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How to Clean Granite Countertops

Alright, so you have purchased granite countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, or possibly both. In doing so, you have made an incredibly wise investment in the quality of your home, and actually increased the value at the same time. A lot of things probably factored in to your decision to your choice of a granite countertop over, say, recycled glass. If you are like many other proponents of granite, you probably appreciate that granite is durable enough to act as a cutting board, actually increases the value of your home, and often lasts as long as your home does. Yet, now that you have installed your granite countertops and the awe of their beauty is starting to wear off a little, you may be wondering how you can keep them beautiful. That is to say, how do you clean granite countertops?

What You Absolutely Should Do

First of all, keep up on daily maintenance of your granite countertop protection by immediately wiping up spills and brushing off all forms of sand or grit that may get on them. This daily upkeep makes perfect sense when you realize that without it, you are allowing any staining liquids to set in and any grit to solidify on your countertop. The same problems occur with granite countertops that occur with laundry or dishes. If you have ever tried to scrub a week-old grass stain out of a shirt or scrubbed baked on mashed potatoes out of a pan, you understand that the sooner you deal with the stain, the easier it is to remove.

In addition to keeping up on the daily maintenance of wiping down your granite countertops, you should also do a cleansing wash about once a week. Avoid thinking of this wash down as a scrubbing, because you won't want to scrub at all. A simple solution of water, isopropyl rubbing alcohol, which you probably have under your bathroom sink right now, and a few drops of dish detergent mixed in a spray bottle is the perfect cleaning solution for a granite countertop. After your general wiping to remove crumbs, spray a few squirts of that solution on your countertop, and wipe down with a clean, dry cloth. Doing this about once a week will add shine to your countertop and keep it looking brand new for years to come.

What You Absolutely Should NOT Do

There are a lot of products on the market that claim to be ideal for cleaning granite. Many of them actual contain acidic ingredients that increase the likelihood of etching on your countertop, or that require harsh scrubbing to be effective, which also increases the likelihood of etching your granite countertop. The simple solution that was described earlier costs just pennies to put together, and is the most ideal cleaning solution to keep your granite countertop looking brand new.

When you begin cleaning granite countertops, keep in mind that you should not use any kind of abrasive rag to wipe off the cleaning solution. With many other countertops and surfaces, a slightly abrasive scrubber is the absolute best solution for those stubborn stains and dried on bits of food that seem to accumulate no matter how religious your daily maintenance. With granite, though, even a slightly abrasive rag will cause etching in your granite countertop. Once you have etching in your countertop, there is no real way to get rid of it. You cannot sand down granite to get a like-new surface like you can with wood. So, be sure to take good care of your granite from the beginning.

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