I use my homemade all-purpose cleaner on almost everything around the house, but it doesn’t work for every surface. Our home has granite countertops in the kitchen and since granite can be a little fickle depending on what you use to clean it, I decided to test out creating a cleaner specifically for granite surfaces.
After several attempts, this natural granite cleaner effectively gets my granite countertop clean and streak-free without damaging it, and thankfully, it’s still fast and simple to make! Simplicity is key when it comes sustaining natural choices for a family, and this one is no exception.
Why Any Old Cleaner Won’t Do
There are plenty of homemade natural cleaners out there, but granite is a picky material when it comes to cleaning. Some store-bought cleaners can strip the protective sealant off of the beautiful granite. Vinegar or lemon juice is acidic and can etch its surface. Baking soda can be too abrasive and can also scratch.
Even plain old soap and water won’t do the trick. Soap can leave a film if too much is used, and plain water isn’t great either because it doesn’t disinfect and can often leave streaks.
So… what’s a mama to do when she wants clean counters?
It’s much easier than it sounds!
A Homemade Granite Cleaner that Works!
So what does work as granite cleaner? Although many of my usual natural cleaning ingredients are off the list when it comes to cleaning granite, one simple ingredient (plus water) cleans granite to perfection.
All a granite cleaner really needs is a little alcohol added to water. Alcohol both disinfects and evaporates quickly so the cleaner doesn’t leave streaks behind.
Store-bought natural granite cleaners are much more expensive than my homemade version, and contain the same basic formula as this one. One popular natural granite cleaning option contains water, alcohol, a surfactant (like soap), preservatives, and natural and artificial fragrances.
This homemade granite cleaner works the same, minus the less ideal stuff!
Favorite Essential Oils for Cleaning Granite
Of course, I feel a little extra rewarded for my effort when my kitchen not only looks clean but smells fresh too. And let’s face it, in a natural kitchen with a lot of kid-cooking and from-scratch food prep going on, I need a little extra cleaning power at times.
Thankfully, there are two essential oils especially good for cleaning in the kitchen, and safe for use on granite.
Basil is a favorite herb to use in the kitchen and is also antibacterial and antiviral. This study found that it successfully inhibited E-coli, as well as various strains of bacteria and fungi. The scent of basil essential oil also helps to uplift and energize.
Citrus essential oils are popular in homemade cleaners for their refreshing scent. Grapefruit pairs well with basil and is used in this granite cleaner for its range of antimicrobial benefits.
This study looked at common hospital-acquired infections and antibiotic-resistant strains. Grapefruit essential oil showed considerable efficacy against the antibiotic resistant strains tested, including MRSA and resistant strains of candida.
Note: I did mention that vinegar and lemon juice are too acidic to use on granite, so I had to check if a citrus essential oil would be safe to use in a granite cleaner. It’s true citrus essential oils can be caustic when it comes to plastic, which is why they need to be stored in glass bottles. In this recipe, however, the grapefruit essential oil is diluted to about .25%. Also, unlike citrus juice, citrus essential oils don’t have an acidic pH. From what I’ve seen, there shouldn’t be any concern when it comes to using diluted citrus essential oils on granite.
Other Essential Oils for Cleaning
I always enjoy switching up essential oils for different scents and benefits. When you’re ready for a change, substitute another essential oil or two. Lavender and lemon essential oil are cleansing and smell great together. Another good option is the antimicrobial powerhouses of cinnamon, clove and orange in a “thieves” type blend.
There are plenty of essential oils that are great for cleaning. It really just depends on preference.
DIY Natural Granite Cleaner Recipe
- ½ cup vodka or rubbing alcohol
- 1 and ½ cups water
- ½ tsp castile soap
- 7 drops basil essential oil
- 20 drops grapefruit essential oil
- OR roughly 20-30 drops of essential oil of your choice
- 16 oz spray bottle
- Combine all ingredients in the spray bottle and shake well to combine. Shake well before each use.
- To use the granite cleaner, shake and spray liberally on a granite surface. Wipe the granite gently with a microfiber cloth, applying a bit more elbow grease where needed.
- Enjoy beautiful, shiny countertops!
Protecting Granite from Damage
Using a dedicated, granite-safe cleaner is just the first step when it comes to keeping your granite looking as good as new. Here are some other tips for granite care:
- Wipe up spills immediately to avoid staining.
- Use pot holders or coasters when setting warm or cold items on granite countertops.
- Refresh the protective coating on granite countertops when needed. I haven’t needed to seal ours yet, but thankfully there are some greener options out there.
What have you used for granite cleaner? Which natural options work best for you?