ShrinkThatFootprint is an advocate of simple, low cost solutions that reduce waste. One of those solutions is for general house hold care and cleaning. We’ve all heard the old adage: “A penny saved is a penny earned.” It’s a pretty good piece of advice if you’re looking to save some money. But what happens when you’re not looking to save money but rather, trying to earn it? This can also be a good thing. That’s why today I’m going to show you how easy it is to make your own granite cleaner. We’ll use inexpensive ingredients that will help keep your counters looking great for years.
There Are Many Options For Cleaning Granite Counter Tops
There are many options for cleaning granite countertops. In general, the best way to clean granite is with a cleaner that is pH neutral, meaning not acidic or basic (think vinegar and lye). This type of cleaner allows you to use it on any type of natural stone and will help keep your countertops looking as good as new for years to come.
What To Avoid In Cleaners For Granite
Following our advice above, when you make your own DIY solution, you want to avoid these things because of their change to the pH (acidity and basicity):
Avoid anything containing bleach. Bleach is a caustic, basic substance. This can cause yellowing of the stone. This is because the bleach breaks down natural oils and minerals on the surface of granite, which results in discoloration.
Also avoid using ammonia-based cleaners as well—they tend to dull the stone’s shine by stripping off its protective coating. Ammonia is actually a weak base like bleach.
Vinegar is another no-no—it’s acidic and will eventually cause etching on your countertops if used regularly (and even if it doesn’t). Also avoid lemon juice which can have similar effects as vinegar because they are on the acidic side.
Have you heard that baking soda is good for cleaning stone? We’re pretty ambivalent on this because baking soda is also known as “sodium bicarbonate” which tends to have basic properties. It will have the ever so slight effect of stripping away and etching the underlying stone. We recommend to stay away from baking soda.
And finally, pine oil or citrus oil-based products should be avoided at all costs because they’ll leave an oily residue behind after application; this makes them perfect for cleaning wood but not so great for marble or granite since those materials need something slick instead of sticky!
Avoid products containing abrasive chemicals like pumice, which will scratch the surface of your stone.
Before DIY Cleaner Use A Degreaser To Remove Tough Stains
Before you use DIY Cleaner on your granite countertops, make sure you remove any tough stains. Just as you should avoid using oil-based substances for cleaning stone, you should prep the surface by removing oils. You can do this with a degreaser and a microfiber cloth or paper towel. Make sure to wear gloves and eye protection while cleaning.
How To Make A Granite Cleaner
Ok, with the preparatory work out of the way, here are our tips for making your own granite cleaner. The two most important ingredients are simply distilled water and soap.
- Use distilled water. It’s free of minerals, which can discolor granite countertops.
- Add a few drops of dish soap. A mild liquid detergent will clean really well by dissolving stains from left-over oil. Be sure to use a pH-neutral soap. Harsh cleaners and acids can damage the sealant on your granite.
- Heat up the solution a tiny bit to activate and dissolve granite stains. Overheating the solution is not typically necessary and could potentially cause damage if too hot. Warm water is usually sufficient.
- To apply, use a non-abrasive cleaner and scrubber, like the Palmolive Multi-Surface Cleaner sold at Walmart. Many commercial scrubbers contain ingredients that could damage granite, so be cautious when selecting a cleaner. Dry the surface thoroughly.
- Use a non-abrasive cloth or sponge to wipe away the cleaning agent.
- Extra Tip: Regular sealing is crucial for granite surfaces. This helps protect the granite and maintain its luster. Depending on the sealant used and the usage of your countertops, you may need to reseal your granite annually or biannually.
Hard Water At Home? Consider Switching To Distilled Water For The Cleaner
If you have hard water in your home, consider switching to distilled water for your granite cleaner. Distilled water is pure, and will not leave any residue behind if it comes into contact with your granite countertops. It’s easy to find distilled water at the grocery store, or you can also purchase it online from home goods stores like Amazon.
As an added bonus, using distilled water will help prolong the life of your granite countertops by reducing wear and tear caused by minerals in tap water (such as calcium). To use distilled water in this recipe: replace every 1 cup of regular tap or bottled drinking water with 1 cup of distilled drinking water.
Proper Care Can Keep Granite Countertop New Looking For Many Years
Granite countertops are durable. They can withstand heavy use and frequent cleaning. But even granite needs proper care to stay looking good for many years.
You should clean your countertops on a regular basis to keep them looking new and fresh. If you don’t clean your granite at least once a month, it will begin to look dull due to dirt buildup and other contaminants in the air (such as smoke). That’s why we recommend that you clean your granite every two weeks—but if you have the time, do it once per week!
Granite is a natural stone that can be damaged by aggressive cleaners or improper maintenance practices. If you damage your countertop by using harsh chemicals or applying too much pressure when cleaning it, this could cause permanent damage that prevents future repairs from being effective
Conclusion – DIY Cleaner For Granite Countertops
Granite is so beautiful, it’s worth taking the time to keep it looking great. It can be hard to find good cleaners for granite countertops, but there are many options available. You can choose a DIY cleaner made with simple ingredients you probably have in your kitchen right now. Alternatively, if you want something more natural or organic then look into using baking soda and vinegar as your base. We hope that this article has helped answer some questions about what makes a good granite cleaner and what ingredients should be avoided when cleaning your counter tops with any type of product!