Homemade Granite Cleaner and Disinfectant

Clean

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. (Related: How To Clean Marble Naturally.)

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

Woman wearing glove and using microfiber cloth to clean a natural stone kitchen counter

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.

Isopropyl Alcohol

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.

Essential Oils

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 Recipe

Homemade Granite Cleaner

Katie Berry
This easy, frugal homemade granite cleaner recipe cleans and disinfects natural stone surfaces safely.
Prep Time 2 mins
Waiting Time 5 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Course homemade cleaner
Servings 16 ounces

Equipment

  • Spray bottle

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

Note: Store unused homemade granite cleaner in a cool, dark place. Do not use near open flames.
Keyword disinfecting, homemade cleaner
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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. Unfortunately, I have come across this too late and already used vinegar on the marble in our bathroom:. Any ideas on how to remove the spots? Will this work?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m so sorry you didn’t find this sooner. You can try a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide on the stain if your marble is light-colored. If it’s dark, however, that would only cause more problems. If the paste doesn’t work, you’ll need a professional marble restorer.

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