If you want cleaner granite, read on to discover how to clean granite, find the best granite cleaner, and how to care for granite countertops so they’ll be streak-free and last forever. It’s time to make those granite kitchen countertops shine and the good news is that you can easily make that happen with the following tips!
I felt so fancy moving into a house with granite countertops for the first time, ever, as a 29-year-old adult.
It’s the simple things in life that get you excited when you’re a mom and homemaker!
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But, having never been in a home with granite countertops or any type of stone countertops, I didn’t really know how to clean them.
I just did what I had always done with my kitchen counters, which were almost always some sort of vinyl. I got a wet washcloth and wipes them down as needed.
And while the crumbs, sauces, and messes were wiped away, I was left with anything but streak-free granite countertops!
Because granite is such a shiny stone, the excess watermarks and swipes show up so much, especially because we have dark black granite countertops!
So I asked around and looked up things on the internet about what to use to clean granite, and even what not to use to clean granite countertops so that I would finally know for myself.
What NOT to Use to Clean Granite Countertops
Thankfully, granite is a tough, very durable, and resilient stone, but it’s still porous and can damage or stain and etch. You have to be careful when you’re using commercial cleaners but also be aware of household cleaner issues, too.
Surprisingly, many common household cleaners can potentially damage your beautiful (and expensive) granite countertops.
You should avoid using the following cleaning products on granite:
- Glass cleaner
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Abrasive cleaners (even “soft creams” and powders)
- Many common household cleaners (with acids, alkalis, and other chemicals)
While granite tops are made of durable material, they’re still a porous material.
What to Use to Clean Granite Counters
In order to clean granite countertops, simply do what I had been doing – use hot water and dish rag or sponge and clean up spills, crumbs, and messes.
But, then go over your granite countertops with a good granite cleaner, one that specifically is designed to clean granite and stone.
The Best Granite Cleaner
According to DIY Hipchicks, the best granite cleaner is going to be:
- pH neutral (non-acidic)
- safe on all stone
- condition the stone while cleaning it
- leave a streak-free super-shiny surface
- extend the life of sealers on the stone
I recently received Bar Keepers Friend’s new product Bar Keepers Friend Granite & Stone Cleaner & Polish (see where to find Bar Keepers Friend), which I was super excited about because I love and use many of their other products.
The Bar Keepers Friend Granite Cleaner is specially designed and formulated to remove food, oil, coffee stains, food debris, other stains, grease, and grime from natural stone and manufactured stone such as granite, quartz, silestone, and soapstone.
Bar Keepers Friend Granite cleaner contains no harmful chemicals and is pH balanced so it’s safe for us daily use! Plus, it’s really easy to use and smells really good too!
How to Clean Granite Countertops
So, here’s the step-by-step on how to clean your granite countertops.
Materials Needed for Cleaning Granite
- Microfiber cloth (1-2)
- Bar Keepers Friend Granite & Stone Cleaner
That’s it! Crazy, right? Simple ingredients are the best part for cleaning your light and dark granite! I’ve been doing this method for a long time and I’ve found that small circular motions are your best bet. Bar Keepers Friend is one of my favorite granite countertop cleaners and I’ve tried a few throughout the years. It’s a popular choice and a good idea because it really works! The key is to use it with a dry cloth (but preferably a dry microfiber cloth) that you then use to help clean up those stubborn stains.
Because BKF also cleans up spills and dirt and messes, you don’t need to wipe down your granite counters first with a hot sponge or hot wet cloth (no soap)! Time saved!
Here’s how to use the Bar Keepers Friend Granite Cleaner
1. Remove dirty dishes and other objects from your granite counters.
2. Turn the nozzle of your BKF granite cleaner to spray, and lightly spray some onto your counters. It comes out clear and smells a little like lemons (though probably not actual lemons as we just learned you shouldn’t use citrus cleansers on your granite!)
3. Take one side of your microfiber cloth (or paper towel or other cloth), and wipe off your counters, using circular motions.
4. Now it’s time to polish granite countertops! Take a different, dry side of your microfiber cloth and buff your granite counters to a beautiful streak-free shine and granite glossy look! Again, go in gentle circular motions!
That’s it! It’s SO EASY and they really do look amazing afterward. Regular cleaning of the entire surface will get rid of water spots easily. For best results, make sure that you’re using a clean cloth each time. And if you’re worried, you can always start with a simple test by testing out a small part of the counter. You can use this on kitchen surfaces, a bathroom countertop, and anywhere else where you might have granite. Find it at your local home improvement store.
I know it’s hard to see in my pictures because my granite is dark and black and it’s hard to see all the streaks and stuff (I did my best!). But, in person, I really could see a big difference.
If you look close enough, you can tell that the black is most lustrous, deep, and rich, and the reflections of the cabinets and microwave clearer.
More Granite Care Instructions
Keeping your granite countertops beautiful takes more than a good daily cleaning routine though! In my research, I also found a lot of great granite care tips!
In our rental contract for the home we live in, our landlord specifically stated that we were to never put hot pots and pans on her granite countertops and even left us two glass plates for us to use to put hot items on.
When she came to visit us and check out the home, she specifically asked if we were using these plates as she didn’t see them out on her counters!
She really cared about not putting hot pans on granite! We weren’t super sure why it was such a big deal (though we kept our contractual agreement to keep hot things off the granite countertops regardless of our knowledge on the subject).
According to Granite Gold:
Granite itself won’t be hurt by a hot pan, [but] the sealant and finish could experience wear and damage… like black marks…. The difference in temperature between the cool stone and an extremely hot item could even cause thermal shock that cracks the stone, although this is rare. If intense heat destroys the sealer on the surface of the stone, stains could seep into the stone as well.”
So be like my landlord and always use hot pads or trivets underneath your hot pots, pans, and other items.
Other smart things to do to ensure your beautiful countertops stay protected from damage, stains, and harm are:
- Always use cutting boards (and don’t cut directly on the granite counters)
- Blot up spills ASAP (especially acidic ones, wine, and coffee)
- Don’t keep cooking oils on the counters
- Don’t use dish soap when you wipe down your counters (at least not every time)
- Don’t sit or stand on your granite counters (it’s not flexible)
- Don’t keep hair products and other liquid, cream, or lotion beauty products on your granite bathroom counters.
Cleaning granite countertops and polishing granite doesn’t actually seem all that complicated, thank goodness!
Be sure you invest in a great professional and specially formulated granite cleaner like my new go-to Bar Keepers Friend Granite & Stone Cleaner & Polish (which is way cheaper than many others out there, by the way) and keep your counters free from hot stuff, heavy stuff, and liquids.