Homeowners with beautiful kitchens start with granite countertops. They’re hardy, stain resistant, as well as being chip resistant. You can put hot pots on them or spill your coffee on them, and granite countertops won’t even blink. The sealant on granite countertops lasts for up to ten years. It won’t last that long, though, if you use the wrong natural cleaners on the countertops. Here’s why.
The word granite comes from the Latin for grain. The grain in granite comes from the mineral crystals formed throughout the molten substance as it hardens above the earth which takes thousands of years. The most prevalent mineral is quartz, without which it wouldn’t be granite. The natural stone is harder than any other.
Granite is a porous natural stone unlike marble or quartz. Bacteria is able to get into the stone through spills. Sealing the stone prevents this from happening, so cooks may safely prep foods directly on the counters.
Commercially produced or chemical cleaning agents are caustic. This means that they eat away at the finish on something. For instance, never use bleach or ammonia on granite counters. A granite countertop is sealed for a certain number of years. If the sealant is eaten away before that time period, bacteria can get into the pores of the stone. The counters will need resealing.
Natural cleaner experts tell us to use vinegar and lemon juice with which to clean. However, these are acidic and will eat into the sealant on the countertops. You can get your granite clean using either rubbing alcohol or a $2 bottle of cheap vodka. Add this to a spray bottle along with two to three drops of dish soap such as Dawn, ten to fifteen drops of your favorite essential oil (lemon, orange, tea tree, and lavender work well,) and a cup of warm water.
Spray your cleaner on the counters and wipe off. Take a new clean cloth and wipe off any remnants of the cleaning mixture. Take another clean cloth and wet it. Wipe the counters again. Finally, take another clean cloth and remove any moisture from the countertops. Allow to dry naturally.
Removing stains from granite countertops
Stains on countertops usually come from wet things. The first thing to do is blot up the stain-causing substance immediately if not sooner. When you’re sure all the moisture is blotted up (don’t rub or wipe, as this spreads the stain,) spray the stain with your cleaning mixture. Gently wipe the stain away. Using a clean cloth, get up all the moisture. Take another clean cloth with clear, clean water and gently wipe again. Using another dry, clean cloth, remove all moisture from the granite countertops. Allow to dry naturally.
For stubborn stains like wine, spaghetti sauce, or juices, make a paste of baking soda and water. It should be the consistency of sour cream. Spread the mixture on the stain and let sit for 24 hours. The soda will pull the stain out of the granite. Clean the mixture and blot up all moisture. Wipe with a clean, dry cloth.