Countertops made of granite may look smooth, but they are actually porous, just like most natural stone countertops. There is really nothing wrong with porous surfaces except that they easily get stained.
The microscopic pores also serve as favorable spots for bacteria and fungi. Hence, disinfecting granite countertops is a must. When cleaning and sanitizing granite surfaces, don’t use acids and harsh chemicals, so vinegar is out of the question. But there are still cheap options for thrifty homeowners.
Here’s the Solution
Cleaning and disinfecting granite countertops doesn’t have to be expensive. There is no need for commercial cleaning solutions. Fill a spray bottle with 4 tablespoons of alcohol and 4 drops of mild dishwashing liquid. Then add warm water, but don’t shake the mixture too much to prevent formation of lather.
Spray this solution over the countertop. Concentrate on a section. Let the solution stay on that area for at least one minute. Then wipe it with a soft cloth. Then move to the adjacent area. Repeat these steps until you have cleaned the entire countertop.
Reminder: Use white cloth because colored cloths can stain countertops.
Maintain Your Countertops
Depending on how often you cook in the kitchen, disinfecting granite countertops should be done at least once a day. Countertops also need care apart from cleaning and disinfecting. The most important reminder is to not use the countertop as a chopping board, as doing so will cause cracks on the surface. Bacteria and mildew can thrive within the cracks.
Aside from disinfecting granite countertops, it is also important to coat their surfaces with sealant. The sealant acts as a barrier between the granite and the stains and dirt. Spray granite sealant over the countertop and leave it to seep into the stone for 5 minutes. Then with a clean cloth, wipe the surface dry.
- Don’t let pots or pans sit on the granite countertop. Lay a trivet on the surface and put the pot on the trivet to avoid scratching the countertop surface.
- Be careful when using or preparing vinegar, soda, or coffee. Avoid spilling them over the granite stone.
- Do not use acidic cleaners (vinegar) and ammonia, as these can cause deterioration of the stone.
- Put no heavy weight on the kitchen counter. Too much weight could cause the stone to break or crack. Cracks become potential thriving areas for bacteria and fungi.
- Keep the countertops dry. Spot dry a wet area immediately. Don’t let granite surfaces stay moist for an extended period, because this will encourage growth of mildew.
- Use a clean, soft cloth when wiping granite stone surfaces to prevent scratches.
The idea of coming up with homemade solutions for disinfecting granite countertops is for personal and environmental safety. Some commercial cleaning chemicals can be harmful to the environment as well as to your household. Also, keep in mind to be careful when choosing certain household chemicals. You may be tempted to use bleach on granite, but bleach is a strong chemical that can cause deterioration and discoloration of the stone. For stains, use hydrogen peroxide, which also has disinfecting properties.