Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The secret to making granite countertops sparkle

I'm in deep-clean mode right now, which led me to peruse the aisle of cleaning products at the store.  I found a cute little bottle of granite cleaner and was shocked when I looked at the price: $5.99.  Seriously? Six dollars for one small bottle of cleaner?

As I mulled this over, I realized what has happened.  Many of us have bought new houses with granite countertops or remodeled kitchens and installed granite countertops, so we're acutely aware that granite countertops are expensive.  That is true.  But we've gotten a little mixed up and assumed that, because they're expensive, they are also precious.  And that is not true.

Granite countertops are not precious.  They do not have to be treated with kid gloves.  After all, granite is the substance from which many tombstones are made.  Ever visited an old cemetery?  If so, you've likely seen pieces of granite which have been exposed to all the forces of nature for hundreds of years, yet you can still see the intricate carvings on the surface.

If granite can withstand all the forces of nature, I think it can withstand less-than-kid-glove cleaning techniques in our homes.

Want to make your granite countertops sparkle?  That's easy.
  • First, what NOT to do: don't chop food directly on the granite.  Granite is sturdy but it certainly can chip.  And hard stone is bad for your knives.  Use a cutting board.
  • When you're ready to clean your counters, wipe counters off with a damp cloth.  I use my dishcloth and soapy dishwater for this.  Any cloth will work, but microfiber cloths work particularly well for leaving fewer streaks.  
  • For guaranteed sparkle and shine, lightly spray the counters with furniture spray, then wipe with a clean cloth. I like lemon Pledge, the brand I've now used in my home for nearly 28 years.  Be sure to wipe the counters completely.  (Note: Some people have asked if Pledge is food-safe. My thought is that no cleaner is really food-safe, so I dry my countertops completely.)
Now stand back and admire your sparkling countertops!

Do you have any specialty cleaning tips?  I'd love to hear them!

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Tammy @ A Walk in the Countryside said...

I have the granite cleaner in the spray can and after I used it, I must say that I was disappointed. Yes, it cleaned, but so does a damp cloth or sponge. What it did not do, was add shine! Thanks for sharing this tip! Blessings, Tammy

Anonymous said...

I scrub good with soap and water (dish cloth and soapy suds of the dish detergent) Then, after that dries, I spray a foam window cleaner on and buff it in with a dry microfiber cloth. Looks fantastic. I clean my granite and stainless steel and glass appliances, all in one wipe around the kitchen.

NanaNor's said...

Hi Richella, Thank you for this tip--I don't have granite but hope to in the future. When you mentioned gravestones though, I realized we always cleaned them with white vinegar. In fact, that is what I clean my wood floors with as well as counter tops-formica. I have heard the trick about furniture polish but haven't tried it yet.
Thanks for sharing.

Fairhope Supply Co. said...

I've found that if they countertops aren't sealed well, they will be difficult to clean. I like the furniture polish idea. I'll give it a try. Thanks!

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

What a great tip, Richella! I use furniture polish to shine mine; but it's a different brand. I'll have to try Pledge!


Oh pretty Richella, thank you for this tip! I love my mostly white with brown specs granite in my kitchen and would love to see them shine much more. Big hugs,

Carol said...

I've used the furniture polish technique, but only in areas where food won't come in direct contact. Am I being paranoid about that? I do use furniture polish on my stainless appliances and it works great.

Real Estate Realist said...

Loving the furniture polish tip, thanks for sharing!

Kelli W said...

We have tile countertops in our kitchen right now, and I so badly want to upgrade to granite! The tile is so hard to keep clean!

Erin @ Two Story Cottage said...

For general clean-up I use Windex Multipurpose Vinegar. If I want them to truly shine I use Pledge Multipurpose. No fancy granite cleaner here! I always like to hear what other people do though!

Granite Countertops said...

Wow excellent post.Thanks for sharing important post with us.

Anonymous said...

Granite Cleaner
1/2 cup alcohol
2 cups water
6-8 drops Dawn dish detergent
Essential oil

Mix together in spray bottle.

Granite Countertops said...

Beautiful countertops and gives great shine.I love it.Thanks

Anonymous said...

I use a wet microfiber cloth followed by a dry one for cleaning almost EVERYTHING in the house. It's great on windows & mirrors too, leaving no streaks. BUT, remember that you CAN NOT use fabric softener or dryer sheets when you launder microfiber, not sure why but it ruins them.

Anonymous said...

I like a product called Weisman granite cleaner and polisher, I use a microfiber cloth with it.
I get it at Wal-Mart and it works great.

Anonymous said...

Consider NOT using anything citrus (acid) to clean granite - including vinegar! They will etch the surface over time.

Earl Finnegan said...

I've just gotten granite countertops in Indianapolis. They look good and they're durable.

Kathy Martel Sileno said...

I clean a house with black granite tops - they are the worst in hiding finger prints, et. I used the Pledge and what a difference - they sparkle now!

MommyDearest said...

I like the way the Weimans stainless steel wipes work to make my granite shine and fingerprint resistant. The Weimans granite wipes don't add the same glass like finish

Nicholas Smith said...

Janitorial Supplies at Janilink. U.S. and International source for cleaning supplies, industrial cleaning equipment, janitorial supplies and cleaning equipment. Now anybody can buy products at wholesale prices from our huge inventory.
Microfiber Rags

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