Years before I knew anything about granite I bought a home that had multiple granite counter top surfaces throughout. It was a beautiful Sardinian Grey with these tiny flakes of “sparkle”. I felt like such a grown up and like any other twenty-something year old, I thought I knew it all. Turns out there is actually some education involved in caring for granite…who knew?
Every Saturday I get up early, drink my coffee, walk my dog, turn on the television and watch reruns of Friends while I feverously clean my entire home, top to bottom. I start with the kitchen because…well…I’m not real sure why I start there but hey, to each is own. Anyway, those that know me are well aware that I am the definition of a “clean freak”. I’ll go to any means necessary to make sure my house, car and belongings are squeaky clean! So naturally, bleach is my friend. So, out comes the Clorox Bleach Wipes and away I go. The process goes something like this: wipe, rinse, dry, repeat—its riveting really! Cleaning while simultaneously killing germs is like a dream to me!
Fast forward three years and we’re having a neighborhood block party at our house. The grill is going, drinks are flowing and everyone is having a great time! Now, I have these neighbors, let’s call them Jim and Sue, who are always the life of the party but sometimes they tend to get a little out of hand. Nothing harmful and all is in good fun but sometimes we have to replace Jim’s vodka with water and Sue’s merlot with grape juice. [They’ve never noticed by the way]. However, this particular party, I myself was having a grand ol’ time, to the point where I didn’t notice that Sue had spilt her ENTIRE BOTTLE of Gallo Family Vineyards Merlot on the granite island in my kitchen.
The next morning I wake up to a complete mess and unknowingly a pretty hefty bill for the company that ended up having to replace my granite.
See, when Sue spilt her wine my granite literally sucked it up like a sponge. Except in this case I couldn’t’ just squeeze out the liquid. All those years of wiping my counter tops with bleach wipes almost completely eroded the seal that helps granite defend against stains. It was a hard lesson to learn but I no longer use Clorox Bleach Wipes on my granite and Sue is no longer allowed to drink inside my home—we make her drink in the yard.
In an effort to help all other twenty-something year olds out there, and those that just don’t know how to clean granite, I’ve come up with a list of “okay” granite cleaners and “not so okay” granite cleaners. Enjoy!
Okay: Specially formulated natural stone cleaner such as Weiman Granite Cleaner & Polish, Granite Gold Daily Cleaner, Formula 409 Natural Stone Cleaner, and Rock Doctor Granite Cleaner.
Not so okay: Generic cleaning products such as bleach, glass cleaners, de-greasers, vinegar, ammonia, lemon/orange cleaners and even dish soap. Dish soap is fine if that’s all you have but over time it will cause build-up that dulls your counter tops shine.