. Trivets are particularly important under small appliances like slow cookers and instant pots that expose the granite to heat for a lengthy period.
  • Never use the granite countertops as a seat or as a step to reach high cabinets. Small fissures in the stone may cause cracks if subjected to excessive weight. Grab a step stool instead.