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Homemade Granite Cleaner and Disinfectant

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I love the look of granite but it sure is fussy, isn’t it? There are so many things you shouldn’t use to clean it, too. Fortunately, this homemade granite cleaner does a beautiful job on my granite surfaces to leave them clean and shiny.

Give it a try, and check out the tips further on about cleaning granite—plus the things you should avoid.

Homemade Granite Cleaner Spray

Combine 1 cup water with 1 cup rubbing alcohol (surgical spirits in the UK) and 1/4 teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Add 5 drops essential oil (optional). Swirl to combine then follow the steps to clean and disinfect the surface.

  • To clean: Spray the DIY granite cleaner until the surface is damp then wipe with a clean microfiber cloth.
  • To disinfect: reapply until the surface is saturated, wait 5 minutes, then wipe with a fresh cloth.
  • Store any unused mix away from kids, pets, and flames.
  • Shake well before each use.

What NOT To Use on Granite

To keep granite shiny, avoid harsh or acidic cleaning products that contain vinegar, citric acid, lemon juice, ammonia, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. Avoid using products like Windex, Clorox Spray, Clorox Wipes, and Formula 409.

Abrasive cleaning products will also damage your granite’s finish. Scrubbers like Magic Erasers, Scotch pads, and melamine sponges can all cause damage. So can scouring powders like Bar Keeper’s Friend or Ajax. Even if you haven’t seen damage yet, it’s only a matter of time before they erode the shiny finish on your granite.

Granite Care Tips

Using the right cleaner is only one part of protecting your granite counters’ finish. You also need to protect it from physical scratches and etching.

Thoroughly clean your granite counters weekly with this spray. A good weekly cleaning eliminates any abrasive crumbs or dust, so they don’t wear on the granite finish.

Seal your granite counters annually. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. For most granite sealants, you wipe them on, then wait 15-20 minutes and wipe them away.

Use coasters under beverages and oil jars. They’ll catch drips from acidic drinks like soda and wine and prevent oily stains.

Wipe up spills ASAP. Even water can etch your granite’s finish if there are enough minerals in it.

Use a damp cloth to wipe your granite counters as part of your daily cleaning routine. This habit will help you notice any spills or grime before it becomes a problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most common questions concerning the use of this DIY granite cleaner spray. If you have a question not covered here, feel free to ask in the comments.

What Essential Oils Can I Use?

You can use any essential oil you like in this homemade granite cleaning spray. You can even use lemon or grapefruit essential oils since they do not contain citric acid.

However, if you have pets in your home, please consult with your veterinarian about any essential oils you plan to use. Some, like tea tree oil or eucalyptus, are highly toxic for pets.

Can I Use Castile Soap?

Due to Castile soap’s oil content, it will leave a thin film that keeps your granite from being shiny. If you want to use it, be sure to rinse the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove any oily residue.

Can I Use a Different Alcohol?

The rubbing alcohol in this homemade granite cleaner eliminates harmful bacteria and helps leave your counters streak-free. You can substitute a higher concentration of rubbing alcohol, like 90%, if that’s what you have.

Can I Use This to Clean a Granite Floor?

Yes! This homemade granite cleaner works very well on granite floors. You’ll need to multiply the ingredients if you’re using a bucket and go light on the dish soap to avoid streaks. If you have pets, please see the note above about using essential oils.

Can I Use This DIY Granite Cleaner on Marble?

This homemade granite cleaning spray is safe for any natural stone surface. That includes marble and quartz. Take care that you don’t get overspray on wood or soft plastic, which rubbing alcohol can damage.

Can I Use This as an All-Purpose Cleaner?

This spray is safe for natural stone, stainless steel, ceramic, and porcelain, so it’s safe to use on most appliances, too. However, since isopropyl alcohol can be drying, it is not safe on wood, leather, acrylic, plastic, or painted surfaces. For those, you’d be better off using my homemade all-purpose cleaning spray.

How Do I Get Rid of an Oil Stain on Granite?

Here’s how to get rid of oil stains on granite surfaces:

1. Clean the area with homemade granite cleaner and buff it dry with a cloth.

2. Sprinkle a thick layer of baking soda over the oil stain. (Bicarbonate for UK readers.) Let this sit for 15 minutes to soak up surface oil and wipe it away with a damp cloth.

3. Make a runny paste of baking soda and water — aim for the consistency of pancake batter. Spread this on the stain and place a sheet of plastic cling film over it. Put something heavy on top of the plastic to help the paste stay in contact with the stain.

4. Let the paste sit overnight, then remove the plastic and wipe the area clean. Wash the spot with warm, soapy water and let it dry. Seal the granite once the stain is gone.

My Granite Still Looks Dull. How Do I Polish It?

Sometimes granite looks dull because there’s a greasy film or soapy haze on it. Use the homemade granite cleaner first, then wipe with a clean cloth dampened in warm water and buff dry.

If your granite still isn’t as shiny as you like, you can try buffing it with powdered white chalk and a felt square, although that can get messy or irritate allergies. If you’d rather use a chemical-based approach, try polishing compound spray and a felt buffer. (I like this one.) Be sure to seal your granite after polishing, then keep it clean with this homemade granite spray.

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13 Comments

  1. May I ask, re: the DIY granite cleaner and disinfectant, can you use another essential oil besides lemon? Like cinnamon or
    clove? Just not sure if there is something harmful to the granite in either of the two I mentioned that is not in the lemon choice.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Yes, you can substitute an oil of your choosing. Keep in mind, however, that lemon essential is not the same as lemon juice. It does not have the same acidity and, as you know, it’s the acidity in lemon juice which damages granite. Essential oils, on the other hand, are made by distilling the peel to capture the volatile oils (and hence the fragrance).

  2. Is this cleaner safe to use on my cabinets?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Ellen,

      I’d use my Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner since it would do a better job of removing grease from typical cabinet materials like wood and laminate.

  3. Christine Pollock says:

    Is this alright to use on African slate tables as well?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I don’t have any experience with that material so I couldn’t say.

  4. Hi there. Is this safe enough to use for everyday use? Or should I use less alcohol in the mixture?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Erika,

      The main concern about using a daily cleaning product on granite is whether it is so acidic that it will erode the finish. The good news with this homemade granite cleaner and disinfectant spray is that its acidity is around that of water. So, yes, it’s safe for daily use when made as directed.

  5. Hi Katie,
    Thank you for all do. Your site and info is very helpful. My bathroom granite has turned yellowish all around the base of the faucet. Any suggestions? I’ve tried a commercial granite cleaner/polish but the stain remains. It’s not happening in other areas of the house. I wonder if it from an adhesive/sealant that might have been used during installation. Not sure. Thank you.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      It’s hard to say without seeing it but your guess about the caulk sounds reasonable. If it is, then look for a granite-safe caulk remover. Once the old stuff is gone, use a clear silicon caulk specifically for bathrooms.

  6. Thanks Katie. I’ll look into that.

  7. Heather Y says:

    HI Katie LOVE LOVE LOVE your website and spend hours on it..Thank you for all the info and recipes. I Have a very old washstand with a marble top possibly 100 years old, probably never ever sealed however it is in good condtion, – we have probably had it 40 plus years. Katie how do I seal this please? You mention sealing it after polishing.. I look forward to your response. Heather, NZ

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Heather! I’m so glad you enjoy the site. With wonderful antiques like yours, I always recommend taking them to a professional for things like repair or sealing. You may want to find a stone mason near you and see what they recommend.

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