Want in on the best natural tricks for keeping your granite countertops shiny and clean? Keep scrolling for this DIY granite cleaner how-to!
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Who doesn’t love a beautiful, shiny granite countertop? Although there are a few more earth-friendly options ahead of it, granite does have the benefit of being a durable, long-lasting surface. And if it’s what’s in your kitchen, you really need to make sure you know how to maintain it. Granite does require a bit of special care to keep it looking its best.
Daily Granite Countertop Care
Before even getting into cleaners you might use, there are daily habits that are important to properly care for granite countertops. Here are some basic guidelines.
- Wipe up spills right away. Especially spills like red wine, tomato sauce, and berry juices. Once a substance seeps beyond the surface of granite and into the tiny nooks and crannies, it’s much harder to remove.
- Use baking soda on stains. If you notice a stain on your granite that won’t wipe off, sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the stain and leave it for a couple days. This will help draw out the pigment and then you’ll be able to wipe it away. You may need to repeat more than once. This method also works if you have a dark area from water soaking into your granite.
- Use a spoon rest while you’re cooking. This goes a long way toward preventing stains in the first place. Mine practically begs to be used!
- Use a cutting board. Don’t cut food directly on your countertop, since this can scratch and dull the surface. Not to mention it dulls your knives. In my kitchen, I keep my butcher block cutting board permanently on the counter next to my knives for cutting bread, fruits, or anything else.
- Keep your countertops sealed. Make sure you stay on top of keeping your countertops sealed properly. If you haven’t been doing this, it’s not too late to start! And it will really help shine up your counters and help keep spills from staining. I use Granite Gold Sealer.
What You Should NOT Use To Clean Granite
Window & Bathroom Cleaners & Disinfectants
It’s important to use only gentle cleaners on your granite and to avoid anything abrasive or corrosive. Cleaning products that contain vinegar, ammonia, or bleach are too harsh to use routinely on granite. The result will be a dulled surface with pitting, and trust me, you won’t like it.
Even in today’s (justifiably) germaphobic world, products like Clorox wipes, Scrubbing Bubbles, and Soft Scrub are a huge “No!” for granite countertops. Even if I had quartz countertops that were not permeable, I still would not recommend using any of those chemicals near food. (Although you can use this DIY granite cleaner on quartz countertops, too, with the same fabulous results!)
When I first began my green cleaning, I used my DIY All-Purpose Cleaner everywhere, including on my granite. The ingredients are safe for granite (there’s no vinegar) and also do a great job cleaning big messes. But it bothered me that the amount of castile soap in the all-purpose cleaner made the surface of my granite countertops kind of dull and streaky.
Store-bought Granite Cleaners
If you want to have granite countertops that look their best, you should definitely switch to using a granite-specific cleaner if you aren’t already.
And there isn’t a huge problem safety-wise with using a store-bought granite cleaner. Of course, commercially-available granite cleaners are not likely to hurt your granite. But DIY is better for a couple reasons.
What I don’t like about store-bought cleaners is that they have too many ingredients that are potentially harmful to us as well as being detrimental to the Earth. If it gives me a migraine from using it, it probably has some things in it that I don’t want to be breathing in.
If you’re not sure about the safety of a cleaning product or ingredient, I highly recommend the Environmental Working Group website to check out its toxicity potential.
Store-bought cleaners also get expensive quickly, especially if you have granite in other places around your home, too. This does not seem worth it to me when it is literally SO EASY to make your own that works amazingly well.
Best Natural Homemade Cleaner For Granite
My kitchen countertops are granite, so I’ve experimented with numerous granite cleaners over the years. This includes both store-bought and homemade versions.
This granite spray cleans so well and it leaves no smears or dull residue. The secret ingredient for streak-free shininess is…wait for it…rubbing alcohol.
The alcohol also adds antiseptic properties to this cleaner. If you need to disinfect your countertops, like after dripping raw egg on the counter, you can do that with this DIY spray. Simply wipe up the spill using hot water and soap. Then, spray with your granite cleaner and let it sit for 1-2 minutes before wiping dry.
How To Clean Granite Countertops With Natural Products
You can absolutely make a really effective granite-cleaning powerhouse with just a couple basic ingredients. Very cheap, very quick!
Ingredients & Supplies for Homemade Granite Cleaner
For this granite cleaner DIY, you’ll need the following ingredients and supplies.
Rubbing alcohol used in homemade cleaners adds excellent antiseptic properties and is great for disinfecting. It cuts through oils and evaporates quickly, which makes it the perfect ingredient for granite cleaner.
And it does not carry the carcinogenic or environmental risk that some mainstream cleaners do.
Liquid Castile Soap
Castile soap is a plant-based soap formulated without substances that are harmful to humans or the environment.
My favorite brand, Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap, is organic, sourced in the U.S. and is packaged in a bottle made from 100% post-consumer plastic. If you have a food co-op near you, they often will have large barrels of it that you can refill your own bottles from.
Liquid castile soap itself contains plant-based ingredients, and not very many. Olive oil, coconut oil, and hemp seed oil are among them. It is non-toxic to humans and animals. Castile soap also contains nothing that would be harmful to the environment. This makes it a much better choice over mainstream dish liquid (like Dawn) to use in homemade cleaners.
Castile soap is another one (like rubbing alcohol) of the basic DIY cleaning ingredients I keep on hand to use in numerous different cleaning DIYs.
It works just as other types of soap. Castile soap cuts through grease and suspends the oils in water. Then they can be easily wiped away.
Distilled Water or Boiled Tap Water
It’s important to use sterile water in any DIY cleaner if you’re not going to use it up within about a week. Regular tap water contains microbes that multiply over time. You can kill off any microbes easily by boiling the water and letting it cool before using it in a recipe. So as long as you use either boiled (and cooled) tap water or distilled water, your cleaner should last until you use it up.
Essential Oils (optional)
Essential oils in this recipe are mostly just to make the cleaner smell nice. Even so, different essential oils will contribute some of their beneficial properties to the recipe.
Using any of the citrus oils, like the tangerine oil, will help cut through greasy residue on granite. Adding tea tree oil or an immunity blend may help cut down on germs on your granite. And oils like rosemary, lemon, or basil will help neutralize odors and freshen up the kitchen.
For this recipe, you need a spray bottle that holds at least 2 ½ cups. You can repurpose an old one or buy a pretty set of glass ones to use. The choice is yours.
In the photos in this post, I reused a Method brand spray bottle, which holds 28 oz. They’re nice bottles to repurpose because their labels peel off in one piece and don’t make a mess all over the place.
While microfiber cloths seem to be the mainstay of cleaning cloths these days (yes, I do own some myself-see photo), cotton, specifically flour sack towels, are the best thing to use when you’re really trying to polish your countertops to a shine. If you have them, old T-shirts or repurposed cloth diapers will work just as well.
Here is the easy how-to! If you love the recipe, give it 5 stars!
- 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
- 1 tablespoon of liquid castile soap (any scent)
- 2 cups of distilled water (or previously boiled tap water)
- 10 drops essential oil (optional)
- a spray bottle that holds at least 2 and a half cups
- Measuring cup
- Add rubbing alcohol, water, soap, and essential oils to a spray bottle. **Be sure you add the water first, then soap, or you'll have bubbles for days.
- Replace the spray nozzle.
- Shake gently and spray on granite surface.
- Wipe clean & dry with a cotton cloth.
To maximize disinfecting properties, allow cleaner to sit on surface for 1-2 minutes before wiping dry.
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John Boos Block RAFR2418 Reversible Maple Edge Grain Cutting Board with Juice Groove and Chrome Handles, 24 Inches x 18 Inches x 2.25 Inches
Small Kitchen Funnel for Filling Bottles, AAB Stainless Steel Mini Funnels Set of 3 with a Cleaning Brush for Liquid, Dry Ingredients & Powder (Long Handle)
Aunt Martha's White Flour Sack Dish Towels, Size 28-Inch by 28-Inch, 2 Per Pack
Anchor Hocking 92032ECOM Anchor 77940 3-Piece Measuring Cup Set, Set of 3, Clear
doTERRA - Rosemary Essential Oil - 15 mL
Easy, right? So go make some granite cleaner, put some music on, and spiff up your kitchen counters!
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