How to clean granite worktops

A granite worktop is widely considered as one of the most luxurious additions to any kitchen, something that inspires both admiration and envy in onlookers. If you have one, you'll probably appreciate the care and skill that went into cutting and installing it exactly to your specifications. To do it justice, it's important to maintain your work surfaces properly, and that includes understanding how to clean granite safely.

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While you might think nothing of bleaching and scrubbing a wooden worktop (where germs can exist in the cuts and scratches), this is definitely not a tactic that you should employ on your shiny granite. Here are a few tips on keeping your granite worktops clean:

Everyday cleaning


When it's comes to keeping worktops bug-free, it's not simply about wiping down a surface after preparing food; how many of us plonk our handbags, briefcases or the kids' school bags on the kitchen top? Or the shopping bags which have been in the boot of the car? Essentially, there are plenty of ways in which a worktop can become contaminated with nasty bacteria aside from cooking. That's why we need to clean every day.

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On a daily basis, wiping down with a soft, microfibre cloth and hot, soapy water or a product that has been specifically formulated for granite worktops (such as Method Daily Granite or Lakeland's Daily Granite Cleaner) should be perfectly adequate. You are looking for a pH-balanced product that cleans while leaving the granite shiny. Soapy water is fine, but you may need to buff any streaks away afterwards. Steer clear of bleach or any products which contain an acidic ingredient, like lemon juice or vinegar as this could harm the granite.

Heavy duty mess


One of granite's biggest selling points is its imperviousness to bacteria, providing it has been well sealed. If you're cleaning your surfaces every day, then there shouldn't be too much mess to contend with, but on the odd occasion that someone else is let loose in the kitchen then here's how to deal with it

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Firstly, as most granite is patterned, it can be tricky to spot whether there are any nasty dried-on blobs, so it's a good idea to run your hands over the stone to identify any spills. Then use a microfibre cloth and soapy hot water or a degreaser (GrabGreen has a good range) to get the worst off. As harsh chemicals should not be used on this material, many people swear by using a hand-held steamer on their worktops. The Karcher SC1020, for example, lists 'cleaning granite worktops' among its many benefits - killing germs naturally and easily. 

Protect and prolong


Careful cleaning will prolong the life of your granite worktop and keep it nice and shiny. To avoid discolouration and marks, ensure that you prepare foods on a chopping board, use trivets for hot pans and generally treat your granite with respect, however daft that might sound. While the stone is robust, carelessness can lead to chipping or staining which could potentially ruin your lovely kitchen centrepiece forever.  

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To summarise:


Do

- Ensure that your worktop has been sealed and any joins are flush to prevent foods soaking in 

- Wipe up any acidic liquids, wine or hot oil quickly so that they don't have the opportunity to eat into the granite and stain

- Use products that are designed to be used on granite and follow the instructions

- Buff off streaks with a clean cloth if cleaning with soapy detergents.


Don't

- Use a scourer or abrasive cloth or any kind. While granite is a strong, durable material, it's still possible to scratch the surface. Similarly, don't use abrasive cleaners or powders

- Use acidic cleaners, such as lemon juice or vinegar (if you're trying a natural remedy) or chemical products that include bleaches and ammonias

- Leave fresh fruit for long on the surface as the acids could stain like acidic liquids do. 

Remember these tips when it comes to wiping down those polished surfaces and your worktops will remain a thing of beauty for many years to come.

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