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The Correct Way to Clean Any Counter Surface Like Granite, Quartz, Marble, Etc.

April 1, 2022

When it comes to cleaning, we have a tendency to view countertops as being high maintenance. The thought of having to clean them (and knowing which cleaning products to use and, more importantly, which ones to avoid) is enough to make us forget about it and pour a glass of wine instead. 

But here’s the deal, #CleaningArmy…it isn’t rocket science. 

Getting Over Your Fear of Cleaning Countertops

Just because your quartz countertops look totally gorgeous – or your contractor struck the fear of God into you when installing those rich brown butcher block slabs in your newly renovated kitchen – doesn’t mean they’re impossible to maintain. 

Countertops are one of the most frequently used surfaces in the house. You cook on them, eat on them, and use them as unofficial work-from-home surfaces. (Also, no judgment if you’ve ever seen your three-year-old standing on your counters in his bare feet looking for something in the cupboard. Just saying.

The point is, your counters go through a lot. So they need to be cleaned and disinfected frequently. But because these are multi-use surfaces, you have to be mindful of which cleaning ingredients and products you use so you don’t damage the finish. 

Sounds stressful, right?

Well, it’s actually pretty simple when you know a few simple rules. 

Whether you’ve got granite, quartz, laminate, marble, or even an alternative surface like butcher block, we’ve got you covered. Go ahead and skip to the section that applies to you, or if you want an impromptu (and academically unrecognized) Ph.D. in countertop cleaning, read it all the way through, and impress the neighbors with your knowledge of all things countertop maintenance. 

Please note that some of these products are affiliate links. Consider these brands our friends with benefits. When you buy from these links, we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. We use this commission to pay our staff, produce content, and of course, buy our cleaning supplies. Pretty neat, huh?

How to Clean Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are pretty strong and sturdy, but they can be fragile when it comes to the finish. And if you have light-colored granite, you have to be especially careful that you don’t scratch or stain them. But don’t let that deter you. 

Follow our simple process and cleaning granite is easy-breezy. 

The ingredients: Tide® + hot water (add bleach when you want to disinfect or use diluted on granite if sealed) (Canada) (USA)

Spray the cleaning solution onto the counter and clean using a damp microfiber (Canada) (USA) rag. Dry with another clean rag. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no need to rinse after using a bleach recipe like this if you aren’t moving on to another cleaner. Bleach rapidly breaks down in the presence of water/light.

If you have water stains, mixing some baking soda with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide helps. For oil-based stains, try baking soda mixed with water.

How to Clean Quartz Countertops

Quartz is not only gorgeous – it’s also pretty low maintenance. However, you should avoid harsh cleaning products that are highly alkaline or acidic. We actually recommend using the exact same cleaning recipe as the one we use for granite.

The ingredients: Tide® + hot water (add bleach when you want to disinfect, or use diluted on quartz if sealed)

If you have grease stains, you can purchase a degreaser specifically made for quartz (Canada) (USA). Spray on and clean with a damp rag afterward.

How to Clean Laminate Countertops

Laminate countertops might be less expensive than upgraded alternatives like granite or quartz, but they can still look good. Keeping them clean is simple.

The ingredients: Tide® + hot water + bleach

Spray the mixture and use a microfiber rag to clean. Dry off with another clean microfiber cloth. Avoid using abrasive scrubbers (i.e. steel wool) on laminate countertops, as they will scratch the surface.

How to Clean Marble Countertops

Ohhhh…you’ve got marble! If we were to give marble a dating profile, we’d call it “gorgeous but a little sensitive.” Any kind of acid – including citrus juice, a drop of vinegar from a salad, or (obviously) an acidic cleaner can corrode the marble’s calcium carbonate and create dull spots. So, when you clean, always, always, always avoid anything acidic like vinegar. 

The ingredients: Dish soap + hot water (DO NOT USE BLEACH ON MARBLE!) (Canada) (USA)

The same process applies here. Spray the solution and wipe with a damp microfiber cloth. Dry off with another clean microfiber cloth. 

How to Clean Butcher Block Countertops

So, you’ve got some trendy, and totally fab, butcher block countertops. Even with a proper water-based polyurethane seal, these counters are susceptible to staining. So make sure you don’t let water sit too long on these counters (that includes the cleaning solution). 

The ingredients: 50/50 mixture of water and bleach

Mix the water and bleach in your sink and use a microfiber cloth to spot test in an inconspicuous area. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to ensure your counters take it well. Then apply across all counters and wipe with a clean, hot cloth to rinse. Be sure to oil (Canada) (USA) the countertops immediately afterwards as the bleach can dry out the wood. (Avoid using food-grade oil, as it can turn rancid.)

Clean Your House the GoCleanCo Way

Whether it’s countertops, toilets, floors, or walls, we’ve got simple methods that make cleaning your house easy. So no more living in filth, you dirty bastard. Want to discover more cleaning tips, techniques, recipes, and products to keep your home in tip-top shape? Our brand new Basic Training interactive course has it all!

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