How to deep clean granite countertops

The cleaner you've been using on your granite countertop may be harming it. Learn an easier and better way to deep clean your granite.

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Taylor Martin/CNET

Granite counters look fantastic, are rather resilient when it comes to wear and tear or heat and, when properly sealed, easy to clean.

But perhaps a stray coffee cup may have left a light brown ring on your precious granite, or you have an oil stain just won't come out.

Once you know how to care for granite and some no-nos to avoid, cleaning is simple. Learn the dos and don'ts of cleaning granite.

What to avoid

No two granite countertops are the same. Some come from the factory with a resin treatment. Others require a sealant to be applied from every year to every few years. You should consult the manufacturer of your countertop for the recommended treatment.

Since granite is porous, a sealer is there to protect the granite from potentially harmful materials that can affect the appearance and lifespan of the granite.

Regardless of the type of granite or seal, what doesn't vary is what you should not be cleaning your granite countertops with. You should avoid using acid-based cleaners -- lemon, orange, vinegar or bleach-based -- on granite. The acids contained in these cleaners will degrade the sealant and can leave unsightly stains on the countertop.

That means those Clorox disinfecting wipes (which contain citric acid) that make cleanup so easy are actually quite bad for your granite's seal.

How to deep clean granite

Daily cleaning of granite is actually quite simple. All you need is a wash cloth, warm water, a small amount of dish soap and a hand towel for drying.

Use the warm, soapy dish cloth to wipe up spills or other grime immediately. Follow up with a quick towel dry to get rid of excess water and avoid streaks.

It's also good practice to do this any time your cook in your kitchen, if not daily.

If you want to disinfect your granite, simply mix equal parts isopropyl alcohol and distilled water in a spray bottle. Thoroughly spray the countertop and allow the solution to sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Wipe down with a wash cloth. This should also restore your granite's brilliant shine.

How to remove a stain from granite

If you have a particularly stubborn stain, such as spilled cooking oil, baking soda may be all you need.

Maid Brigade suggests creating a paste with baking soda and water for oil-based stains or baking soda and hydrogen peroxide for water-based stains. Slather the paste over the stain and allow it to sit on the surface for several hours, covered.

When you're ready to clean it up, wipe away the paste, and clean with a warm wash cloth and a small amount of dish soap.

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