Granite is, of course, one of the most durable of substances found naturally; so the choice of product you use regularly in your home for cleaning surfaces will most probably all be suitable as a safe cleaner for granite. However, there are some domestic cleaners that you can buy from general and DIY store that won’t be safe cleaners for granite surfaces. These are ones that are highly acidic or caustic for removing oils and grease stains, or ones that are strongly abrasive.
Problems when Cleaning a Granite Surface
If granite is such a tough material why might you have problems using some cleaners on it? The first problem is if the granite surface has been coated with something like a layer of polyurethane to give it a particular sheen, or even color. Using the wrong cleaning product on such a surface will immediately strip it off, leaving the granite surface looking dull and/or patchy.
More normally granite is simply polished to achieve the smooth and high sheen finish you see when the granite is first delivered to you. This polished effect isn’t achieved with beeswax or some other product you can buy – but by grinding the surface with ever finer grades of abrasives, rather similar to glass paper on a rough wood surface.
Being a type of stone Granite is composed of mineral crystals that are virtually unaffected by water, but acids and strongly alkaline solutions will attack them, again resulting in at least a patchy and dull surface, if not one that is actually pitted where the chemicals have dissolved out the minerals.
What is Safe?
Whenever possible just use water to wipe clean the surface of granite. If in the course of millions of years the constant action of river or sea water does little to erode granite – then an occasional wipe down with water on a clean cloth will not affect it at all. However, needless to say today there are scientifically formulated safe cleaners for granite that you can buy from any leading DIY store. These are particularly effective for cleaning granite surfaces of the usual stains and spillages that you’d expect to create day by day on a kitchen or bathroom granite surface, the two rooms most commonly found to have granite surfaces.
Specialist granite cleaners are usually most effective if used as soon as the spillage or stain occurs, for more stubborn stains, such as oil or grease stains that have hardened onto the surface, you can buy stronger versions of the granite cleaning products to break down and remove the unsightly mess. Especially in a kitchen or bathroom maintaining high levels of hygiene on granite work tops is important. Domestic cleaners that are also anti-bacterial will be perfectly safe cleaners for granite surfaces.
Getting the Shine Back
Having cleaned the granite surface you’ll no doubt want to regain a highly polished surface. The best way to do this is to grind or abrade it back to the original condition. However, unless you’re a skilled DIY home enthusiast in such matters it’s probably best to get an expert in to do this. Alternatively you can buy specially formulated granite polishes that you can simply spray on and rub in with a cloth to get a bright shiny surface, or if you prefer you could even use one of the traditional old fashioned polishing compounds like beeswax.