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 kitchen countertops, and since granite can be a little fickle depending on what you use to clean it, I decided to test out a homemade granite cleaner.
After several attempts, I found the right formula. This natural granite cleaner effectively gets my countertops clean and streak-free without damaging them, and thankfully, it’s still fast and simple to make! Simplicity is key when it comes to homemade cleaning products, 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. Vinegar or lemon juice is acidic and can etch its surface. Baking soda can be too abrasive and can also scratch. Some store-bought cleaners can also strip the protective sealant off of the beautiful granite.
Even plain old soap and water won’t do the trick. Dish soap can leave a film if too much is used, and plain water isn’t great either because it doesn’t disinfect and often leaves streaks.
So… what’s a mama to do when she wants clean granite counters?
It’s much easier than it sounds!
A DIY Granite Countertop Cleaner That Works!
So, what does work to clean granite counters? Although many of my usual natural cleaning ingredients are off the list for this DIY recipe, one simple ingredient (plus water) cleans granite to perfection.
All you really need is a little alcohol added to water to clean granite. Alcohol is a disinfectant and evaporates quickly, so the cleaner doesn’t leave streaks behind. (I usually use vodka but rubbing alcohol works well, too.)
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. Plus, it helps you save money!
Granite Cleaner Recipe
This homemade cleaner is simple to make, as I mentioned before, and it really works. You’ll need alcohol (vodka or rubbing alcohol), castile soap, water, and essential oils. That’s it!
Even though you really only need alcohol and water, I do like to include a very small amount of castile soap to help cut through grease and grime. A few drops of essential oils add a nice smell (and some cleaning power), and you’re all set! I store my DIY granite cleaner in a glass spray bottle, especially when I use citrus oils.
Favorite Essential Oils for Cleaning Granite
Of course, I feel a little extra reward 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 kids cooking and from-scratch food prep going on, I need a little extra cleaning power at times.
Thankfully, there are two oils that are 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 oils are popular in homemade cleaners for their refreshing scent. Grapefruit essential oil pairs well with basil, and it’s used in this granite cleaner for its range of antimicrobial benefits.
This study looked at common hospital-acquired infections and antibiotic-resistant strains. Grapefruit 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. Yes, citrus 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 oil is diluted to about .25%. Also, unlike citrus juice, citrus 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 oils on granite.
Other Essential Oils for Cleaning
I always enjoy switching up oils when I make homemade cleaners. When you’re ready for a change, feel free to substitute with different ones. Lavender and lemon are cleansing and smell great together. Another good option is the antimicrobial powerhouses of cinnamon, clove, and orange in a “thieves” type blend. I also love tea tree oil since it’s naturally antibacterial and can help as a disinfectant.
There are plenty of oils and combinations that are great for cleaning. It really just depends on preference.
DIY Natural Granite Cleaner Recipe
Protecting Granite from Damage
Using a dedicated, granite-safe cleaner is just the first step when it comes to keeping your granite surface looking as good as new. Here are some other tips for 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. We haven’t needed to use a sealer on ours yet, but thankfully there are some greener options out there.
What have you used for granite cleaners? Which natural options work best for you?