How do you clean your granite (everyday)?

bungalowdawnOctober 28, 2008

OK, while I'm on the topic of trying to figure out how to clean all of these new (and not cheap) items in my new kitchen (see fireclay sink cleaning post), how in the heck am I supposed to clean this granite on a regular basis?! I am not a big chemical girl. Previously, on formica, I used vinegar in a spray bottle as my primary cleaner/antibacterial. But now vinegar is a no-no for the sealer on the granite.

So I got the Stonetech Revitalizer that the stone guy recommended as the "Cadillac" of cleaners and I got the Method that lots of GWers seem to like (since I'd prefer a less-toxic solution). The Stonetech seemed kind of waxy and a little stinky but did a decent job. The Method was really smelly/flowery but did a decent job (though I think the smell hung around even longer than the toxic junk).

However, neither one of these says anything about being antibacterial.

So, I wipe down the counters with a wet sponge after cooking. But what about when I'm cooking raw meat/chicken/etc. and I want to make sure the counters aren't icky still? What should I use then that's safe for the sealer, easy to apply and not killer to the humans in the house?

Seems like maybe the Stonetech or Method are more of a sometimes thing? Like every few days for sparkling up, but not the I-just-cooked-dinner and the kitchen's a mess kind of stuff, right?

Oh, and I should mention that I have Brushed Cambrian Black so it's a semi-matte type of finish.

I miss my vinegar (part of the reason I was so tempted by soapstone).


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I'll be the only one to admit I have used windex with vinegar on my granite as our granite guys said they use windex at their house with no problems and not a problem despite what you read on the internet - they said it's a stone and it's been around for hundred's of years . I usually use a sponge or lysol or clorex wipes (depending on who has a coupon but I really like the new lysol ones that are thicker). Year later, absolutely no issues. First few months I was so paranoid, but no its no big deal. Tried a bunch of products but don't like most, mainly as I too don't like chemicals and hate smells.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 10:09PM
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Good to know. Yeah, it's not really the stone I'm worried about ruining but the finish. I'm sure I'll get more brave. Right now, I'm kind of leaving it dirtier than I normally would because I'm afraid to ruin it with my usual ways!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 10:13PM
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I would recommend a daily cleaner from Stone Care International, you can find the cleaner readily at Home Depot and it does a great job.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Remodeling

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 10:32PM
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I have had my granite for 2 !/2 years now. I wash it good with soap and water. That's what I use to clean my dishes and it gets them clean. I am not sure why people think they need to make use a antimicrobial cleaner. When we wash our dishes we use plain soap and water. I do not worry about sanitizing my dishes so I don't worry about sanitizing my granite. I have never worried about the sealer. I figure you have to reseal every so often any way. My granite looks fine and no one has gotten sick.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 10:39PM
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I use a microfiber cloth (got a huge bunch from the automotive section of either Sam's or Costco really cheap) and a squirt of Dawn in a sink of warm water. I wring out the microfiber cloth very very well before wiping down the countertop. I then do a quick swipe with the same microfiber cloth rinsed in clear water and wrung out very very well. I have read that some people then buff with a dry cloth, but I find it unnecessary.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 11:15PM
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I did not know vinegar was a no-no on granite. In our last house, I used a spray bottle with vinegar and water because that's what I was told to do! We only lived there for a year-and-a-half, but it seemed okay at the time. Do you mind if I ask you where you heard not to use vinegar? I would've used it again in our yet-to-be-installed granite if I hadn't read that on your post. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 11:17PM
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I've just read in many places on-line that vinegar is too acidic and will damage the sealer. However, I found several people in GW who use Windex with vinegar. This is the problem...for every one thing I read, I see the exact opposite thing stated elsewhere! And it seems that there is a conflict of opinion even between those in the know.

I'm glad to hear everyone's cleaning methods here.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 11:48PM
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My granite fabricator recommended windex vinegar. Been using it ever since 1 1/2 years. It is a great product. I don't use anything else.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 8:07AM
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I use the alcohol,water and drop of DW liquid that was suggested here on the forum. I use it on everything including my stainless fridge. Recipes can be found here under search....can't trust myself to give you the amounts of each because I never follow a recipe.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 8:36AM
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If you are concerned about "germs" or because of a medical condition, need to minimize your exposure to microbes; simply wash the granite down with any anti bacterial soap that you would use on your hands and rinse off with water. After it has dried, you can then "refresh" the finish using any of the cleaners recommended for granite. This will reasonably sanitize the surface while not causing harm to the sealer or the stone. This was suggested to someone who was on chemo therapy.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 8:37AM
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We use an alcohol/water mix. Cleans great, leaves no streaks, and is pH neutral. Our mixture is 1/3 rubbing alcohol and 2/3 water with one small drop of Dawn to help break up the surface tension. It works great on our absolute black tops.

Also this mix is a great glass top table cleaner.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 8:38AM
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i use plain water, dish soap or windex with vinegar. The Windex poeple did run tests before putting claims on the bottle that it is safe for sealer. i don't use any anti-bacterial stuff; color me skeptical.It was on eof the things that hlepd move me from Silestone to granite.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 9:26AM
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Am I nuts? I am not an antibacterial freak by any means (well, with the sanitizer on my kids, I guess I am...but cleaning my house, not so much). But after cooking with raw meat, chicken or eggs, I feel like the counter needs "sanitizing". Am I wrong on that? Do you all non-worrier types just wipe it down and go on with life?

I was just used to being able to wipe down with a sponge as I cooked and then when I cleaned kitchen after dishes, give a squirt squirt of vinegar and dry it off. Done and done.

Washing with soap and then rinsing seems much too complicated (lazy?). Maybe I'll try the Windex with vinegar. Though I have to wonder if a stone person has a vested interest in recommending something that will break down your sealer faster (more resealing jobs?).

The alcohol potions sounds up my alley - similar in ease to the vinegar spray once it's mixed.

Hmmm...thank you all for the ideas. Now I have to figure out which one will work for me.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:15AM
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SCI makes a product called Counterrific that is a disinfectant for stone counter tops. Whether vinegar is okay or not depends upon your particular type of stone. Some folks here have had problems with it, some not.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:43AM
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Damp rags with a little bit of dishwasher soap and a lot of elbow grease; I'm not germ-phobic, and I don't like a lot of specialized, probably toxic, cleaners. However, I don't let raw meat contact my granite for any reason. Instead I rely heavily on cutting boards/mats for all of my food prep, and then wash them in the DW using a sanitizing cycle.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 12:02PM
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When cleaning up the kitchen after cooking, I use the dishwater that I wash dishes in for wiping up the stuff on counters. Then I get Fantastic Clean & Shine to spray down all the countertops (sealed granite) and wipe away with a paper towel. This Fantastic has a real pleasant smell and it's amazing the shine it puts back onto my granite. It's says right on the spray bottle that it can be used on sealed granite and marble.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 12:52PM
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I've been using Ivory soap for my counters. My installer in our last home told us it does a great job on cleaning and ph is such that it won't cut into the sealer. He did caution that we would have to use another cleaner to keep up the "shine" as it were but I'm pretty bad about doing that and the darn tops still look great.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 5:06PM
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I was told by my fabricator to use Glass Plus because it has no ammonia.
It's been 4 years and my granite looks shiny and new!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 5:47PM
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the windex with vinegar says it is ok for granite countertops....i've been using it and like it. although i've only had them in a few months......

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 11:00AM
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I've only had my granite for a month or so and initially used the cleaner sold by my granite fabricator. It was pretty expensive, so I tried the Windex (both the Vinegar and the Antibacterial) and haven't had any problems. I tend to agree that it is a stone and won't be that easily damaged- just make sure to reseal when needed.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 12:18AM
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Like Karencon, I also use the WONDERFUL homemade formula advised by GW folk: At the time I posted my inquiry about it, the formula was 1/4 cup of 70% isopropyl alcohol, 2-3 drops of Dawn, and enough water to fill a quart spray bottle. I use it on everything in the kitchen: granite, marble, SS appliances, cabinet hardware, the porcelain drip pans on the range top, the SS faucets--and I've even been known to swipe my new cabinets with it. The secret to streak-free cleaning, as others have said, is to use a microfiber cloth and just enough of the solution to barely dampen the cloth; too much and it doesn't work as easily. When you wipe it onto your counters, the alcohol makes it all evaporate and the dirt stays on the cloth. If you use too much, just use a dry part of the cloth to wipe away the remainder. When cleaning the countertops, I very lightly spray them with the cleaning solution. When cleaning the appliances and small SS items, I spray a bit of the solution onto the cloth.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 1:16AM
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I think the vinegar or other harsher chemicals can eventually break down the sealer. A PH neutral cleaner is best. If you get all food particles or juices off your counters, then there is nothing for the bacteria to grow on. Therefore, no need for an anti-bacterial cleaner

Here is a link that might be useful: granite cleaner

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 11:03AM
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I used maydl's solution to clean granite countertops and it works great. It worked so well, I decided to try it on my tile floors that always felt sticky no matter what cleaner I used in the past. Used about 2 gallons of water, 1/4 C or less of alcohol, and a quick squirt of DW liquid. The floor dried really fast with no streaks and there is no stickiness left over. My kitchen floor tile could be described as "that miserable stuff that gets so slick when it's wet, you could kill yourself". It's also hard to get dried food stuff off. Can't wait for a new floor!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 6:13PM
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I'm in the tiny bit of dish detergent, water, & microfiber cloth camp, then rinse microfiber cloth & wipe with clear water, then dry with all cotton towel. Also agree with the above poster regarding wiping granite off as I cook. Have had my granite for 15 months and still looks like new.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 7:34AM
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I only put raw meat on cutting boards/mats too.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 7:41AM
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Started out using specific cleaners, then one day tried stoppering my sink and adding a little Pinesol to the water and using that with a microfiber cloth. Everything --- the granite, the stainless, the sinks themselves-- came out great. I've stuck with doing this on a weekly basis and just wet rag wiping between cleanings. Soooo much easier (and cheaper!) than doing the item-specific spray cleaners -- my stainless and granite look just as good when I'm done and stay much nicer between cleanings because the polish got mucked up when I would do the daily wet-cloth swipes.

Just looked up the pH of Pinesol and it's a 4 (7 is neutral) which is roughly the same acidity as vinegar. Considering it's only about a 1/4 cup of it diluted in a a sink full of water, I don't think the acidity is anything to worry about.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:21AM
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