Want in on the best natural tricks for keeping your granite countertops shiny and pristine? For the Homemade Granite Cleaner recipe and basic granite care rules, keep reading!
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Even though granite is known as a durable countertop material, it does require some special care to keep it looking its best.
The countertops in both my kitchen and master bathroom are granite, so I’ve had to do learn over the years how to care for it. There are a few things that can harm the surface as well as several everyday habits that will help protect your granite.
Here’s a quick low-down on the Do’s and Don’ts of granite countertop care.
How To Keep Granite Countertops Clean & Stain-Free
- Wipe up spills right away. Especially substances like red wine, tomato sauce, and berry juices. Once they seep into the pores of the granite, it’s much harder to remove the stain.
- 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.
- Use a spoon rest while you’re cooking. This goes a long way toward preventing stains in the first place.
- Avoid harsh cleaners. Cleaning solutions that contain vinegar, ammonia, or bleach are too corrosive to use routinely on granite. The result will be a dulled surface with pitting, and trust me, you won’t like it. A granite countertop cleaner is a must.
- Use a cutting board. Don’t cut food directly on your countertop, since this can scratch and dull the surface. Not to mention dulling your knifes.
- 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 keep stains from penetrating below the surface. I use Granite Gold Sealer.
How to clean granite countertops with natural products
If you’re like me, maybe you are careful to use non-toxic chemicals for cleaning. Or maybe you strive to use eco-friendly cleaning products that won’t harm the environment.
Whatever your motivation is for wanting to use a natural granite cleaner, there is good news. You can absolutely make a really great granite cleaner with just a couple basic ingredients, for very cheap, very quickly!
Do I really need a special granite cleaner?
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 and also do a great job cleaning big messes.
But it bothered me that the castile soap in the all-purpose cleaner left a bit of a dull, streaky finish on my granite countertops once it dried. It just didn’t leave it shiny like I wanted it to be.
So, I say if you have granite counters, you should have a special granite cleaner.
The recipe that I use now for my Granite Cleaner leaves no streaks or dullness. The key ingredient for streak-free shininess is rubbing alcohol.
Bonus: Because of the alcohol, the granite spray actually has some disinfecting properties, too. To maximize the germ-killing capabilities, just spray the surface really well and then let it sit for a minute or two before wiping it dry.
Supplies for DIY Granite Cleaner
To mix up your own batch of granite cleaner, you’ll need the following ingredients.
Rubbing alcohol, also called isopropyl alcohol, has 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 will be harmful to humans or the environment. This makes it a better choice over mainstream dish liquid to use in homemade cleaners. It’s one of the basic DIY cleaning ingredients I keep on hand. Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap is my favorite but you can use any brand.
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. This is because regular tap water contains microbes that will multiply over time. By first bringing tap water to a boil, you will effectively kill off any microbes. So use either boiled (and cooled) tap water or distilled water, and your cleaner should last until you use it up.
This is mostly for scent in this recipe, but different essential oils will contribute some of their beneficial properties to the recipe. For example, any of the citrus oils, like the tangerine oil I use, will help cut through grease surfaces. Adding tea tree oil or an immunity blend may help cut down on germs on your granite. And oils like rosemary or lemon will help neutralize odors in 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.
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 boiled tap water)
- 10 drops essential oil (option, for scent)
- a spray bottle
- Add rubbing alcohol, water, soap, and essential oils to a spray bottle.
- Shake gently and spray on granite surface.
- Wipe dry with a cotton cloth.
For extra disinfecting properties, allow cleaner to sit on surface for 1-2 minutes before wiping dry.
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