Granite countertops are low maintenance, but it’s still important to follow the correct care guidelines to prevent damaging your natural stone. Granite and other types of stone like travertine and marble can sustain damage if you use the wrong cleaning products, such as those made with acidic or abrasive compounds. One of the most commonly asked questions about caring for granite is if you can use bleach to disinfect and remove stains from granite. Here’s what you should know about using bleach on natural stone.
Granite Doesn’t Need to Be Disinfected
Many homeowners want to use bleach to disinfect their countertops, but the use of bleach on granite should be minimized. However, it’s also important to avoid using combination products that promise to clean and disinfect because they typically leave streaks and can be harmful on natural stone. Instead, mix mild antibacterial dish soap with warm water and apply to the surface, then use Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® to prevent or remove streaks.
Bleach Can Be Used to Lift Stains
Sometimes staining can occur, especially if your granite counters have not been sealed well or often enough. If you have a stubborn organic stain such as coffee, oil, or berries, you can often lift the stain by using liquid laundry bleach. Start by placing a paper towel, cotton balls, or a white terry cloth towel over the stain before soaking it with spray or liquid bleach. Allow the soaked towel to sit on the stain for 24 hours, then scrub with a soft nylon brush to prevent damage to the stone. You can allow the bleach to sit longer if you have a stubborn stain. Whenever you use bleach on granite, make sure you rinse it away completely with water.
The Best Way to Clean Granite
If you aren’t sure how to clean granite countertops, bleach is not the ideal product to use. While bleach can be safe to use to treat stains on sealed granite, it’s best to use a gentler approach for cleaning to prevent damage to your stone. Because sealed granite is already highly resistant to bacteria, a simple daily cleaning with a granite-safe cleaner like Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® will be sufficient. Wipe down your counters every day using a granite cleaner and a paper towel or a lint-free cloth.
Products to Avoid Using on Granite
Liquid bleach is safe to use occasionally to treat stains on granite and other types of stone, but it shouldn’t be used daily. Always avoid harsh, corrosive, or abrasive household cleaning products on your natural stone. This includes anything containing vinegar, lemon, orange, and ammonia. To prevent stains and the use of bleach as much as possible, don’t store toiletry items or liquid products directly on your stone. This includes cooking oils, perfumes, and lotions that might leak or spill.
Don’t Forget to Seal Your Granite
Sealing your granite counters regularly prevents stains and damage from stain-treating products like bleach. You can seal your counters yourself in about 15 minutes with the right product and process. Using a granite sealer like Granite Gold Sealer®, start by cleaning your granite, then spray the sealer on the stone in three-foot sections. Immediately wipe the sealer into the countertop with a clean cloth before buffing the surface until it’s dry. Repeat the process 2 to 3 times for maximum protection.
If you’d like to learn more about caring for granite, slate, travertine, and other types of natural stone, reach out to the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold®. Our stone care expertise spans three generations, dating back to the 1950s. Give us a call today at 1-800-475-STONE.