Can disinfectant be used on granite?

ksd51September 24, 2009

My cat loves to walk on my granite counters and island. I would like to use a disinfectant. Could that dull the granite or harm it in any way? I was thinking of using something like Lysol wipes or Chlorox wipes. Perhaps that would be milder than other products? What do you think. I would appreciate knowing what others use.

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I use Clorox wipes occasionally when I'm handling raw meat. It isn't a problem on my bullet-proof granite, but the wipes leave a dull streak, so afterwards I shine up the area with glass cleaner.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 3:34PM
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Occasionally, I use them if raw meat juice gets on the counter.

I wouldn't worry about using them after your cat though -- probably the worst that could happen is a few cat hairs in your food!

The cat we had growing up thought he had a right to go anywhere including counters, sinks, tables and inside cupboards (if you left them open). I thought it was cute as a kid - my mother did not.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 5:01PM
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My go-to granite cleaner is the "homebrew" I discovered here over 7 years ago. 50/50 water/alcohol. It's pH neutral and along with a microfiber cloth, leaves my granite and my glass stove streak free and beautiful :)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 7:56PM
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MonicaKM...I keep meaning to that rubbing alcohol? I'd like to try it...

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 10:32PM
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I agree with Stir_Fryi about not worrying about disinfecting after the cat is on the counters. Aren't you petting the cat all the time, or having it sit in your lap anyway? What's the dif?

Actually, I'd be concerned that there'd be some disinfectant residue on the counters, the cat would step in it, and then lick it off her paws the way cats do.

If you need a disinfectant after raw meat or something like that is on the counters, then Monicakm's solution is good. And make sure to rinse off thoroughly.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 12:59AM
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Soap and water should be fine. Rubbing alcohol (70% isopropanol) for adding protection if you'd like.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 1:09AM
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Actually, I fully understand ksd51's concern about disinfecting the countertops. sure, you do pet your cat all the time, but a cat walks around in a litter box which has cat feces in it. Those are the same feet that walk around on the countertops. I would certainly want to disinfect any food preparation surfaces that could have been contaminated with cat feces. I'd go one step farther though. Cats CAN be taught to stay off tables and counter tops. They make these things called scat mats. You lay them out on the countertop and if the cat jumps up there, they get a light shock. Also you can use mouse traps set under a sheet of newspaper. The trap snaps, hits the paper and scares the you-know-what out of kitty. Moth balls are also a very good cat deterrent. Setting a few bowls of moth balls out on the counter will keep kitty away. I love animals, but I simply cannot understand why people think it's OK to let pets walk all over food prep areas. What if you went in someone's house and saw a German shepherd walking around on the counters? You'd be pretty shocked, right? So why is it OK to let a cat do it? Sorry if this opinion offends the cat lovers out there, but it's how I feel.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 8:33AM
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Ccoombs1 - all your suggestions are good, EXCEPT for the mothball one. It is alarming that you are advising that. WARNING - mothballs and their fumes are poisonous to cats and dogs. The fumes can cause vomiting, seizures, and long-term damage to a cat's or dog's liver, which may not show up for a few years. Absolutely DO NOT USE MOTHBALLS NEAR A CAT.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mothballs and Pets

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 11:17AM
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buehl, yes, it's 70% rubbing alcohol. I use the combination for windows too. Don't forget the microfiber cloth :)
I don't know if it's necessary to rinse as akchicago suggests. I never have.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 11:28AM
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Monicakm, I suggested rinsing just cause I wouldn't want the cat licking off any residue from its paws. I myself just use mild soap and water.

Also, I just re-read Ccoombs1 post, and there's another suggestion I wouldn't do, which is the mousetrap one. I would be concerned that even if covered with newspapers, the mousetrap could snap on the cat's paws or nose.

Cats hate aluminum foil. Try spreading some over the counters for a while. It really works. Except that, cats are smart, and when you remove the foil (or, for that matter, the scat mat or any other deterrent on the counter), they will see that, and go up on the counters again. That's just how cats are.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 11:49AM
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when we were kids, my parents used mothballs hanging in little bags on the back of the sofa to keep the cat from sharpening her claws on it. It worked fine and the cat lived to a ripe old age of 16. I suppose if the cat stayed there and sniffed the mothballs for years it could damage them, but they hate the smell so they avoid it. Sorry if the advise is dangerous!

The purpose of putting the newspaper OVER the mouse trap is to keep the cat from getting hit by the trap. when the cat jumps on the counter, it moves the paper causing the trap to be sprung. The cat is not actually hitting the trap it's self....the paper is. This method of deterring a cat can in no way injure a cat.

Mild soap and water is not going to remove E-coli from your countertops very well, and that's what cat feces is loaded with. I'd use alcohol instead. Once it's dry, the cat isn't going to pick up any residue from it.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 2:56PM
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Our Kitty has been such a problem about the counters.
Jingle toys, Cat Nip, mice, birds,....
nothing gets our kitty off the counters.

Okay, Okay, I lied no kitty here.
I had to post this, as he is sooooooo cute.
I don't have the pleasure of owning a cat. I am boxer
puppy girl. Cats are too smart for me, I need a simple
soul who could never figure out how to climb a counter top.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Ha ha Boxer pups - that is great.

Just floating in to say that foil does NOT work - at least it did not for the cat I fostered for 24 hours before I decided that I could never, ever have a cat (just not for me). I heard that foil crinkle ALL night from the cat jumping on it except for when she was in and out of the metal venetian blinds. Yikes, I seriously don't know how cat owners sleep!! ;P

Maybe 24 hours isnt' a long enough trial period for the foil, but I would think that disinfecting counters is a good idea if raw meat or cats are on it.....not only e coli but for the virus potentially in cat feces that is dangerous for pregnant women (can't remember what it's called). There's a sad story in my extended family about that.

I'm not bashing on cats....dogs have their own gross issues too, and my lab's paws have definitely been on the counters when she's surfing for food when I'm gone. Good to know lysol wipes won't hurt my future granite. :)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 4:13PM
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Oh right....I forgot all about that disease that pregnant women can get from cats. Toxoplasmosis or something like that I think? I do like kitties, but I have never tolerated one on the counter any more than I would tolerate my dogs getting on the table or counter. I know cats aren't as easy to teach things to as a dog....they pretty much do their own thing and you just have to work your life around theirs. I do like dogs better.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 4:24PM
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There was a thread a while ago (last year maybe?) of someone saying that their cat was a little angel during the day, never ever going up on the counters. However, the poster reported that she would see pawprints on her counter (maybe soapstone?), AND on her HOOD ledge, that showed the cat was walking where it pleased while she slept.

I also just use soap and water. In 10 years, and two homes, and two different granite counters, with kids, dogs and cats, no one in my family has sickened from e.Coli or toxoplasmosis. I do sometimes set raw meat or chicken on the counter, and I know our cats get up there when no one is looking. The dog also will get on her hind legs to see what's on the counter, leaning with her front paws, and her paws have been stepping in who-knows-what.

I really thought that soap and water was enough. I could have sworn I read something somewhere that soap and water was a very effective deterrent against these various illnesses. They always tell restaurant staff to wash their hands with soap and water in the restroom; I don't think restaurant staff use disinfectant on their hands. And the cooks have likely been touching various raw meats and fish. And I also read somewhere that we are using too much disinfectant, creating a generation of germs and diseases that are resistant to them. Are you certain that disinfectant on the counters is really necessary?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 6:35PM
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My MIL would totally agree with you, Shannon. And that may be right. We're all too clean in some ways. I think washing most anything in hot soapy water is effective to kill bad germs.

However, for convenience, when I'm working with ground beef (rarely though these days) and it drips or whatever, I use a Clorox wipe to quickly clean up in the middle of cooking instead of getting out the sponge and soap/water. I guess I'm 1) a germphobe, and 2) have small children who would be more affected than an adult from e coli or trichinosis (raw pork) or salmonella (raw chicken), so I attempt to be careful about cross-contamination for their sake. I was sickened by salmonella bacteria at age 18 and was hospitalized for several days.

But, my MIL's kitchen is FAR from sanitary (in my opinion) and no one ever seems to get sick over there. She'll have both her hands in a raw chicken, rinse them off (no soap, of course) and start cooking something else. Or take her yucky sponge that lives in the bottom of the sink and wipe off the counter (no soap either). Yikes!!!! So who knows?! ;)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 10:42PM
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My cat was the purrfect angel--never hopped on the table or the countertops. Then I started working from home. On my first day, I was at the kitchen table working and in saunters kitty, hops up and plops his tubby little butt down for a nap on my counter, smug look on his face. Imagine his surprise.....if ever a cat's face said "Yikes! I'm screwed!"
After that, I never took it for granted that he was as well behaved as he seemed. LOL...knowing where those paws went, I wiped those counters down good with a disinfectant cleaner before cooking anything.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 11:38PM
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I use the alcohol and water with a touch of soap and a microfibre cloth, on almost everything, i.e., windows, mirrors, SS, formica. I use it on everything except stained and varnished furniture and painted surfaces. Glad to hear it will also work on my new granite. The Windex people hate me.

boxer, I sent DH that photo and told him "Minnie on the counter" is not a real problem after all. LOL

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 1:08AM
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You do not need to worry, If this is genuine granite you just use mild soap and water.

Here is a link that might be useful: Granite Care

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 9:24AM
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My mother always had moth balls, moth flakes etc. It was me who got sick after awhile. My eyes would water & they just got to me............ Cannot stand them to this day.
(& they don't seem to bother moths either...)
At Christmas instead of using the flake snow my mother would actually put moth flakes in our bay window display for snow!! Did it keep the cats out of the window?? NO!!!
They could care less, they would just lay on it! I cannot stand moth flakes, they make me sneeze.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 1:25AM
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This thread is so funny, I was just thinking about this last night. I don't worry about disease, but I am sick of fur being on the counter (in food, tea cups, etc). My two kitties *were* well trained, never went on the perimeter counters, sometimes on the island (which I don't use for food prep). Then I went away for a week, DH watching them, and two years of training went out the window and I've yet to get it back. He let them drink from the kitchen sink, fed them treats on the counter, my boy cat started lounging up there (imagine a 16 pound cat all stretched out, on his back)! Spraying them with a water bottle helps, but everyone in the house has to be consistent. DH is a softie with them. They both jump down if I point at them and go *pssstttt*, but of course I have to see them do it.

In terms of toxoplasmosis, I was told that it is only a concern if you contract it while you are pregnant. Many people have already been exposed prior to that. I had expected I would have been, and asked my doctor to test me. I was negative (no titers), so I never got it from any of the cats I had (I was actually hoping the test was positive, which would mean I was already immune). The vet also told me cats get it from rodents, so if you have an indoor only cat and a mouse free house, it isn't a concern. But it is still a good excuse to get someone else to clean the box!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 2:22PM
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I have to say my cat is probably THE best reason I keep my counters so clean! LOL! Little furry reminder.

Love my kitty, but knowing he goes where he pleases (particularly at night) I clean that counter and range top down at least twice a day. (totally OCD) And never leave food out or dirty dishes around the sink. There is nothing I mind worse than hearing a crash and looking over from the den to see a tail sticking up out of the sink while someone 'helps' clean plates. Then I shout. Then the cat jumps down (with feet now having stood on a plate) and runs. Then I clean the floor. It's a circus. But people are always saying how clean my house is! :D

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 7:02PM
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For the few of you that cringe at the thought of a cat on your counter, I'll just give you some of my germaphobic thoughts that I think are so much worse. I figure as long as these other things happen, I'm not going to scold my cats that are just trying to enjoy their day... here ya go:

Has your spouse ever tossed a newspaper on your counter (you know, the paper that was laying in the driveway where the racoons poop and the tires from your car run over)
Have your children ever tossed their school book or backpack on your counter (the one they rest on the bathroom floor at school or is on the floor of the school bus)
The dog is outside rolling around in the grass that the racoon pooped on last week
Don't forget about the kids playing tea party on the same lawn or are out being tackled in a football game, and then you hug them hello or they all sit on your couch that you touch and then you eat your apple (might as well have had a cat on your counter :)
Ever put your grocery bags on the counter after they've been in the grocery cart (the raised section where kids with dirty diapers sit or the bigger section that has 3 week old chicken blood on it) (and don't forget about them being on the car floor where shoes were after you were in a public restroom with urine on the floor)... I'd rather eat out of a litter box!

So, as Akchicago mentioned, you are already petting your cats and then you eat an apple so you are ingesting their germs on a daily basis anyway. If I was going to worry, I'd worry about everything else I just mentioned first. OK, I obviously do worry. That means I always get a clean cutting board out and wipe the counters before I cook. I think cats would be easier to train than an entire family :)

I even feed my cats on the counter.. bad back trumps germaphobe.

regarding toxoplasmosis:
Last year the ER surgeon told me my problems were probably from toxoplasmosis because I have cats. Well, the next surgeon knew it was my gallbladder. It just turns out when they have no idea what is wrong and if you have cats, they will tend to misdiagnose. He is now probably telling someone to get rid of their cats because of a woman (me) who had it that he saw last year.

Sorry to ruin your day with the thought of the grocery cart!

Ccoombs1, I know you don't mean for the cat to hit the mouse trap, but I would never ever consider taking that chance. All it would take is for the cat to take one bigger leap than you anticipated for tragic results to happen. Or the paper didn't move enough to set it off and then the cats next step could set it off etc etc. And you might even place it in a spot that you are positive they can't reach, but the people you are recommending it to might not understand exactly what you are talking about doing. It would only take one mistake. Just rather be safe than sorry! THX

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 1:02PM
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I, use rubbing alcohol, and a microfiber cloth. I,do not use 50/50, but about 30/alcohol and 70/water. Someone said they use once on here. My counters look so nice after using the mixture. And the smell of the alcohol is not so strong. sharaz

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 1:32PM
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I'm with Cccombs, never have and never will tolerate a cat on the kitchen counters. Also if you never get into the habit of feeding your cats people food, they will generally have less temptation to jump on the counters as adults. When ours were kittens, I trained them to stay out of the kitchen by consistently spraying them with a water bottle. It was fun to watch them run from it! LOL

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 2:13PM
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While we're on this subject...we currently feed our cat on the counter to keep the dog from eating the cat's food (which the dog finds quite tasty). I'd like to ban the cat from the counters after our renovation. Does anyone have any ideas about where I can feed the cat so that the dog won't get at the cat's food?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 2:43PM
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Incase your space allows it....
In our remodel I'm currently trying to design a mini counter that isn't connected to our regular counter just for the cat bowls. I'm planning to store all pet related items in it too. Maybe you could keep your dog bowls near it and your dog food in it as well. Then it can be the pet center. Oh, maybe you could have the dogs bowls on a lower shelf he could eat from too (I've admired pictures of other people doing things like that). I am thinking of making it look more like a buffet or have it unconnected incase people wanted to remove it for resale. I'm even thinking of having fridge drawers in it to make it multifunctional. Once I get further I'm going to post it on here so I can get tips from everyone. Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 3:02PM
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I just reread my post. I want to be clear that I don't think you would do anything to harm your cat, I just worry extra about potential accidents because I have an amputee kitty.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 3:16PM
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Shar-az: If you're going to us alcohol, you need to use it at 70% strength-which is the strength of rubbing alcohol. If it's weaker than 70%, it is not as effective in penetrating the bacterial cell wall. Ironically, 100% alcohol is less effective than 70%. Soap and water is also effective against mold; alcohol, not so much.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 3:20PM
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Thanks riverspots. I, just thought it would be to strong. I, will try it that way. sharaz

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 3:27PM
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