Bleach on Granite? Marble?

Debbi BrankaFebruary 14, 2012

Can you use Clorox Kleenup (or just bleach) on granite counters? How about marble counters? I have been using it on my granite about once every 10 days for a couple years and haven't had a problem, but someone just posted that you're not supposed to. I'm getting marble on my island, and I've read some places that bleach is fine, and other places say that over time it will harm the marble. Advice? Experts?

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I know when we had our granite installed that they specifically said using bleach voided the warranty.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 7:21PM
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I'm new to marble (only a few months), but no way is bleach getting near it!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 7:22PM
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The FAQ for Clorox Clean-up says that it is okay for sealed granite but not to use it on marble. Perhaps that is due to other ingredients than the bleach. Might it be acidic and have a risk of etching? (I don't see any product on their site that spells Clean as "Kleen".)

Bleach shouldn't harm granite, but it might break down the sealer over time so that resealing was needed more frequently. Cbusmomof3, was your granite a type that had a warranty for something like a 15 year or lifetime sealer?

A lot of kinds of stone that aren't geologically granite are sold as "granite" so it is possible that bleach could harm one of them depending on its composition. If you have any scraps from your countertop, you could test on them.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Four years ago, I moved into a house with a big honking slab of honed statuario venato granite for an island. I never would have chosen it, but we loved the house. I had a 2 year old at the time and was pregnant with my second of three. I intended to be careful, but over the ensuing crazy 4 years, red wine, blueberries, lemon juice, oil, and soy sauce have all pooled and sat on the surface. We cluelessly used Soft Scrub with bleach on it for a year before I read about what I should have been doing. Since it seemed to do no harm, we've just kept using it for marker stains and all the other inevitable stains and etches that occur if you actually use marble. We haven't re-sealed it, either. The island looks great. Not pristine, but pretty evenly worn. Maybe if we had been more cautious we could have maintained a newly honed instead of much used look, but from my experience I'd say bleach won't destroy marble.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:04PM
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Debbi Branka

Thank you for your responses. I used Soft Scrub on my marble samples. It took out the red wine stains and the worcestershire sauce out. It didn't appear to damage the marble at all. I looked up Soft Scrub and it says Soft Scrub Gel is safe for marble. I didn't have that at the time, so don't know how well that works on stains.

I'm still wondering if it's ok to use it on my granite (because I have been with no issues) and if not, why?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 8:42AM
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I mix 1/4 cup of bleach with water in a quart spray bottle and use it on my honed marble shower floor and its been fine.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 8:28AM
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I lived in Italy for 10 years and carrara marble is used for all kinds of surfaces, from countertops to baths, stairs etc., mostly honed and I can assure you italian women who are for the most part obseseed with cleaning, use bleach, and bleach scrubs to clean and disinfect their marble. They are careful and mix in plenty of water and rinse forever, but the marble always looks beautiful!

They've been using the stone for centuries and are probably have pretty good judgement on what and what not to do!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 9:35AM
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My granite installers warned me about using anything with ammonia on our counters, but said that using a bleach mixture (he specifically mentioned Clorox) was just fine. He also said that he just uses a little dish soap and water himself, and it works wonderfully. I'm going to err on the side of his more gentle soap-and-water technique most of the time, but on occasion, I'm sure I'll pull out a little bleach spray.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 10:10AM
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Debbi Branka

I just found this on ehow:
Clorox has products that work to kill 99.9 percent of salmonella and E.-coli bacteria, and is a registered product with the Environmental Protection Agency. Clorox may be safely used to clean and disinfect sealed granite, Formica countertops and linoleum. Sealer on granite countertops prevent stains from penetrating the stone, and keep it looking polished and shiny.

Products that Clorox offers include the regular bleach, which may be used in most rooms of the house to remove germs and sanitize surfaces. Clorox Clean-Up with Bleach offers the same benefits of regular bleach, but with a convenient spray nozzle for everyday use. Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface Daily Sanitizing Spray also kills 99.9 percent of harmful bacteria without leaving behind the chemical residue or odor. This spray is gentle enough to use in the kitchen as needed to sanitize and disinfect granite countertops, and is safe to use around children and pets.

Also from ehow:

Granite is a type of igneous rock that is used to make curbing, flooring and countertops. Granite countertops can either be made from granite slabs or granite tile pieces. Granite countertops should generally be cleaned with either a mixture of water and liquid dish detergent or a granite soap, however, occasionally, you can use diuted bleach to clean or disinfect a sealed granite countertop. Bleach can also help remove a color stain from granite. Since granite is a rock and naturally porous, do not use bleach on unsealed granite countertops.

And from

Clorox� Clean-Up� Cleaner with Bleach is suitable for most bathroom surfaces, including glazed tile, tubs, fiberglass, glass shower doors, vinyl curtains, counters, cabinets, sinks, and no-wax floors. However, you should rinse immediately after use on plastic or vinyl. Prolonged contact with metal, old porcelain or worn plastic laminate may cause discoloration.

Clorox� Clean-Up� Cleaner with Bleach is also suitable to use on hard, nonporous kitchen countertops, including synthetic or cultured marble but we do not recommend use on natural marble.

You can also use Clorox� Clean-Up� Cleaner with Bleach on other surfaces around your house including linoleum, Formica�* counters, stainless steel, sealed granite, Corian�* countertops, and chrome.

Ok, I'm gonna continue using Clean-Up on my granite safely, but not on my marble. I think diluted Clorox (with water) may be safe on my marble. I'll keep reading.

Thanks for all your input!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 3:56PM
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One way to find out if clorox will work on your marble--try it out on a sample chunk of your stone.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 6:27PM
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This really is a great question! I wish I knew the
answer. I know that I will not touch bleach to my dark
Jet Mist counters but that my sister uses bleach on
her white marble. I wonder if it is damaging her counters?
I grew up with Italian relatives who use bleach to clean
white Marble. NOt sure if it is etching it but it is just
done. I knew the skinny on Bleach and Marble.


Here are some interesting links I found maybe they can
help you decide about bleach on marble or granite.

Marble Institute of America (not sure if they are the gurus or not)

These are from the link
DON'T Use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids on marble, limestone, travertine or onyx surfaces
DON'T Use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub & tile cleaners
DON'T Use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers
DON'T Mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas
DON'T Ever mix chemicals together unless directions specifically instruct you to do so

Marble and Granite

".............A honed marble on a kitchen countertop is a
better choice than polished. Never use bleach, Comet or
acidic cleaners on polished marble. These will etch the
surface and remove the shine............"

(which is interesting because a honed surface has no shine)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 7:26PM
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My honed Carrara still has a decent amount of shine.

I just remembered some discussions of soft scrub and marble. Some use it to "hone out" etches in marble. Essentially what soft scrub does is etch a wider area around your accidental etch to blend it in better.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 7:36PM
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I meant to say...

I wish I knew the skinny on marble.

not I knew. I don't

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 7:39PM
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Debbi Branka

Thanks for the links Boxer! I'm going to save them to my favorites and refer back to them when needed!

Breezy, my sample is not as shiny as yours. Your kitchen is beautiful!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 9:07AM
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