How to Clean Granite Counter TopsJuly 12th, 2010 by Staff Writer
Lots of homeowners love granite counter tops for kitchen or bathroom counter spaces. These hard stone counters provide a very nice aesthetic for a space, and stand up well to use over time. One of the positives of granite counter tops is how well they resist wear. One of the down sides of these counters is their unyielding surface—some who have developed an aversion to granite counter tops cite the difficulty of using glassware on these surfaces, as fragile wine glasses or other objects can easily shatter against the hard stone.
For those who do choose granite counter tops for style and durability, these counters do need some cleaning and maintenance to keep them in good condition. Cleaning and care for granite counters will keep them looking shiny and new for years.
Stains on Granite
Experts recommend a variety of items for getting stains out of granite counters. Many advise against using the standard vinegars and similar acidic cleaners, because they can etch a granite surface. For deep stains, hydrogen peroxide is a common solution. Acetone (the active ingredient in nail polish) can also be useful for some stains. For lighter cleaning, a stone soap may be a good solution. These specialty cleaners act gently to clean the stone surface. Rubbing alcohol may also be recommended.
Wiping Down Granite
For getting rid of those unsightly streaks that you may see on a granite counter post-cleaning, lots of kitchen pros recommend a micro-fiber cloth. Cleaners can start with a regular wet cloth, get all of the big stuff off of the counter, and then follow up with the microfiber cloth to neatly wipe away watery residue. This will give your granite counter a better immediate look.
Some granite counter top owners have the assumption that their counters are invincible, that they can’t be damaged or discolored by the kinds of activity that ruin vinyl-topped or other styles of kitchen surfaces. This is not the case. Those with granite counters are advised to avoid either strong acids or strong bases in cleaning products. Another big problem is when those who are cooking want to cut directly on the granite surface. This should be avoid by using cutting boards to protect the counter. Also avoid putting hot pots and other items directly onto the granite, as this can cause permanent discoloration. In general, invest in items like coasters, potholders and cutting boards to make it easier and more convenient to keep items off of the counter and protect your surfaces.
All of the above are important things to remember when a home or property has granite counter tops included in its design. These types of counters cost a lot of money, and they are not expendable. They will be extremely costly and difficult to replace, so before you cause damage to them, take note of the best cleaning and maintenance practices and plan a way to keep these surfaces in good condition for a long time.