Homemade Granite Cleaner and Disinfectant

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Get your kitchen and bathroom counters polished to a shine with this homemade granite cleaner recipe.

Granite countertops make your kitchen look posh when they’re clean and shiny. These durable stone surfaces can last a lifetime if you make an effort to keep them in good shape.

How to Clean Granite Surfaces

Granite is one of the hardest materials on earth, but it is also porous. If not properly sealed, granite will soak up oil, water, wine, and other liquids that can discolor it. That’s why it’s so important to keep your granite sealant in good shape.

What NOT To Use on Granite

To keep granite shiny, avoid harsh or acidic cleaning products that contain vinegar, citric acid, ammonia, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. Products to avoid include Windex, Clorox Spray, and 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.

General Granite Cleaning 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.

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 will help you notice any spills or grime before it becomes a problem.

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. That’s it!

Homemade Granite Cleaning Spray

Use this spray to clean, disinfect, and shine granite or other natural stone surfaces.


Equipment You Need:

  • Spray bottle
  • Measuring cup
  • Cleaning rags

Materials You Need:

  • Water
  • Rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol – 70% strength
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Essential oil (optional)

Instructions:

1. Combine 1 cup water with 1 cup of rubbing alcohol (surgical spirits in the UK). Add 1/4 teaspoon of liquid dish soap and 5 or so drops of your favorite essential oil. Swirl to combine.

2. Spray granite surfaces until damp, then wipe with a clean cleaning rag. To disinfect, respray the surface and wait 5 minutes, then wipe with a fresh cloth.

3. Store any unused mix away from kids, pets, and flames. Shake well before each use.

What Essential Oils Can I Use?

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

Essential Oils and Pets

If you have pets in your home, be careful about which essential oils you use. Many essential oils are toxic for pets. It doesn’t matter that you aren’t applying the oil directly to your pet’s fur — if you spray, diffuse it in a mister, or apply it to any surface your pet walks or lies on, it’ll get into their bloodstream.

To keep your pets safe, avoid using eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, cinnamon, citrus oils, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, wintergreen, and ylang-ylang. Consult your veterinarian about these and other essential oils you plan to use.

Can I Use Castile Soap?

Castile soap is oil-based, so it’s not always a good replacement for other forms of soap in homemade cleaning products. That’s true in this homemade granite cleaner, too. 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?

You can substitute a higher concentration of rubbing alcohol, like 90%, if that’s what you have. Stronger concentrations evaporate faster, though, and that may cause streaks. You can also substitute vodka for rubbing alcohol if you prefer. Or, you can use 1/4 cup of denatured alcohol but keep the other measurements the same.

Can I Skip the Alcohol Completely?

Rubbing alcohol is not the kind you drink. It’s the kind used in first-aid for injuries. But if for some reason, you don’t want to use it, you can skip it in this homemade granite cleaner recipe. You’ll still get your counters clean but not disinfected. (Alcohol is a disinfectant.) If you want to disinfect them, you’ll need to find another granite-safe product.

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 to Clean Marble?

This homemade granite cleaning spray is safe for all natural stone surfaces. 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 Spray?

This spray is safe for natural stone, glass, stainless steel, ceramic, and porcelain. Due to the isopropyl alcohol’s drying effects, it is not safe on wood, leather, acrylic, plastic, or painted surfaces. You’d be much better off using a different homemade all-purpose cleaning spray.

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

If you’ve discovered an oil stain on your granite countertop, don’t panic. Here’s how to get rid of oil stains on granite surfaces:

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

2. Sprinkle a thick layer of baking soda over the oil stain. (That’s 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 may want to pick up a polishing compound and a felt buffer. (We’ve used this one with luck.) Be sure to seal your granite after polishing, then keep it clean with this homemade granite spray.

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8 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 it okay to use 90% isopropyl ?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Sure, the higher strength won’t harm your granite. Just be extra careful about keeping it away from flames.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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