Best Way To Clean Granite Countertops, Quartzite, and Marble

So what’s the best way to clean granite countertops, quartzite, limestone, marble?  Unfortunately, granite installers often do not provide proper granite cleaning instructions nor provide proper maintenance for stone countertops.  They’re not to be blamed. They just have never been instructed on the right way to clean granite countertops.

How to clean granite, quartzite, & marble tops

Granite Cleaning Precautions

Follow some simple precautions and you can reduce the maintenance issues with natural stone tops.  First, understand that many foods can dull, stain, or etch the surface of stones such as limestone and marble.  So don’t allow acid containing foods to contact these stone tops – fruit juice, wine, etc.

Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and set glasses on coasters on your granite.  Usually, though, hot pans or dishes will not harm your granite counters.

How To Clean Spills On Granite

clean granite countertopsWhen you spill something on your stone countertops, blot it right away with a paper towel and don’t wipe it across the countertop.  Then you can clean the area with soap and water.  Repeat as needed and then dry with a cloth or towel.  Keep in mind, soap & water is not for routine or daily granite cleaning.

Typically, granite won’t stain.  However, stones like marble and limestone as well as light colored granites may stain. If you do get a stain, see How to remove stains in granite countertops for recommendations on stain removal.

Will glass cleaner work on granite counters?

Cleaning granite countertops with Windex is convenient.  But definitely do not use it regularly for cleaning stone.  Over time glass cleaner can dull the shine of your granite.  And the potential damage to onyx, marble, or limestone is even greater.

In addition, glass cleaner my affect your stone sealer.  So stay away from Windex for granite and stone counters.  You can use Windex to clean quartz countertops though – see Routine Maintenance of Quartz Countertops.

Cleaning Granite Counters With Dishwashing Soap?

I admit, I’ll grab the washcloth at the kitchen sink and clean the counters with dishwashing soap periodically.  It won’t hurt your granite tops, but it will cause a build up of soap film and make your counters look dull.

A granite soap film remover will restore the shine to your granite countertops.  But that just means even more cleaning work.

Cleaning Granite With Denatured Alcohol

As mentioned earlier, don’t use Windex or dish soap to clean granite countertops.   And if your stone countertops were just installed, make sure to clean and degrease the tops with denatured alcohol. You’ll find denatured alcohol in the paint section of home stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Denatured alcohol cleans granite and removes the “sins” of bad cleaners.  The result is a clean, original shiny surface, ready for granite sealer.

Next, spend the money for a quality daily cleaner made for granite and natural stone countertops.

How To Clean Granite Countertops & Other Natural Stone

routine granite cleaningNow for routine and daily cleaning of granite and natural stone counters, use a pH neutral stone cleaner.

I’ve used and promoted MB Stone cleaner MB-5 Marble, Granite Cleaner for more than 20 years.  But any quality pH neutral cleaner made for stone countertops should work fine.

Use MB-5 full strength in cooking areas or you can stretch your investment by diluting 1:1 with water in other areas. For disinfecting countertops, consider AIRx Spray N Go an EPA registered disinfectant safe for food prep areas.  The AIRx product is actually a medical facility disinfectant.  Since Covid, I’m more focused on disinfecting surfaces now than ever.  Note – do not use Spray N Go on marble!

Certain stones like limestone and marble are harmed by acids.  Products such as vinegar or lemon can actually “etch” stone tops. So don’t use them.  And avoid scouring or abrasives on any stone tops because you may scratch the surface.

Cleaning Granite With pH Neutral Cleaners

Cleaning with a pH neutral cleaner is easy.  You spray the cleaner on the stone top and wipe it off.  You can also let the product sit on the countertops for 2 minutes before wiping it dry.  You can also use a non-scratch nylon pad to remove stubborn spots.  Although it’s not needed, I usually buff countertops after cleaning with a towel to bring back the shine.

Another cleaner to try is also from MB Stone – Stone Glow MB-15 .  MB-15 is a neutral pH multi surface cleaner but it also has optical brighteners to help make your countertops shine.  I especially like the results of MB-15 cleaning and adding shine to dark  color quartz countertops.  In fact, this is my routine quartz top maintenance product.

Convenient Stone Wipes for Granite Cleaning

granite cleaning wipesMy favorite way to clean stone tops daily is with cleaning wipes made for natural stone.  You can also consider wipes as a good “touch up” between more thorough countertop cleanings.  MB Stone makes MB-17 Natural Stone Wipes which are easy to use and make cleaning granite a breeze.  MB-17 wipes work well not just on natural stone counters, but also on quartz or engineered stone.  The wipes are impregnated with an ammonia-free cleaner and they leave behind a polished look.

The convenience comes at a cost, though, since wipes cost more than spray cleaners.  MB-17 comes with 70 stone wipes per container.

Disinfect & Sanitize Kitchen Countertops

How To Clean Marble Tops

Here’s how to clean marble countertops using the right products and which products you should definitely avoid. The professional grade cleaners mentioned is this guide are safe on any natural stone, including marble, granite, limestone, onyx, travertine, and quartz.  See how to clean marble tops.

Earth-friendly Granite Cleaners

You can clean granite countertops with eco-friendly products.  In fact, green granite cleaners have come a long way.  Several products are available that offer environmentally friendly solutions – EPA certified Green, biodegradable, non-bleach, no acids, no salts.  You can find eco-friendly products for both indoor and outdoor stone countertop cleaning.  Here are some products to consider:

green granite cleaner

Oxy Granite Cleaner

outdoor granite top cleaner

MB Stone GT-1 is a pH neutral, ready-to-use, EPA Certified “Green” cleaner.   Use it to clean all stone tops, Corian, quartz, and even laminate.  Green granite cleaner

GT-1 is formulated to be environmentally compatible and sustainable.  It’s streak free and dries quickly.  It’s a fast evaporating and powerful daily cleaner that cleans soils on all hard surfaces.

D/2 from D/2 Biologicals is made to clean tough stains on outdoor granite, stone, and masonry surfaces.  See more at Outdoor Granite Countertop Cleaner

Easy Oxy is an oxygenated cleaner, non-bleach and biodegradable.  See oxygenated granite and grout stain cleaner

Isopropyl rubbing alcohol is another natural cleaning solution for granite countertops. It cleans and shines your granite countertops in minutes. However, it evaporates quickly and will be gone before you know it.

Here’s how to clean badly stained grout with alkaline cleaner.

How To Re-Caulk a Granite Sink

How to restore dull granite countertops

How to remove stains from granite countertops

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