The internet is filled with hundreds of different methods on how to clean granite countertops, quartz and natural stone surfaces. There are many opinions on subjects ranging from what the best granite cleaners are, to how often natural stones need to be sealed. Admittedly, there is a small grey area in regard to these topics, but there are also objective facts that can create a consumerʼs guideline to maintaining granite, quartz and other natural stone surfaces. Below are some of the most important characteristics one should look for in the best granite cleaners and how to clean granite countertops:
- Nothing acidic. When properly caring for granite, quartz and natural stones, nothing acidic should be used. This includes any cleaning product with vinegar, lemon, or orange. Whether your caring for marble, granite, quartz, travertine, or limestone, acids will eventually etch the surface and cause it to dull. Acidic cleaners also eat away at your grout over time, so it is even more damaging to use on a tile backsplash or tile floor. As a general rule of thumb, you never want to purchase cleaners for natural stone that has harsh or abrasive chemicals. Firstly, these chemicals are not necessary to properly clean your granite or quartz counters. Even if the label says they are safe to use around food-prep areas, children, and pets, why not avoid them if possible? You can achieve the same results with a 100% organic granite cleaner that will also condition your granite. Secondly, abrasive cleaning methods will only etch and dull the surface of natural stones. While this damage can be masked, it can not be undone. Protect your granite countertops and don’t use acidic cleaners.
- pH balanced cleaners or pH neutral cleaners. When properly caring for granite, quartz and natural stones, pH neutral or pH balanced cleaners should be used. Most people are unaware of how pH levels effects their cleaning products. Generally speaking, pH measures the range of how acidic or neutral something is. The scale goes from zero to fourteen, with seven being neutral or balanced. Water, for example, is a seven. If a product has a pH lower than seven, it is considered acidic. Acidic substances are usually bitter or sour, and include lemon juice, coffee, and soda. Most bathroom and kitchen cleaners have a pH of zero to six, meaning they are acidic. As explained previously, acids will etch and dull polished natural stone counters, floors, and backsplashes. At the other end of the spectrum in the eight to fourteen range, are household cleaners with hazardous and abrasive chemicals. This group includes oven cleaners, bleach, and ammonia. The important thing to note about these cleaning products is that they are alkaline, meaning they are extremely harsh and break down substances, (including the sealer of your granite countertops.) This type of cleaner is overkill, and will damage your polished natural stones over time. Bringing this type of hazardous chemical into your home is unsafe and unnecessary. Protect your investment and properly clean your granite countertops, use cleaners that are pH neutral or pH balanced.
- Conditioning/Shining components. When properly caring for your granite countertops, The best granite cleaners should have the ability to not only cleanse the surface of debris, but also to condition, polish and protect the stones surface for a smoother, more reflective finish. There is a group of cleaners including mild dish soaps, and glass cleaners that do not harm granite, but do nothing to protect against stains, enhance the color of the stone surface or your improve the polish on granite or quartz countertops. Mild dish soaps are usually not acidic and are usually pH neutral. However, when not rinsed properly, they are extremely likely to build up and leave a film that will dull the polished surface of a granite counter or quartz counters. This residue blurs the depth and clarity of otherwise beautiful kitchen counter tops. While dish soaps will clean granite, they are not specifically formulated to clean and condition granite, meaning they do nothing extra to help the stoneʼs resistance against stains, feel or appearance. The extra effort it takes to use dish soap gives mediocre results. The best granite cleaners should be easy for every day use, allowing the homeowner to simply spray and wipe away. (With the Supreme Surface Granite Cleaner, you will be content in knowing you are not only cleaning the stone surface, you clean, polish and protect against stains, conditioning the stone for optimal results.) This is one of the reasons we feel that the Supreme Surface Granite Cleaner is the best granite cleaner. Glass cleaners, on the other hand, will definitely allow your granite to shine, but again, because they are not formulated specifically to cleanse granite, marble, or quartz, they do nothing to enhance the stones appearance. This would be similar to wearing high heels in a marathon. High heels adequately cover the soles of your feet, but they do not enhance or promote your best time. There is a specific shoe for running, just as there is a specific cleaner for granite and natural stone.
Other factors many consumers find important in household cleaners are being 100% naturally derived, bio-degradable, non-toxic, and having a great scent. These components are not a must, but your investment deserves the whole package. Until now, no granite or stone cleaner has met all of these criteria. Going green is important now more than ever, and hazardous, harmful chemicals no longer have to be used in order to achieve the results they provide.
And remember, a well-informed consumer is the best consumer!