Posted by M. Stewart on May 24, 2016
Polished granite is a deep, lustrous stone that is a popular choice as a kitchen counter surface. It is extremely hard and durable, and resists stains and scratches, so your investment can last a long time.
But that doesn't mean that granite can't be damaged. In fact, cleaning, if done wrong, can be harmful. Although granite is harder and less porous than marble or limestone, it is even more vulnerable to strong alkaline chemicals, including ammonia and harsh detergents.
Many polished stone counter tops are treated with sealers when they are installed, and this may guard the surface from damage that ammonia can cause in the short term. With regular use, however, ammonia can have a dulling effect.
Strong acids such as lemon juice and vinegar (though not as damaging to granite as to marble or limestone) also can be harmful if allowed to stand on the surface.
Your best bet is to use a neutral cleansing product. Try a solution of warm water and mild dish washing liquid, or a specially formulated stone cleaner (www.kitchenzip.com/stone-care).
Never use an abrasive cleaner of any kind.
Clean spills as soon as you notice them, since liquids eventually can penetrate the stone.
To keep your counter looking good for as long as possible, never cut directly on the stone's surface. This can leave scratches--and also will destroy the blades of your knives.