Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Clean Granite Countertops

What to Use to Care for Granite Countertops

Another reason people like granite countertops is that they're bacteria resistant (as long as you keep them clean). Before we get into how to care for your granite countertops, we need to stress one thing: Always test your cleaning product on an inconspicuous area first. Let it sit overnight to see whether a stain or discoloration develops.

Granite is a very hard, semi-porous stone. When used as a countertop, the granite needs to be properly sealed. An unsealed granite countertop may absorb water, grease or other liquids, leaving a permanent stain. A sealant will drastically slow down the rate at which your countertop absorbs a liquid.

So what do you use to seal your countertop? The company that installed your countertops probably already sealed them. But experts recommend you reseal the countertop every six months to a year. You can find granite sealer at any home improvement store -- just make sure you choose one that's water and oil resistant. Follow the directions on the product label. If you're wary of chemical sealants, you can also seal your countertop with an eco-friendly wax. Talk to your home improvement store to find out how to make your own and how to apply it.

Between sealings, you should also clean your granite countertop with care. Never use anything abrasive because it can leave scratches. And remember, those "magic sponges" do contain mild abrasives.

Day-to-day countertop cleaning is easily accomplished with a simple soft cloth or sponge and some gentle dish detergent and water. You really don't need anything unique, although you can certainly find specialty products designed specifically for granite countertops.

Keep reading to find out how to safely clean your granite countertops.