There are plenty of things to love about granite kitchen countertops, from their irregular, natural patterns to the sparkle and luster they give off. Yes, granite countertops can take your kitchen’s look to a new level. But in order to do so, you have to make sure they’re properly cleaned and cared for.

Our Merry Maids cleaning professionals have more than a little experience with cleaning granite surfaces. So below, we’ve provided some of the best ways to clean granite counters, including how to clean granite countertops on a daily basis.

A BIT OF GRANITE BACKGROUND

Granite is a type of rock that’s made up of a variety of minerals, including quartz and mica. It’s been used for centuries as a building material, but in recent decades, it’s gained popularity in home and apartment kitchens.

Because granite is a natural material, the porousness of the surface can vary. To protect the colors and patterns of the stones, sealant is used on granite countertops. The frequency with which you seal your countertop really depends on how much action your kitchen sees. But in most cases, granite countertops are sealed once or twice a year.

So when you’re thinking about how to clean granite countertops on a daily basis, you need to consider how much cleaning products will wear your sealing agents. You don’t want to seal your counter more often than absolutely necessary because over application of sealant causes its own problems. Additionally, you have to keep in mind that certain solutions not only damage the sealant, but the granite, too.

HOW TO CLEAN GRANITE COUNTERTOPS ON A DAILY BASIS

Fancy cleaners aren’t necessary for cleaning granite counters on a daily basis. You really only need three things: Warm water, mild dishwashing liquid and a microfiber cloth. Tip: Make sure your dishwashing liquid doesn’t contain citrus extracts, as they’re too acidic for granite countertops.

To clean your counter, simply mix the water and soap in a bucket or your sink and apply with the microfiber cloth. As you clean, you’ll want to rinse your cloth often with clean water. That way you’re not just pushing around suds and grime.

Now, here’s the really important part: After you’ve cleaned your counter, you need to dry it off with a fresh, dry microfiber cloth. If you don’t, you could end up with water stains in the stone, and nobody wants to deal with those.

And that’s how to clean granite countertops on a daily basis. Easy, right?

HOW TO DEAL WITH WATER STAINS OR OTHER STAINS

Have you heard the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” This absolutely applies when it comes to caring for granite countertops. Stained granite isn’t fun to deal with, so it’s best to do whatever you can to try to avoid it in the first place. For example, use coasters for drinks and wipe up spills—be they wine, water or soap—as soon as they happen.

If your granite is stained, however, don’t go running for generic stain removers, bleach or even oxygenated bleach. You may create a bigger problem than you already have.

Simply put, the methods and products you use to clean stained granite countertops will depend greatly on what caused the stain in the first place. If your granite countertop has been stained or has watermarks, you’ll need to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to find out what products and processes they recommend.

PRODUCTS TO AVOID

As with any stone countertop, you want to avoid cleaning with vinegar or other acidic products, including commercial cleaners that use citrus oils or extracts. Using highly acidic products can wear away at the sealant, leaving your countertops looking dull and lackluster.

Additionally, acidic cleaning solutions can damage the stone itself, regardless of whether or not your counters have been sealed. This effect is called “etching,” and it can also be caused by acidic drinks like coffee, juices or sodas and even acidic foods and condiments, so be sure to clean spills immediately.

If you really want to clean your granite countertop with something other than dishwashing liquid and water, you’ll definitely need to read the manufacturer’s product recommendations. You’ll also need to read up on how to clean granite countertops on a daily basis with those products. Otherwise you run the risk of permanently damaging your countertops with etching and staining.

Keeping a granite countertop clean requires frequency more than it does a lot of time and effort. All you have to do is create the habit of wiping down your counters regularly and immediately cleaning up spills, and you’ll be set to enjoy your countertop for years to come.

Feeling inspired to spruce up the rest of the kitchen? We’ve got the kitchen-cleaning checklist you need to make everything sparkle, from your uppermost cabinets to your lowest refrigerator drawers.