Cooktop Cove: Granite countertops can get gross. Check out 11 ingenious ways to clean them
By Jacinta M. Carter
If you watch any home improvement shows, you know that granite countertops are all the rage right now. And why shouldn't they be? They're sturdy enough to handle anything you need to cut or cook on them, and they always look classy — until they get dirty.
Fortunately, granite is fairly simple to clean. Next time your counters start to look a little grungy, take a glance at this list for a few tips to help you put that shine back in your granite counters.
1. Soap and water
It probably sounds too good to be true, but you actually can clean your granite countertops with a simple mixture of warm water and gentle dish soap. After you've wiped down the counters with this combination, dry them with a soft towel. If you need to disinfect the counters as well, you can use a half-and-half mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol.
2. Baking soda
If you have a stubborn stain on your granite counter, baking soda will help remove it without scuffing the granite. Combine baking soda and water until you have a paste, then use a soft cloth to scrub the paste over the stain. If the stain has been there for a while, tape plastic wrap over it and leave it alone for a few days. When you come back to it, wipe off the paste with warm water, and the stain should come off with it.
3. Essential oils
Okay, the essential oils themselves don't actually clean your granite, but they'll add a pleasing smell to your cleaner. Just add a few drops of your preferred scent to a mixture of rubbing alcohol, dish soap, and water. When all of these are mixed together, you can pour them in a spray bottle, and get to work cleaning your counters.
4. Lemon oil
You have to be careful using citrus on granite because the acidity can cause damage. But, if you dilute a few drops of lemon oil with water and alcohol, you can use it to clean and shine your granite countertops without any worries.
5. Vinegar
Though vinegar can usually be used for anything, it's another tricky one when it comes to granite. You don't want to use it often or in large amounts, but it comes in handy if you need to get rid of lime deposits on your granite counters. Place a vinegar-soaked paper towel on the lime deposit for about 10 minutes. After you remove it, use a single-bladed razor to scrape the deposit off of the granite.
6. Hydrogen peroxide
If you find any mold on your counters, hydrogen peroxide is the best way to get rid of it. Combine the hydrogen peroxide with water, and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the mixture over the moldy spots. Then use a dry cloth to wipe over the area.
7. Iron removal poultice
For rust stains, you'll need a few extra items to add to some gentle dish soap. You can mix Iron Out (or a similar product) with flour until you have a thick paste. Spread this combination over the rust stains, and tape plastic wrap over it for at least 24 hours. After removing the plastic wrap, scrub away the paste with a soft bristle brush, and then wash over everything with water. Dry the counters with a soft cloth when you're finished.
8. Corn starch
For granite kitchen counters, grease stains are inevitable. If you notice a grease splatter on your counter, sprinkle corn starch over the area, and wipe it off with soap and water after about 15 minutes. If you didn't see the spot immediately and it's already formed a stain, spray the area with water, then spread a thick layer of corn starch over it. Leave this for at least 24 hours before wiping it off.
9. ArmorAll
You probably thought ArmorAll was just for your car, right? Think again! If you've already wiped down your granite countertops with soap and water, but want them to shine just a little more, grab some ArmorAll. Spray a little onto a microfiber cloth and wipe a thin layer over the whole counter. With a clean cloth, wipe over the counter until it shines.
10. Razor blades
If you have granite around your sinks, you probably have to deal with hard water build-up on a regular basis. To remove these stains, scrape the deposits with a razor blade until they come off. Then use fine steel wool to scrub over the area to get rid of any residue.
11. Vodka
That's right, folks, vodka is no longer just for a night on the town. You can actually mix vodka with water and dish soap and spray it on your counters to kill bacteria. This combination will dry quickly, and you won't have to worry about it leaving any residue behind.
If you've been reluctant to put granite countertops in your kitchen or bathroom, hesitate no more. Granite will make your room look even nicer than before, and now you know plenty of ways to keep it clean. Now get out there and share this with your friends on Facebook so they can make their granite shine!
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