Using This Popular Cleaner On Granite Countertops Is A Big Mistake

While granite countertops can be extremely durable, you need to treat them properly for them to hold up over time. Because they are made of natural stone, which is porous and needs to be sealed, it's crucial to use the right cleaners to protect your countertop and its sealant. While some might consider using glass cleaning products like Windex to ensure their countertops are clean and free of smudges, the chemicals in these cleaners are too harsh for your granite.

Many know that cleaning granite countertops with lemon juice, vinegar, or other acidic cleaners can prove harmful, and though Windex isn't acidic, it's still not a good choice. Windex contains several powerful chemicals, including ammonium hydroxide, which is also known as ammonia. Ammonium hydroxide is corrosive, which can harm the surface of your countertops. To keep your granite functional and looking its best, be sure to never clean it with Windex or similar products and stick with the trusted soap and water method.

How Windex can hurt your granite countertops

When you use Windex or other cleaners that are corrosive, acidic, or abrasive on granite, you risk damaging the seal that protects the stone. Without the sealant, granite countertops are prone to absorbing liquids, which can cause the stone to harbor bacteria. Using Windex once on your granite countertops might not seem like it's doing much harm, but this can take away the beautiful shine and wear away the sealant, leaving you with dull, unprotected countertops. With the seal broken, your granite is more prone to absorbing liquids and staining.

Continual use of harsh cleaners like Windex may even cause small holes or cracks, known as pitting, to form in your stone. Though Windex is basic rather than acidic like other cleaners that are harmful to granite, the ammonium hydroxide it contains is meant to cut through grease and dirt, and it will do the same to your countertop's seal.

Safer ways to clean granite countertops

Though there are cleaners made specifically for granite and other natural stones, dish soap works surprisingly well to keep your countertops clean without doing any damage. You'll be able to make your granite countertops shine with this kitchen staple and a little water. First, make sure all the crumbs have been cleaned off the counter before cleaning your counter with a little water and dish soap. These ingredients can be put onto a nonabrasive sponge, which you can use to wipe down your counters. Alternatively, you could fill a spray bottle with water and add a few drops of dish soap, gently shaking once or twice to combine. Spray your granite with the homemade cleaner and wipe it up with a rag. If there's any soapy residue, try wiping your granite down with a damp cloth before drying.

For those concerned about totally disinfecting your granite countertops, isopropyl alcohol is a good option when it's diluted. You can add a few tablespoons to your spray bottle with dish soap or mix equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol. Allow the solution to sit on the counter for about five minutes before wiping it off.