Granite countertops are durable, but that doesn’t mean that they are indestructible. With so many different cleaning products on the market, it is nearly impossible for homeowners like you to know what is and isn’t safe for granite while you are browsing through the store. With our easy-to-follow tips, you will know what products to avoid to help protect your granite countertops from harsh, abrasive chemicals.
Here are just a few things that you should look to avoid using on your granite countertops:
- Bath tile cleaners
- Grout cleaners
- Glass cleaners
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Citrus cleaners
These types of cleaners or any cleaners containing these ingredients can remove the sealer from granite. Without sealer, the granite is vulnerable to the damaging ingredients inside of these cleaners and anything else that comes into contact with your countertops. Plus, the ingredients in these cleaners may etch or dull the stone.
Cleaners That Can Damage Granite
The list of cleaners that can damage granite is a long one. We know that there is no way that we can cover all of them, but here are a few of the most common household cleaners for granite:
- Lysol Lemon All-Purpose Cleaner
- Clorox All-Purpose Cleaner with Bleach
- Disinfecting Wipes
All of these cleaners are problematic—some of them for a variety of reasons. Let’s take a look at why you should avoid using these products on your granite countertops.
Windex has been known to cause significant damage to granite countertops. First, Windex will strip the sealer off the granite, and once your countertops are vulnerable, you could be looking at pitting problems and dulling of the stone. Many ingredients in Windex are problematic for granite countertops, so it is best just to avoid using Windex on your granite countertops altogether.
Bleach is great for cleaning because it kills all kinds of germs and viruses. However, bleach has no business being anywhere near granite. Not only can bleach destroy granite sealers, but it can also stain the stone once it has penetrated the sealer. Avoid using bleach or any cleaner that contains bleach on your granite countertops.
3. Lysol Lemon All-Purpose Cleaner
Citric acid is a big no-no for granite countertop cleaning. However, citric acid isn’t the only thing that Lysol Lemon All-Purpose Cleaner contains that could damage your granite countertops. Ammonia is another harsh ingredient found in this cleaner. While the citric acid is known to break down sealers, ammonia can cause scratching and etching on the stone, and over time, the ammonia can even start eating away at the granite.
In fact, we don’t recommend using any all-purpose cleaner on your granite countertops. Most of these cleaners contain all kinds of harsh chemicals that are unsafe for use on granite countertops.
4. Clorox All-Purpose Cleaner with Bleach
This is another all-purpose cleaner that you should keep far, far away from your stone countertops. Clorox All-Purpose Cleaner with Bleach contains fragrances that wear away at the sealer on your countertops. Additionally, the bleach in this cleaner helps break down the sealer and can even stain your stone.
5. Disinfecting Wipes
We all know that disinfecting wipes are the most convenient way to clean anything. You don’t need to find towels or paper towels, and cleaning is as simple as wiping these little clothes around and waiting for the surface to dry. What could possibly be wrong with disinfecting wipes? Well, unfortunately, disinfecting wipes typically contain citric acid, which can be extremely damaging to sealants that are used to protect the granite stone.
How to Properly Clean Granite Countertops
Now that you are an expert in what to avoid on granite countertops, here’s how you should be cleaning that beautiful stone.
We recommend only using cleaning products that are specifically made for granite and other natural stone surfaces. We tend to love Rock Doctor’s Granite Cleaner, because it is non-abrasive and doesn’t have a strong chemical smell. A granite cleaner can move dirt, bacteria, and stains from your countertops without causing any damage to the sealer or the stone itself. To prevent stains and other damage, we recommend that you use a cleaner every day or after every use of the countertop.
Cleaning granite countertops is just the beginning. To properly protect your granite countertops, you will need to use a sealer on them once a year. If you don’t use your countertops all that often, you may be able to get away with sealing the granite every 18 months. The sealer creates a protective barrier for the granite to keep out moisture. You should use a water-based granite sealer to protect your countertops from staining and other damage. While sealing granite countertops sounds like a big job, it isn’t very difficult, and anyone can do it.
Granite polish can be used to keep your countertops looking shiny and new. Use a granite polish with carnauba wax that can fill any tiny imperfections that occur in your granite to make the stone. Depending on how much you use your countertops, you may want to polish them either weekly or monthly.
Taking care of granite doesn’t have to feel like a chore. In most cases, it won’t take much energy or effort to keep your countertops looking like they were just put in yesterday. Using our tips, you can also keep your granite safe from damage.