Granite is undeniably one of the most popular materials in the countertop world. Many love it for its natural appeal and durability, while others admire the plethora of styles it’s crafted into, as well as its sparkling appearance.
Whichever your reason, you must still keep your granite countertop clean to reveal the details. But with myriads of confusing cleaning products available for these countertops, it’s easy to get confused.
Steam cleaning has been talked about as one of the best methods to get rid of dirt, stains, and bacteria. It uses heat and water alone to achieve this.
So many homeowners ask, “Can I steam clean granite countertops?” Learn about this and other relevant things that you need to know in the sections below.
Can You Steam Clean Granite Countertops?
Yes, you can steam clean granite countertops to remove spills, stains, messes, and even bacteria without damage. But you need to understand how to do it correctly, which is why you must read on.
How To Steam Clean Granite Countertops
If you’re ready to kick it up a notch, consider the following steps for correct steam cleaning of your granite countertops. You’ll get rid of all germs, use no chemicals, and kill 99% of all viruses and bacteria.
1. Clear The Granite Countertop
Start by cleaning all visible crumbs, dirt, and spills from the surface. You can use a wet microfiber cloth or towel for this. This first step will help you create a smooth and clear working surface that doesn’t call for much effort to clean using a steam cleaner.
2. Prepare The Steam Cleaner
Here’s how to prep the machine:
Fill up your steam machine’s tank with distilled water and add a mop pad or special attachment to the head. Then, plug it in so that it heats to the right temperature for countertops (mostly low to medium heat settings).
Once it heats up well, hold the steamer over your kitchen sink and pull the trigger until steam comes out. It’s now ready for use.
3. Gently And Methodically Steam The Countertop
Now, steam clean the countertop in a specific pattern to avoid leaving some areas. We recommend cleaning in one direction. If you’re using a mop pad, ensure you replace it with a clean one once it gets dirty.
Meanwhile, if the steam is finished, don’t hesitate to repeat the processes from step 1 after letting the machine fool for a few minutes.
4. Dry The Surface
Steam cleaning usually loosens dirt but does not remove it from the surface. It also leaves moisture. You need a piece of microfiber cloth to get rid of both after steam cleaning.
While drying the surface, ensure no moisture is left behind because it may find its way through the sealant and cause damage.
Is Steam Cleaning Granite Countertops Better Than Using Chemicals?
Chemicals aren’t safe for granite countertops for several reasons. To begin with, using chemicals is likely to leave behind residue, which can turn out to be stained.
Chemicals are also known to form a biofilm in some instances, especially when the sealing material is worn out. Biofilms trap bacteria that could lead to health issues.
As if that’s not enough, acidic chemicals can make the surface appear dull, hence, robbing it of its beauty. Poorly sealed granite countertops can also absorb these unwanted chemicals, which isn’t a good thing for the countertop in the long run.
But on the other hand, steam cleaning only uses water and heat to remove stains, dust, dirt, and bacteria; no chemicals are involved.
Plus, most granite countertop sealants are resistant enough to heat that they cannot compromise their appearance or effectiveness.
So, yes, steam cleaning granite countertops is better than using chemicals for the same.
Can I Use Vinegar For My Granite Countertop?
While vinegar is a praiseworthy cleaning agent that kills most germs, its acidity isn’t safe for granite countertops. All acids will dull the appearance of your granite countertops and weaken the sealant, too.
However, you can add mild vinegar to your steam mop and use it to clean your tile surfaces, vinyl floors, and other resistant areas. Don’t use it for hardwood floors, too.
Is Baking Soda Safe For My Granite Countertop?
Yes. Baking soda can be used to remove light stains from many surfaces, including granite countertops.
Mix the baking soda with some water and use it to clean oil stains with the help of a damp cloth. But if the stain is water-based, you can mix baking soda with some mild acid like 3% hydrogen peroxide and use it to clean up the mess.
Other Ways To Take Care Of Your Granite Countertops
1. Seal It When Due
Granite is a durable, attractive, and strong but porous material. If allowed to absorb spills, it can get damaged easily. That’s why it comes with a sealant.
It’s your duty to ensure that the sealant that covers your granite countertop is in the best shape to avoid such trouble.
You can test whether or not the sealant needs a replacement by adding a few droplets on the surface and observing it for 7 minutes. If the droplets do not bead up, you must replace the sealant. Otherwise, it’s good.
2. Avoid Rough Scrubbing
Using rough sponges on the surface of your granite countertops can compromise the quality of its sealant over time. Consequently, it may lose its beauty and or become porous. You don’t want to see this happening.
3. Clean It Often
Spills, dirt, crumbs, and other unwanted things should be removed from your granite countertops in good time to protect them from further damage.
Otherwise, granite may absorb the spills and or become a breeding ground for bacteria due to the crumbs. You can use a small piece of towel alongside dish soap and warm water to wipe it off regularly.
The Bottom Line
You’re now aware that it’s safe to steam clean granite countertops. It’s a safer, more efficient, and simpler way to get rid of a variety of microorganisms, dirt, and stains.
We’ve also described the process that will yield the best results and included a few care tips for your precious countertop. It’s now your turn to make your countertops look new again.