Which is the best granite cleaner for kitchen counters? I know that vinegar and baking soda is all the rage, but I think that would damage the stone. What do you recommend?
Tara Gomes, San Francisco
You’re correct – vinegar could damage a stone surface and should never be used to clean granite. The best granite cleaner for kitchen counters is just a mild soap and a microfiber cloth. Once you’ve wiped down the countertop with a wet cloth, dry it with another one.
Should you find stains on your granite counter, it’s easy to treat them with things you probably have at home already. Instead of vinegar, use baking soda to remove oily spots. Mix baking soda with liquid dish soap and a little water into a runny paste. Let that sit on the stain up to a day or two if needed. Another great home remedy to clean granite is rubbing alcohol. Most of our homemade granite cleaner recipes are based on it and work exceptionally well.
If the stain is water-based, like wine or fruit juice, make the same paste, but substitute hydrogen peroxide for water. Once you’ve let this homemade stain remover work its magic, wash it off with soapy water. Use a microfiber cloth to buff dry the surface.
If you have questions about the process for cleaning a stone countertop, see these tips: https://www.tipsbulletin.com/how-to-clean-and-seal-countertops-granite-quartz-and-more/
Depending on the way your granite is installed you may also have grout. Of course, the grout gets stained right along with the granite and needs to be cleaned, too.
The baking soda paste you used on the counter should work just as well as a grout stain remover. An old toothbrush is a great applicator. Be sure to rinse and dry the grout after the stains are gone.
It’s important to note that if you have a stone or granite pizza stone, cleaning pizza stone requires just as much special care as do your stone or granite countertops. After all, food comes in direct contact with the pizza stone so you don’t want to be eating harmful contaminants. You also don’t want to damage the stone.
If you’ve had granite counters for a while, and they’ve never been sealed since you got them, they might be more susceptible to staining. Check the condition of the sealant by dropping some water on the surface. If it beads up, the seal is good. But if the water sinks in, it’s time to apply a new coat.
Once you’ve cleaned the countertop well, and it’s fully dry, use a commercial product for watertight protection on the granite. Generally, it will take a while to sink in and dry, then you can wipe off the excess. Of course, you’ll want to clean the counter again to get rid of any hazy residue.