This homemade granite cleaner recipe is for those with natural stone counters who’ve been frustrated in their search for DIY cleaning products. It’s cost-effective and can be used to both clean and disinfect kitchen or even bathroom counters.
Be Careful How You Clean Granite
Granite countertops are prized for their luxurious appearance and the organic, natural touch they add to home decor. If cared for properly, these surfaces are durable and can dramatically improve your home’s resale value.
Vinegar is Too Acidic for Granite
What makes vinegar a fantastic cleaning ingredient is its acetic acid content. From dissolving mineral buildup on showerheads to eliminating pet stains and odors, vinegar has been a go-to cleaner for generations.
But vinegar’s acidity can damage granite’s surface, etching through the polished top layer and leaving dull, unattractive spots on your costly countertops.
So, keep a bottle of homemade granite cleaner around for speedy touch-ups and disinfecting throughout the day as well as weekly cleaning.
Homemade Granite Cleaner
Cleaning vs. Disinfecting
Cleaning and disinfecting are different things. As the CDC explains, a clean surface is not necessarily disinfected, and a disinfected surface is not necessarily clean.
- Cleaning physically removes germs, dirt, and grime from surfaces by physically lowering their numbers to reduce the risk of spreading infection. Soap or detergent and water can accomplish this.
- Disinfecting, on the other hand, involves killing germs on surfaces. Disinfecting a clean surface further lower the risks associated with bacterial, viral, and other contaminants.
Food preparation surfaces need both treatments. Fortunately, this granite cleaner recipe performs both steps.
Why These Ingredients?
Making homemade cleaning recipes isn’t like cooking. When baking, for instance, you can often use applesauce in place of oil or evaporated milk for heavy cream.
The ingredients in a homemade cleaner are there for a reason. Changing them can change your results. Here’s what the ingredients in this homemade granite cleaner do and why you shouldn’t substitute them.
Known as “surgical spirits” in the UK, isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol is a synthetic compound with antiseptic properties. It is present in this recipe because it provides disinfecting power. It also evaporates quickly, which helps this homemade granite cleaner leave a streak-free shine.
Choose the right isopropyl alcohol. For this homemade granite cleaner, you need to use plain isopropyl alcohol, not one that’s been mixed with glycerin or tinted with dyes. A 70% strength is best since it evaporates quickly enough to avoid streaks but not so quickly that it doesn’t have time to disinfect.
A safe swap: It’s a good idea to keep rubbing alcohol on hand in your first aid kit, but if you’re out (or if you live in a country where it’s pricey), you can substitute pure, undiluted vodka with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 80% or higher.
Liquid Dish Soap
Soap has degreasing properties which enable it to power through food residue and grime. Although you only need a small amount in this homemade granite cleaner recipe, you shouldn’t skip it.
Use a liquid dish soap that does not claim antibacterial, moisturizing, or oxygenating properties. Those additives will leave streaks. For the same reason, I don’t recommend using castile soap in this recipe.
The use of essential oil is optional, but it does help offset the smell of isopropyl alcohol. I use lemon essential oil because I like the scent.
Unlike fresh lemon juice, lemon essential oil does not contain citric acid that can harm natural stone surfaces. It’s safe for granite and marble and a great way to get a lemony clean fragrance.
If pests are a problem, you can replace the lemon oil with peppermint essential oil. It’s a natural way to get rid of ants and other kitchen pests.
Homemade Granite Cleaner
- Spray bottle
- 1 cup plain 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol (surgical spirits in the UK)
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 tsp. mild liquid dish soap
- 5 drops lemon essential oil substitute peppermint essential oil if pests are an issue
- Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake gently before each use.
- To clean: Spray lightly on hard surfaces and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.
- To disinfect: Reapply after cleaning until the surface is saturated. Wait 5 minutes and wipe with a fresh, damp cloth.