how to clean granite counter tops

How Do I Clean Granite Counter Tops?

Are unsightly stains and streaks diminishing the beauty of your granite countertops? With over a decade as a cleaning service in NYC, we’ve mastered the art of how to clean granite countertops. Our expertise ensures your granite remains pristine. In this blog, we outline the exact steps to maintain your granite surfaces and keep them clean.

Key Takeaways

  • To effectively clean granite countertops, follow these steps: choose the right cleaner, use a soft cloth, and apply a sealant regularly.
  • Always dry your countertop after cleaning to prevent water spots.
  • Avoid using acidic cleaners as they can etch the granite.

Before You Get Started

Assess whether you can DIY or need professional help. For regular cleaning, DIY is sufficient, but for deep stains or damage, consider a professional. We also recommend you get your granite counters sealed and protected with a sealant. If you accidentally damage your counter, the sealant will prevent the granite itself from scratching or staining.

Tools needed: mild dish soap, soft cloth, baking soda (for tough stains), and a sealant specifically for granite.
Safety considerations: Wear gloves when using cleaning agents.

How To Clean Your Granite Countertops

Granite’s durability and resistance to wear are preserved when properly cared for, preventing issues like staining or etching that can arise from spills and acidic substances. Additionally, cleanliness is paramount in kitchen spaces for health reasons. Regular cleaning of granite surfaces eliminates harmful bacteria and germs that accumulate from food preparation and daily use, safeguarding your kitchen environment. Porous counters, like granite, can easily collect bacteria if not sealed or properly cleaned on a regular basis.

Step-By-Step Guide to Gently Clean Your Granite Countertops

  1. Gather Your Supplies: You’ll need a mild dish soap, a soft microfiber cloth or sponge, and water. Avoid harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaners, or anything acidic like vinegar or lemon juice, as these can damage the granite.
  2. Prepare the Cleaning Solution: Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water in a bucket or bowl. You want a soapy solution that’s strong enough to clean but not so concentrated that it leaves a residue.
    Pro Tip: Use distilled water for cleaning to prevent mineral deposits.
  3. Wipe Down the Countertops: Dip your soft cloth or sponge into the soapy water, wring it out so it’s damp but not dripping wet, and gently wipe the granite surface. Start from one end and move systematically to the other, ensuring you cover the entire area.
  4. Rinse with Water: After wiping with the soapy solution, it’s important to remove any soap residue. Rinse your cloth or sponge with clean water, wring it out, and wipe over the countertop again.
  5. Dry the Surface: Immediately after cleaning and rinsing, use a dry, soft microfiber cloth to dry the granite surface thoroughly. This prevents water spots and streaks.
  6. Spot Cleaning Stains: For tough stains, you can use a paste made of baking soda and water. Apply it to the stain, cover with plastic wrap, and leave it for a few hours or overnight. Then, gently wipe it away with a soft cloth.
    Pro Tip: Apply the baking soda and water mixture to a small area first to make sure it doesn’t cause any unexpected stains or damage.
  7. Avoid Harsh Scrubbing: Even when dealing with tough stains, avoid harsh scrubbing, as this can scratch or dull the granite surface.

Regularly Seal Your Granite Countertops

Granite, while known for its durability, is naturally porous, which means it can absorb liquids and stains if left unprotected. Sealing creates a protective barrier that minimizes this porosity, preventing stains and damage from spills, oils, and acidic substances commonly found in kitchens. This barrier not only makes your countertops easier to clean but also preserves their natural beauty and luster. Moreover, a well-sealed granite surface is more resistant to bacteria and germs, promoting a hygienic environment for food preparation. Regular sealing, typically recommended every 6 to 12 months, can significantly extend the life of your granite countertops, making this a worthwhile investment in maintaining the value and appeal of your home. Therefore, sealing is not just a protective measure; it’s an essential aspect of caring for and preserving the quality and aesthetics of your granite surfaces.

Pro Tip: Use a sealant made specifically for granite countertops.

What to Avoid Doing

When it comes to cleaning granite countertops, there are several key things you should avoid doing. Firstly, steer clear of acidic or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the granite’s surface, leading to dullness and etching. Household substances like vinegar, lemon juice, and bleach are particularly harmful, as their acidic nature can react negatively with granite, causing lasting harm. While granite is known for its durability, it’s not impervious to scratches. It’s crucial to avoid chopping or cutting directly on the surface. Using a cutting board will prevent scratches and preserve the smooth finish of your countertops. Remember, the right care and cleaning methods will keep your granite countertops looking elegant and new for years to come.

Key Points

  • Don’t use acidic or abrasive cleaners.
  • Avoid vinegar, lemon juice, and bleach on granite counters.
  • NEVER chop or cut directly on the granite; it can scratch.

How to Prevent Stains and Damage

One of the simplest yet most effective strategies is to clean up spills immediately. Granite is porous and can absorb liquids, especially if they are left to sit for too long. Another practical habit is the use of coasters under glasses and bottles. This not only prevents ring stains from forming but also minimizes the chances of etching caused by acidic substances like wine or citrus juices. Lastly, regular cleaning and sealing of your countertops are crucial. The sealing process provides an extra layer of protection against stains and maintains the natural luster of the granite. By following these preventative steps, you can keep your granite surfaces in pristine condition, highlighting their elegance and enhancing the overall appeal of your space.

Key Points

Maintaining granite countertops is straightforward with the right approach. Regular cleaning and sealing will keep them looking new for years. If in doubt, consult a professional.


  1. Question: What causes stains on granite countertops?
    Answer: Spills, especially acidic or oily substances, can cause stains if not cleaned promptly.
  2. Question: How often should I seal my granite countertop?
    Answer: It’s recommended every 6-12 months, depending on usage.
  3. Question: Can I use vinegar to clean granite?
    Answer: No, vinegar can etch the granite surface. Stick to mild soap and water.
  4. Question: Is it safe to cut directly on granite countertops?
    Answer: It’s not advisable as it can scratch the surface. Use a cutting board.

Expert Opinion

Maid Sailors Cleaning Service is a commercial and residential cleaning service in NYC. We have our top rated professional cleaners proof read all of our articles for accuracy, and to give us tips and tricks to pass along to you.

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