Recently, my husband and I remodeled out kitchen. With that remodel came the decision between a granite counter top, another natural stone or formica. In the end, we chose the granite. For us, the benefits of granite out weighed the other natural stones or formica.
On the day of installation, the counter top was so shiny and perfect. Then the reality of keeping it clean set in. I only use a soft cloth with mild dish soap and water as suggested, but I find that it leaves water marks and that drives me crazy! I decided to go to the local hardware store and purchase granite cleaner. On the tune of $9.00 per bottle, decided that I needed to find a better solution to cleaning my counter tops and fast.
I completed my research of what to use and what not to use on granite counter tops. Here is my summary:
Like marble, granite, and most natural stones, using acidic cleaners, citrus based cleansers (such as lemon) or vinegar will dull and etch the counter top. Check. Warm water and mild detergent or alcohol seem to be the best cleansers. Check. Using Windex will take the sealing agent off sooner that it would normally wear. Check. Granite cleaning cloth or chamois are recommended because of the ultra smooth nap, it will make for a streak free finish. Check. If you do not have a chamois or cloth, paper towels will work just fine and leave a streak free finish as well. Check.
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (you may also use vodka)
3 drops of dish detergent
1 cup water
a few drops of essential oil (to help mask alcohol smell). I used Caramel
Add the ingredients to a spray bottle, gently mix, and you are done!
I tested this new concoction and could not believe how pleased I was with the results. An added bonus I noted was that the counter top was not prone to fingerprint marks after cleaning with this solution. This is so easy, cheap and the greenest way I know how to clean a counter top. You can also use this natural cleanser on appliances. But, most importantly, it is effective. The alcohol will kill bacteria and this is safe to use around children and pets, as long as they do not drink the mixture. So go ahead, save some money AND make a green cleaning product for your home!
Disclaimer: ALWAYS check a small spot for effectiveness before you clean any surface.