Care and Cleaning for Granite Countertops

Granite is an igneous rock, so called because its surface is granular. It also contains light, delicate colored minerals. Correct care and cleaning for granite preserves this delicate, natural highly polished look and in general you do not want to clean it with anything that you would not use on your hands. If you always use correct care and cleaning for granite countertops, then you should have a product that will last for many years.

Granite has been forged out of molten rock and every piece is different. That means that no two pieces are the same because of the local differences in the mineral composition. As such your granite supplier should have given you your personal instructions if bought from new.

Different granites from different quarries have different uses. Cornish granite is softer than Edinburgh granite which is more usually used for headstones. However not everyone buys there granite from new and there are general instructions for the correct care and cleaning of granite.

The first rule for care and cleaning for granite countertops is to protect them from acid as any acid such as lemon lime vinegar will abrade the surface of marble. The natural surface of your granite countertop is protection against spills, but the granite is not impervious to staining. When a spill occurs, do not let it sit long, and use a damp cloth to absorb it so that it does not set.

Try to keep the area around your sink and cooker dry. Clean with a clean cloth and a neutral cleaner. The term "pH" refers to the potential of Hydrogen, and is used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. A pH balanced cleaner is a neutral solution, meaning that it will measure a 7 on the pH scale of 0-14.Alternatively use a mild dishwashing liquid or a commercial soap stone. Dry with a soft clean material cloth, or paper towels.

When the granite countertop is stained, a process called poulticing is employed. This draws out a stain from the surface of the granite countertop using an adhesive material. When this occurs you can make a paste of a cup of flour and 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid, add water to make a thick paste. Put it on the stain, cover with plastic wrap, and leave it overnight. In the morning use a wooden spoon to scrape the paste off the granite and wash with warm water.

If the mixture is oil based as in grease, milk or cream or organic, coffee, tea, wine or fruit, then the paste should be made of 12 percent hydrogen peroxide in the paste instead of dishwashing liquid. Some stains look permanent as in red wine or ink, but they can be tackled. Mix a paste of molding plaster and bleach into a paste and spread over a wine, ink or other non-oil stain. Leave on for several hours and then wash with warm water.

On the Mediterranean, granite countertops are more common than they are in the States. The method of cleaning is different as many people do not use a commercial cleaner, they make there own.

Most commercial cleaners contain rubbing alcohol, Isopropyl Alcohol, or what is known as surgical spirit in the U.K. Spaniards and Italians mix this with water and add a neutral cleaner. The proportions are normally three parts water to one part Isopropyl Alcohol, and a teaspoon of neutral cleaner. If the stain is heavy then the proportion can be 50/50 with a little more detergent. Isopropyl alcohol possesses weak antibacterial properties which makes it an effective cleaner for the care and cleaning for granite countertops.

See Also:

Granite Kitchen Sink
Faux Granite Countertop