Whether it is on your floor or your countertop, granite is one of those surfaces that always improves the look of a home. When your granite gets dull or dirty, however, it can fade away and look like any other surface. When that happens, consider a number of ways to bring your dirty or stained granite back to its original luster.
For general cleaning, a little dishwashing liquid is sometimes all that is required to keep your granite clean. Inspect the dishwashing fluid to ensure that it isn't lemon- or-vinegar-based before you use it, as these ingredients can discolor your granite. Mix warm water and dishwashing liquid, and scrub your granite with a soft cloth. Completely dry the area with a soft towel when you are finished; never leave your granite wet.
Stone soap, or a stone cleaner, gives you a little more cleaning power then just dishwashing liquid. Stone soap is available from most supermarkets and will tell on the label that it is designed for stone or granite surfaces. Spray or pour the stone cleaner on the surface of the granite, and scrub the area with a soft cloth. Dry the area with a soft towel when you area finished cleaning.
Stains seep into your granite over time, so if you need to get a stain out, you must make something that will draw out the stain. Combine dishwashing liquid, flour and water to create a cleaning paste. You can also use a powdered whitening product and add hydrogen peroxide to make the same type of solution. Apply the paste directly to the stain, cover the area with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least a day. Remove the dry paste, and use one of the general granite-cleaning methods to clean the area.
You can use some common household cleaners to clean granite, but you must use the right cleaners on the right type of granite. On light-colored granite, use hydrogen peroxide; on dark-colored granite, use acetone. You can use ammonia on all types of granite, but it will dull the appearance of your granite if you use it all the time.
Once you clean your granite, bring back some of the shine by using a few household items. Mix a little baking soda with a few cups of water, and apply the solution with a cloth. Wipe the solution from the area with your cloth, and scrub the granite with a chamois to bring out the shine.
- Photo Credit granite image by Roman Sigaev from Fotolia.com
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