Cleaning Granite

jerseydebJanuary 13, 2009

I'm sure these question has been asked a million times, so it's O.K. to just tell me where to look for the answer!

My fabricator said I can clean my granite counter tops with vinegar or a glass cleaner without ammonia like Glass Plus. Vinegar is an acid, so I haven't used it to clean.

Is vinegar safe? What about a solution of isopropyl alcohol and water? Water with dish soap seems to leave a film and streaks, and read that dish soap will leave a film over time.

I am looking for products that don't damage and are suitable for the once nightly complete wipedown of the countertops. Or for a quick clean up of a sticky or greasy dried spill. Weiman granite and polish doesn't seem suitable for every day use. I would go through a bottle in less than a week.

Glass Plus seems to work well, but I'm not crazy about the smell. It's impossible to read the ingredients because the back of the label must be viewed through the blue liquid. How crazy is that?

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mustangs81

This is a recipe that I have been using for five years. I sure hope it's okay:

Granite Cleaner

1 pint alcohol
 1 tablespoon dish washing soap
 1 tablespoon ammonia
 1 tablespoon white vinegar

I use this to clean then occasionally use a stone polish.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 4:21PM
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cat_mom

Perfect Kitchen (blue bottle), from BB&B. Got it to spot clean my black enamel burner pans on my range (recommended at Wolf showroom). It says on the bottle; "Great on Granite" (sealed), so I gave it a try. Works even better than the SCI countertop cleaner I had gotten when the counters were installed (no residue).

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 4:56PM
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eandhl

If you do decide to make your own. Use the alcohol not vinegar. All I used to do it about 20 -25% alcohol to 75-80% water and use a microfiber cloth.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 6:20PM
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silversword

Hi,
Just got here from Hot Topics... it came up in a thread over there and Bill asked me to take it over here... found this thread and am bumping it to the top in hopes Bill (and others!) will give me a few tips...

My installer said to use steel wool and some kind of cleaner but that didn't sound right to me. I use this stuff 'for granite' from Home Depot but am wondering what others think the best stuff is. I've never had granite before, and really want to keep it looking nice.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 8:11PM
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mamadadapaige

In my old kitchen I always used Windex with vinegar. After 7 or so years they always looked like new after cleaning. I am using the same on my new countertops to the same effect.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 8:44PM
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shelly_k

I use the Method granite cleaner from Target. It's in a spray bottle. I think it does a nice job -- leaves a nice shine.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 10:30PM
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monicakm_gw

I've been using the "home brew" I discovered here 6 1/2 years ago....50% water and 50% alcohol. Lots of people use less alcohol. It's pH balanced and natural stone needs that. Vinegar is acidic and like other acidic products, should be avoided. Along with a microfiber cloth, this makes a great and inexpensive cleaner. It's also works well with glass top cooktops.
Monica

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 11:15PM
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debbie_2008

I was told nothing with color to be used, not sure why, and clear windex (vinegar) was suggested. Of course with plain soap and water to be used now and then as well.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 1:13AM
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trudymom

I have had granite for about a month and have only used soap and water. Why does it need more than that?

Thank you!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 4:23AM
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stir_fryi

I have only used dish soap and water for cleaning it -- but mostly just a wrung out dish cloth. Then dry with a dry towel.

I did recently buy Sprayway brand granite cleaner because I love their glass cleaner (it is foam instead of drippy liquid). It works ok -- it is good to get off the streaking. I bought it at World Market.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 7:41AM
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monicakm_gw

soap will gradually dull the granite with a soapy residue. When you wash your body, can you just use a wrung out washcloth to remove the soap? It takes lots of water to completely remove all the soap.
Monica

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 10:15AM
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morton5

I use about 2 tablespoons of neutral cleaning concentrate diluted with tap water in a spray bottle. Right now I am using the concentrate from my warehouse club-- it's pink and diltues to a very pale pink. At other times I have used Simple Green. My granite is multicolored and has movement, so streaks wouldn't be very visible, and I don't notice any. The neutral cleanser can be used on lots of different surfaces.

I make most of my own spray solutions-- much cheaper than buying premixed stuff at the store, and it cuts down on packaging waste. A big bottle of cleaner will last a long time if you dilute it yourself in a spray bottle.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 10:32AM
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simoneb

I use Simple Green's stone cleaner. Works like a dream for me!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 10:54AM
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petra_granite

(*****************This is a recipe that I have been using for five years. I sure hope it's okay:
Granite Cleaner

1 pint alcohol
1 tablespoon dish washing soap
1 tablespoon ammonia
1 tablespoon white vinegar

I use this to clean then occasionally use a stone polish.)*
__________________________________________________

"If a cleaning product was not specifically formulated
to clean while NOT interacting with the chemical
makeup of the stone, it is not safe to be used, period."
(You are killing me!) no no no no and no
Please: if anything don't take my advice: read:
www.countertopspecialty.com (they have a whole entire "101" on sealing: why we seal: when: how: and "Care "Cleaning" under: "How Granite countertop sealer works": "Granite Counter Top Care: Do's and Dont's"

~you are investing a good amount of money on "natural" countertops from the earth: Take proper care of them!
What is the point in spending the money if you are going to use the same cleaner that you used on formic on your new granite or marble or caesar stone or slate or soap stone???

granite is made of 60% feldspar ;
20% quartz ; 10% biotite mica ; 10% hornblend : and epoxy or polyester resin are applied on the surfaces of the stone for polishing process.
(chemicals)

I will list just a few: Do's and Don't: (avoid bad habits) that MAY damage granite. Use granite care and cleaning procedures and products. You eliminate most potential problems without ever having to think to ohard about it or worry that you may be causing damage to your new countertops!

NO acidic subtances: blot fast: wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce, or sodas, cooking oil, vinegar, citrus juice or products.

~avoid food and/or drinks containing acid. 

generic cleaning products: bleach, glass cleaner or degreasers: (dawn: cuts grease)   
OK: granite sealers are petroleum based sealers usually: and Dawn Soap was used to clean up oil spills; so not so good to use Dawn Soap on your granite that has a "petroleum" based sealer!   
~~~~~These products that you buy at your local stone contain acids, alkalis and other chemicals that can etch or damage the countertop surface or degrade the granite sealer leaving the stone more VULNERABLE TO STAINING. 

Trying to save money up front by using cheap cleaners only may ensure that you will spend a lot more time and money on your granite: when you have to call a stone doctor to fix the surface shine of your granite. 

never: Vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange cleaners, windex   
never bathroom, tile, grout cleaners   
never: leave "soap bar or despencer sitting on your granite" 

You may not see damage right away: but it will happen eventually. 

I tried a new product out on Friday: rated high and I like it: Stone Medic RX: heavy Duty Stone & Ceramic Cleaner: ecolabs:   
good link on tons of great cleaners:   
http://www.stoneworld.com/CDA/Articles/Feature_Article/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000000150271 

I have been using on my own granite for 18 months:   
www.stoneproonline.com 

can get that at www.hardrocktools.net (all over USA)   
There are other good granite/natural stone cleaners out there. 

\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*EXCELLENT WEBSITE: THE PRO'S\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*   
http://www.marblecleaning.org 

ALSO: MAY I ADD: NOT ALLLLL "GRANITE" MUST BE SEALED: (MEANING IF YOU HAVE (Anorthosite) that can't be sealed and does not need to be sealed: WILL ADD TO PROBLEMS ON YOUR SURFACE!) BLUE PEARL; EMERALD PEARL; VOLGA BLUE: BLUE EYES, LABRADOR ANTIQUE: BLACK PEARL: BLACK GALAXY: BLACK EYES; INARI WHITE & BLUE; (http://www.graniteland.com/stone/type/anorthosite) 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorthosite 
    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 2:55PM
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petra_granite

"Although granite countertops are hard and nonporous, they are still susceptible to the effects of harsh chemicals, including both strong acids and strong bases. Never use an ammonia based product on a granite countertop as the alkaline pH can cause considerable damage over time. Also avoid strongly acidic cleaning products, opting instead for a cleaning product with a neutral pH. One of the most inexpensive options is to use isopropyl rubbing alcohol which has a neutral pH. Simply fill a spray bottle with one part rubbing alcohol to three parts water. Spray it lightly on your counters Wipe with a soft sponge. You can also add a few drops of dishwashing detergent to the bottle for added cleaning power."
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/726539/how_to_clean_a_granite_countertop.html?cat=6

(I personally have granite all over my home. I would not use isopropyl rubbing alcohol) that is only my opinion, when I am able to use an approved granite cleaner and polisher)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 3:00PM
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bill_vincent

I read the first post, and just finished writing a book on the evils of all I'd read, and then saw Petra already covered it! LOL

The only thing I didn't see in Petra's posts was why it must be ph neutral. He covered the acids pretty well, but bases are just as bad-- atleast for stone that need to be sealed. Basic cleaners will eat through sealer in no time. Matter of fact, most strippers use ammonia as their matrix!

Also, there are many more stones that weren't listed above that don't need to be sealed, including one very common one, that being Ubatuba. Below is a link to a page that has two links at the top of it-- A-L, and M-Z. Click on the one with the name of your granite, and check it out. There's a column for absorbancy of each stone. If your stone falls below .25% absorbancy, it doesn't need to be sealed.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 5:58PM
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petra_granite

4.5 ph good: most all city water is above 7.5 stonepro daily is 4.5ph. not quit sure: either: they are the stone experts! They know their stuff! They go to school! I would love to go to he school $2000 + dollars!

Ubatuba: butterfuly and peacock (don't freak out: it's not really "granite") google it Not me saying that!
Don't have to seal! Might have to super clean in a year to get "grim" and "build Up" off.
but if you use the "correct" cleaners you won't have to do that expensive "cleaning stripers ect" in a year or two.

FYI: I went to a july 4th party: NICE house: and they had tan brown: cheap granite million million dollar house: I was shocked! Nice kitchen: tuscany look: the granite was one year old:
I asked what they cleaned with : SOAP and WINDEX. well: I seriously kept my mouth shut because I know people who don't ask DON'T like advice: although I mentioned they get a GOOD daily cleaner: "they have a maid": so that went WAY OVER their head! (basically : they could careless)
Their granite was dull around sink and stove area. Probably cooking oil stains around stove and dull around the sink from HARD water: and soap build up.

Windex puts a weird film on the granite:

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 3:42PM
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petra_granite

bill I just read this:
One of the most inexpensive options is to use isopropyl rubbing alcohol which has a neutral pH. Simply fill a spray bottle with one part "rubbing alcohol" to three parts "water". Spray it lightly on your counters Wipe with a soft sponge. You can also add a "few drops of dishwashing detergent" to the bottle for added cleaning power."

LOL: that is my Grandma's old solutions! in an old gallon milk jug! I use to clean for bathroom: I would never put that on my granite! Well never say never! but:
I used that with formica and bathroom cleaners! safe if your little ones pick up and drink! They won't DIE! I use vinegar, ammonia and dawn to clean: cheap and rubbing alcohol. Cheap. And safe: not on my granite!

And that is an OxyMoron article!!!!!!!: "no ammonia on granite: but "just add a few drops of soap to the bottle"
OK no ammonia : but just add a few drops of soap that contains degreaser (oil brake down) and ammonia in it! it won't hurt your granite sealer!!!! LOL!

I will just stick with granite cleaner.

I am loving my new bottle someone brought me of the :
Stone Medic RX!!!! Love it!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 4:01PM
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petra_granite

"The sugars and proteins in the beer can cause a very dark stain on light colored stones."

Dark Beer: why it stains: (all about chemical make up of the stone and the product causing the stain)
dont forget the chemicals in the sealer and the chemicals in the resin polish of the granite surface

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 4:03PM
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petra_granite

I am not advertising: / spamming: FYI I make no money off anything: I don't sell products! I give them away! LOL! FREE
I use the stuff and I am sharing the experience of how great the product is with whoever reads my post!!!!: instantly made my 12 year old desk sparkle (black galaxy desk)
much more than the 4.5 daily cleaner that I have & use! My Desk looks real pretty right today!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 4:43PM
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marilyn234

Where can you buy the stone medic rx cleaner petra granite? I don't think I have ever seen that one. We have our granite about 5 months and just use dish soap and water, but would like to get a good cleaner.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 1:22AM
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danradcliffe26

The best way to clean granite is to probably use RockDoctor. This stuff cleans amazingly well and it doesnt stain granite.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 10:58AM
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keelyeliz

I too am here looking for information on a safe granite cleaner. What I've noticed a lot of people focusing on (and I TOTALLY get it, I do!) is first and foremost what is safe for the granite itself. Like I said, I totally get it. I don't want to damage my granite, and I want to maintain it's pretty shine ;-) However, with that said, has anyone thought about what is safe for those of us cooking, baking, and preparing foods on it? I have noticed that many people posting have defaulted to 'I just use the cleaners meant for granite", but have you looked at what these cleaners contain?? I can't even pronounce many of the chemicals in those things. And I used those for a few months following our granite installation! It was only when I stopped to think about it, about how I would place food directly on my granite at times, and then eat it, I realized I don't want to ingest the residues of this stuff! Even the healthier cleaners like Method have some stuff in it that isn't good for you.

So, with all that said, would those of you who know your stuff on the granite topic, recommend rubbing alcohol as the #1 "all natural" cleaner? For those of us who don't want to spray chemicals on our granite, would this be a safe alternative? I've heard good and bad opinions on the vinegar thing, so for now I'm just using soap and water (I rinse the counters like crazy afterwards) but they're getting the film that people are talking about.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 1:51AM
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