How to Clean Granite Worktops

Anyone who knows anything about worktops knows that granite is the most sought-after material. Sure, quartz is not without its merits, (it’s cheaper for one!) Marble worktops are considered more durable. But granite worktops showcase stunning designs, add aesthetic value – and are a great long-term investment.

However, there’s one caveat that we cannot ignore: granite worktops are only as desirable as their condition. Dull, stained, or scratched worktops will compromise any environment’s aesthetics. Remember too that granite worktops aren’t cheap. It’s good practice to keep worktops in pristine condition, this will protect your investment.

An indigenous rock formed by cooling and crystallising lava, granite can be hard to clean, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. However, don’t worry, help is on hand. Interested in learning how to clean granite worktops? We’ve got you covered. Here’s everything that you need to know.

The Products to Use

Hot water, soapy and washing up liquid are both perfectly adequate for daily cleaning. However, this is only for daily cleaning. What about sanitisation? A question that many of us will still have on the tip of out tongue despite the threat of Covid-19 being minimised by public awareness and vaccines.

Well, when you come to disinfect your granite worktops, don’t reach for harsh or abrasive, ammonia-based cleaning products. Instead opt for a bottle of 70% isopropyl alcohol. Simply spray it onto the granite, leave it to sit for three to five minutes and then rinse with a microfibre cloth and water.

Don’t dilute alcohol. Why? Well, as you can probably guess, diluting alcohol reduces its effectiveness in killing bacteria. The optimal alcohol concentration is 60-90%. Dilute the solution to less than 50% when sanitising granite and it may prove ineffective.

Looking for the right products to use when sanitising granite? Choose specialist granite cleaning products. Try Method Granite and Marble Cleaning Spray.

Top Tip: if you find your granite worktops are a little dull, that the sheen has been worn away try pouring a little cooking oil on a soft cloth polish the worktop. Gently buff it and you’ll see the granite reinvigorated. Better still, cooking oil makes the counter more stain resistant and gives it a glossy finish!

Remove Limescale from Granite Worktops

Limescale thrives in areas with abundant hard water, especially when water is heated and cooled. Think sinks and showers, kitchens and bathrooms, kettles, and hot water tanks. The build-up of limescale is not just unsightly, it can impede the function of appliances. To maintain a safe and sanitary environment, removing limescale is paramount.

Now, there are very specific ways of removing limescale from your granite worktops. Limescale is mostly calcium carbonate which means that it can be dissolved by mild acidic substances, like kitchen vinegar and lemon juice. The bad news is that granite has concentrated calcium carbonate. This basically means that use kitchen vinegar or lemon juice to dissolve food stains on a granite worktop and you’ll also damage the granite!

When removing limescale from granite worktops, use a specialise granite cleaner. Granite might be extremely durable, but it’s simply not suited to abrasive, acidic cleaning, as we’ve already outlined.

Top Tip: after having cleaned the limescale off a granite worktop, make sure to polish the surface. Use a microfibre cloth with specialist granite polish. This will remove any dullness or discoloration from the granite and leave it sparkling clean.

Remove Watermarks from Granite Worktops

One of the biggest culprits of stains on granite worktops are watermarks. Kettles, glass rings, splashes, if left untreated any water residue will stain granite. With many of us working from home, and the general busyness of our lives we can forget to be vigilant with the cleaning, sometimes even spotting watermarks can be a challenge!

Remember there’s more to water than just hydrogen and oxygen. On its travels from the earth all the way through internal piping, water picks up a wealth of chemicals and minerals. Then there’s the artificial additives, like chlorine and fluoride that are added to make it safe for drinking.

Hard water (that is water with dissolved calcium, magnesium, or other minerals) is commonplace is the UK, especially in the southwest. When mixed with soap or other sanitary substances hard water leaves a soapy, mineral film. If not treated immediately, this can be difficult to remove from granite.

Now, the temptation maybe to resort to using abrasive cleaning products or natural solutions, but as we’ve already noted, this is a no-no on granite worktops. Instead, use a specialist granite cleaner.

If you haven’t access to granite cleaner, you could always try a baking soda poultice. Start by blotting as much of the water marked area as possible. Next mix baking soda and water. You’re looking to achieve a consistency similar to sour cream. Spread the mixture over the water stain, cover it with clingfilm and leave for 24-hours. Once hardened, wipe the surface area with a microfibre cloth and hey presto! 

Top Tip: water and baking soda is also effective when removing oil stains from a granite worktop. Whether you’re a chef who doesn’t skimp on the extra virgin olive oil or have accidentally spilt sun tan oil on granite, water, baking soda and a microfibre cloth will clean any spillages right up. 

Restore the Worktop to a Lustrous Shine

There’s no denying that granite is a premium building material. You only need to take a quick glance to see this. However, like other materials, over time granite can begin to look, tired, dull, even scratched, or chipped. The once dazzling impression granite made will be lost. It’s impact muted.

However, you can restore granite worktops to their former glory. Want to know how? It’s easy. There are several polishing options to choose from. Both wet and dry. Opinions are divided on which is the better option, but providing that you choose the correct product, with a little application and the correct technique, you can restore your granite worktop.

Granite polishing cream is typically designed specifically for granite worktops. It’s engineered to leave countertops sparkling. The cream will have a proprietary blend of adhesives and be capable of buffing out marks, minor blemishes and small scratches and has an excellent track record transforming granite of all hues. Once applied to the surface, use a felt pad and gently massage the surface area. Continue polishing until the scratches are no longer visible, checking the area every 5-10 seconds.

Alternatively, granite polishing powder (or stone polishing compound) offers another way to buff out scratches and blemishes. Simply apply the powder, take a buff polishing pad, and polish the surface in a steady, circular motion.

The good news for anyone choosing the DIY polishing route is that the cream and powder products you can purchase from an online retailer or Amazon are generally very good.

Top Tip: If you’ve tried polishing marks, blemishes or scratches from your granite countertop with little success don’t worry! You can always employ someone to do it for you. Of course, specialist granite polishing doesn’t come cheap, but then again you’re getting an expert finish! Should your granite worktop have deep, embedded chips or scratches, it’s best to call in the experts.

Black Granite Worktops

Like cleaning granite worktops of other hues, cleaning black granite worktops can be a DIY job. Black granite is heat resistant, but it can still scratch. Moreover, as luxurious and perpetually in style as black granite is, any stains and spillages will be easily visible.

Be sure to clean all spillages with a non-abrasive cloth. Microfibre cloths are best. Apply liquid or powder specialist granite cleaning solutions and use a moderate amount of pressure to clean the area for 10-15 seconds. Keep wiping in a circular motion until the scratches are no longer visible.

Remember, as with granite worktops of any colour, it’s fine to use an antibacterial spray, liquid or powder, just as long as it’s non-abrasive.

Top Tip: granite is a porous stone which means that it’ll absorb all spillages. To prevent any long-term, costly to repair damage, it’s important that the sealant is performing to optimal standards. If you begin to suspect that the sealant is wearing off, make sure to get the granite resealed as soon as you can. Trust us. Granite should be resealed once every ten years, but if the sealant is wearing off sooner, it’s better to be safe than sorry and get a professional opinion.

The Takeaway

Cleaning granite countertops isn’t rocket science, but it does require the right products, technique, and a smattering of knowledge about granite.

However, if you have any trepidation over cleaning a stain or if you want to buff out deep scratches or chips, it’s best to call in a professional. After all, you don’t want to try and tackle it yourself, only to damage your expensive granite. 

For more information about any of these stones, or for advice on a kitchen worktop project, speak to a member of our installation team today. Call: 01606 841074.