How to clean granite countertops – it’s simpler than you may think

Granite countertops are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their natural beauty, durability, and elegance. However, like any countertop material, granite requires regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it looking its best. The good news is that caring for granite is easier than you may think. With the right techniques and products, you can keep your granite sparkling.

Why regular cleaning is important

Granite is porous, meaning it can absorb liquids, which can lead to staining over time if spills are not cleaned up promptly. Additionally, granite can collect dust, food particles, and grime that can dull its shine if allowed to build up.

Regular cleaning keeps granite free of debris that might get trapped in the pores. Quickly wiping up spills prevents stubborn stains. Using a specially formulated granite cleaner helps lift away soils and leave a protective coating to repel future messes.

With routine care, you can maintain the elegant, factory-finished sheen your granite possessed the day it was installed. Neglecting basic maintenance can lead to your counters appearing dirty, dated, and worn. Invest just a few minutes a day, and you can enjoy beautiful granite surfaces for years to come.

Supplies you will need

Caring for granite does not require fancy equipment or a lengthy chore list. You likely already have most of the supplies needed. Here is an overview of the basic items to have on hand:

  • Mild dish soap: Look for one without dyes or other additives. Dish soap helps cut through oils and greasy grime.
  • Soft cloth: Microfiber cloths work well. They are lint-free and will not leave behind fibers or fuzz.
  • Granite cleaner: Use a store-bought product made specifically for natural stone or make your own cleaning solution.
  • Sealant: Applying a penetrating sealant every 1-2 years will add extra protection.
  • Small bucket or spray bottle: This makes it easy to wet the cloth or granite surface when cleaning.
  • Soft bristle brush: For gently scrubbing stuck-on debris or food.
  • Baby shampoo: The gentle formula can be used for periodic deep cleaning.

Avoid using acidic cleaners like vinegar, citrus juices, or harsh chemicals. These can etch and dull the surface. Also steer clear of scrub pads, scouring powders, or anything too abrasive.

How to clean granite counters

  1. Remove all items from the countertop. Clear the area of appliances, dishes, food containers, and any other objects.
  2. Rinse the surface. Use a spray bottle to spritz the entire counter with water. This helps remove any loose debris.
  3. Make a cleaning solution. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small squirt of dish soap. Alternately, use a specially formulated granite cleaner.
  4. Dampen your cloth. Soak a soft cloth in the cleaning solution. Wring it out thoroughly so it is moist but not dripping wet.
  5. Wipe down the counters. Gently wipe the granite using small circular motions. Make sure to get the entire surface area as well as the backsplash.
  6. Rinse the cloth frequently. After wiping a section, rinse out the cloth to prevent just pushing around dirt and grime. Use a light touch; scrubbing is rarely needed.
  7. Dry the surface. After all areas are cleaned, go over the granite with a fresh dry cloth to remove any leftover moisture.
  8. Inspect and spot clean as needed. Look for any remaining dust or stuck-on messes. Use a damp brush for light scrubbing of any problem areas.
  9. Seal and buff. Every 1-2 years, apply a fresh coat of sealant and buff with a soft cloth.

Follow these steps daily or as needed. Pay extra attention to high-traffic zones like around the stove and sink. For routine upkeep, this basic process will keep your counters clean and maintained.

Tackling spills, stains, and grime

Even with diligent daily cleaning, spills happen. Food prep mishaps, dripping containers, and splattering oils are a fact of life in kitchens. When accidents occur, prompt attention can save your counters. Here is how to handle common kitchen messes:

Fruit juice, wine, soda, and other sugary spills

  • Blot up as much liquid as possible immediately after a spill occurs.
  • Mix a paste of baking soda and water. Spread it over the stain and let it sit for 15-30 minutes.
  • Scrub gently with a damp cloth or soft brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.
  • For stubborn stains, use a specially formulated granite stain remover.

Oil, grease splatters, or soap scum

  • Let any residue harden for 10-15 minutes after a spill. This keeps it from spreading.
  • Scrape away any thick buildup carefully with a plastic spatula or the edge of a credit card.
  • Create a paste using baking soda and water. Spread over the oily area and allow to sit briefly.
  • Scrub using a damp cloth and rinse clean.
  • For tough grease, spray with degreasing cleaner and let sit 5-10 minutes before scrubbing.

Food stains or sticky messes

  • Use a plastic spatula or the dull side of a knife to scrape off as much of the food as possible.
  • Spray the area with an all-purpose, non-abrasive cleaner. Let it soak in for 5-10 minutes.
  • Wipe clean using a soft cloth, changing rinse water frequently.
  • For stubborn stuck-on food, lightly scrub with a brush or balled-up plastic wrap to lift it away.

Hard water marks or mineral deposits

  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and water.
  • Dip a cloth in the solution and wring thoroughly. Wrap around marks and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Scrub gently and rinse with a clean damp cloth.
  • Dry thoroughly afterwards to avoid new water spots.

Dried spills or crusty debris

  • Letting messes dry makes them harder to remove. But don’t fret.
  • Soak the area with warm water for 5-10 minutes to soften the grime.
  • Gently scrub with a soft bristle brush. Take care on textured granite surfaces.
  • For stubborn spots, spray with all-purpose cleaner and let penetrate briefly before scrubbing.
  • Rinse and dry thoroughly.

Catching spills quickly is ideal, but even dried-on messes can be remedied with some persistence. Be patient in allowing time for the cleaning solutions and water to soften and lift debris before scrubbing.

Deep cleaning techniques

For a major refresh, do a thorough deep clean 1-2 times per year. This removes built up grime from all the nooks and crannies. Here are 3 methods:

Baking soda scrub

  • Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the granite surface.
  • Using a damp cloth, rub the baking soda around to make a thick paste.
  • Let the paste sit for 5-10 minutes. The baking soda will bubble and lift soils.
  • Scrub gently with a soft bristle brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

Baby shampoo scrub

  • Squeeze a dollop of baby shampoo onto the counter and spread into a thin layer.
  • Let sit briefly before using a damp cloth to scrub the surface in circles.
  • Rinse with clean water and dry.
  • Finish by buffing the counters with a dry cloth.

Steam clean

  • Fill a spray bottle with hot water and a small amount of liquid dish soap.
  • Spray the solution over the granite and wait 1-2 minutes.
  • Use a clean cloth to wipe away grime lifted by the steam.
  • Rinse with a fresh cloth and pat dry.

Focus on frequently handled areas that see the most buildup like around appliances, near the sink, and places where hands touch while prepping meals.

Protecting granite between cleans

Your habits between cleaning sessions can also help minimize mess and maintenance. Here are tips for keeping granite in great shape every day:

  • Use cutting boards, trivets, and heatproof mats when prepping food. Never cut directly on the counter.
  • Clean up spills as soon as they happen, before they have a chance to soak in.
  • For liquid spills, blot immediately with an absorbent towel. Don’t wipe, which can spread the mess around.
  • When cleaning the rest of the kitchen, spray your cloth or cleaner bottle rather than spraying the counters directly. Limit moisture exposure.
  • Avoid using knives or sharp objects directly on the surface that can potentially scratch the stone.
  • Lift pots, pans, and heavy dishware when moving rather than dragging them across the granite.
  • Keep granite free of harsh chemicals like oven cleaner that might etch the surface.
  • Consider using a treatment like Conditioner Gold to enhance water repellency between deep cleans.

Maintaining the shine

Polish and sealant can help keep granite looking its best between deeper cleanings. Here are tips on when and how to use these products:


  • Use sparingly for light buffing between deep cleans. Once a month is usually sufficient.
  • Choose a polish specifically formulated for natural stone. Apply a small amount to a soft cloth.
  • Rub the polish in the direction of the granite pattern. Avoid circular motions.
  • Use gentle pressure and keep the cloth moving constantly.
  • Buff until any haze disappears for an even shine. Over-polishing can create a slippery residue.


  • Sealing is recommended once yearly to protect against stains and moisture. Reapply every 1-2 years.
  • Clean counters thoroughly before sealing to ensure an even application.
  • Select a water-based sealant made for granite. StoneTech Bulletproof is a top choice.
  • Carefully follow product application instructions. Apply to a clean, dry surface using even, thin coats.
  • Allow to dry completely between coats, at least 1-2 hours.
  • Do a test spot in an inconspicuous place to check for any discoloration before sealing all counters.

Avoid wax-based products and anything containing acids, lemon, vinegar, or ammonia that could mar the finish. Regular sealing and judicious polishing keeps granite surfaces looking revitalized and reduces your everyday cleaning workload.

Answering common questions

Caring for granite does not need to be complicated or time consuming. With the right approach, maintaining your counters’ good looks is simple. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How often should I clean granite counters?

Daily cleaning is ideal, but a thorough wipe down 2-3 times per week is sufficient for countertops that don’t get heavy use. Clean immediately after spills or messy prep work.

What should I avoid using on granite?

Skip the bleach, homemade mixes with vinegar or lemon, powders and creams with abrasives, dishwasher detergents which can streak, and scouring pads which might scratch.

Is it okay to use tap water to clean granite?

Yes. Warm water is fine for daily upkeep. Avoid extremely hot water which produces steam that can contribute to sealing breakdown.

How can I add shine between deep cleanings?

Use a specially formulated polish or conditioner every 4-6 weeks to enhance the shine. Apply sparingly with a soft cloth using gentle, straight motions.

How will I know if my granite needs to be resealed?

Signs it may be time include water darkening or soaking in rather than beading up on the surface, residue staining more easily, or areas feeling rough and porous.

What is the best way to clean textured granite?

Use a soft bristled brush to gently scrub grooves and crevices. Avoid excessive pressure, especially on polished edges, and thoroughly dry to prevent buildup in cracks.


Simple habits like daily wiping and prompt spill care go far in maintaining the refined, elegant look of granite. With the proper supplies and techniques, cleaning granite to keep its factory-fresh beauty is straightforward. Pay special attention to problem areas and occasionally give counters a deep clean refresh. Armed with these tips, you can easily care for your granite surfaces.

How to Clean Granite Countertops FAQs

Granite is a gorgeous and popular countertop choice, but like all natural stone, it requires some periodic care and attention to keep it looking its best. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about properly cleaning and caring for granite:

How often should I clean my granite countertops?

Ideally, granite should be wiped down daily with a soft cloth, warm water, and a small amount of mild dish soap. For lightly used areas, a thorough cleaning 2-3 times per week is sufficient. Immediately clean any spills or messes as they occur to prevent stains.

What cleaning solutions are safe for granite?

Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners. Stick to mild liquid dish soap, stone-specific cleaners, or homemade solutions of warm water mixed with a small amount of baby shampoo.

Can I use vinegar or citrus juices to clean granite?

No. Acidic products like vinegar, lemon juice, or citrus-based cleaners might etch and pit the surface of granite over time with regular use.

What is the best way to clean stubborn stains and dried spills?

Gently scrape off any chunks or hardened material. Apply a cleaner and let it soak 5-10 minutes to soften the mess before scrubbing with a soft cloth or brush. Avoid aggressive scrubbing. Go slowly and let the cleaner work.

How can I make my granite counters shine?

Use a specially formulated granite polish occasionally per the label directions. Buff gently, not in circular motions. Avoid excess polish buildup which can leave residue. Alternately, rub the surface with baby oil using a soft cloth.

Do I need to seal my granite?

Sealing granite every 1-2 years is highly recommended. It prevents stains and damage by filling pores and creating a protective barrier. Use a water-based stone sealant.

How do I know when to reseal granite?

Signs that it’s time include water pooling rather than beading up, stains setting in more readily, visible marks, or an uneven or dull finish. If in doubt, apply another coat of sealant.

What should I avoid putting on granite?

Do not place hot pans directly on the surface. Use trivets and cutting boards. Keep acidic, harsh chemicals, and abrasive pads and powders away. Avoid hitting or hammering directly on the stone.

Can I use granite cleaning wipes for quick touch ups?

Yes, wipes are great for fast upkeep between deep cleans. Opt for a wipe formulated for natural stone. Check that it does not contain lemon or other acids.

How do I sanitize granite safely?

Mix warm water with a very small amount of mild dish soap or baby shampoo. Wipe down the surface with a soft cloth soaked in the solution. No need for harsh disinfectants. The soap will remove bacteria.

With the proper procedures and products, caring for your granite counters does not require a ton of effort. Establish simple daily and weekly routines to keep them clean, conditioned, and looking their best.

How to Clean Granite Countertops – It’s Simpler Than You May Think

Granite countertops are durable and elegant, making them a prized and popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. While beautiful, granite does require some ongoing care and maintenance to prevent damage and preserve its factory-fresh beauty. However, keeping granite in top condition is easier than many homeowners think. With a basic cleaning routine and a few precautions, maintaining granite to retain its refined look does not require hours of backbreaking scrubbing. Just a light daily wipe down and prompt mess clean up, along with deep cleaning every month or two, is all it takes. Here is a closer look at the simple habits you need for keeping granite countertops looking like new.

Supplies Needed For Cleaning Granite

Caring for granite does not require a huge arsenal of specialty products. Most of what you need is likely already under your kitchen sink. Here are the basic supplies to have on hand:

  • Warm water
  • Mild liquid dish soap
  • Clean soft cloths
  • Baby shampoo or stone cleaner for periodic deep cleaning
  • Granite polish and sealant
  • Spray bottle for applying cleaners and rinse water

It is also handy to have a soft bristled cleaning brush and plastic spatulas for gently removing any stuck-on debris or dried spills.

Avoid using powdered cleansers, abrasive scrub pads, and products containing acids or harsh chemicals. They can etch and pit the surface.

Developing a Regular Cleaning Routine

Daily maintenance cleaning is the foundation for keeping granite in pristine shape. Follow these steps to care for counters between deep cleanings:

  • Clear counters of everything; work on exposed surfaces.
  • Rinse with water to remove loose debris.
  • Make a mild soap and water solution in a spray bottle. Stone cleaner can be used per label directions.
  • Mist the surface and work into a light lather using a soft cloth. Avoid excessive moisture.
  • Rinse well with a second clean cloth.
  • Fully dry counters with a towel to prevent water marks.

Target high traffic zones around sinks and appliances where buildup accumulates most. For a lighter clean, simply use a damp cloth to wipe away dust and light grime a few times per week.

Handling Spills, Stains, and Messes

No matter how careful you are, spills and smears happen in busy kitchens. But with prompt attention, even serious messes can be remedied. Here is how to handle common mishaps:

  • Fruit juice or sugary spills – Blot immediately and flush with water. Use baking soda and rinse to lift stains.
  • Oils, grease drips, or soap scum – Let harden briefly; scrape away chunks carefully with a