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Why You Must Not Use Vinegar on Granite to Clean It

Written by Stephen Baez on December 04, 2019
Edited By Ross Kernez, Last Updated On February 28, 2023
Reviewed By Samantha Peterson
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One of the most appealing aspects of granite countertops is the easy care that comes with the surfaces. These natural stone surfaces do require some amount of care, but much less than many other materials will. Whether it is kitchen countertops, bathroom vanity tops, backsplashes or any other granite surface, cleaning is a breeze. 

However, you will have to be careful about what you use to clean your granite. Using cleaning products such as vinegar, bleach, Windex, lemon juice, other glass cleaners and any acidic cleaners in general can all cause damage to your granite. This guide will help inform you about why you cannot use vinegar and other harsh cleaners on granite and what you should use instead to clean your natural stone. 


Why Can You Not Use Vinegar to Clean Granite Countertops? 

While vinegar can be used to clean many other household surfaces, you should never use it to clean granite. Vinegar is one of the most acidic products you can find and can cause significant damage to your granite countertops or other surfaces. If you do use it, it can wear down the seal on your granite, dull the finish and eventually cause etches and damage to the stone’s structural integrity. 

If properly cared for, granite can last for years on end in great shape. In fact, granite is so durable that it will likely remain in your home longer than you are living there. That said, you do not want to damage the beautiful stone by using improper cleaning methods. As mentioned above, you should never use any acidic cleaners on your granite. 

How Can Vinegar Damage Granite?
Wear down the sealant
Dull the finish
Cause etching
Compromise structural integrity over time

Cleaning Granite Countertops: What to Use 

Now that you are aware what not to use to clean your granite countertops, you should learn how to properly clean them. For a quick clean up, you can use warm water, mild dish soap and a paper towel to wipe down the surface. On that note, it is in your best interest to get a deeper clean than soapy water provides if you want to keep your granite countertops in great shape. 

To properly clean granite, use products specifically designed for use with the stone, like this one. Using a granite cleaner like this will ensure that you are safely cleaning your countertop. Many products like the one mentioned above come in an easy-to-use spray bottle. Make sure when you are cleaning to use a microfiber cloth (or other soft cloth). Never use any harsh cleaning tools like steel wool. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Granite Countertops? 

Ideally, you should use a natural stone cleaner on your granite countertops daily. But if you do not have even a minute to clean, at the very least you should do a good cleaning once during the week. Compared to other stone countertops, caring for granite is quick and easy. 

What Else Can You Do to Keep Your Granite in Great Shape? 

Beyond cleaning, there are various steps you can take to keep your granite looking terrific over time. By taking simple actions, such as cleaning up spills immediately, you can keep your granite looking as good as new. It is also a good idea to use coasters underneath beverages, as condensation may sink down into the surface of the stone if it is not adequately sealed. 

Sealing is one of the most important aspects of caring for any natural stone countertop. To seal granite, start by removing all items from and cleaning off the countertop. Next, apply the sealer. Then wait for 15 minutes. If all the sealer has absorbed during this time, you will need to apply an additional coat. Once this time is up, wipe off any excess sealer. Lastly, let the countertop or other granite surface sit for at least 24 hours without use. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Do You Remove Stains from Granite? 

Granite stain removal is a relatively simple DIY process. Most stains, whether they are water stains or from cooking oils, can be removed using a poultice. A poultice is a paste that is typically made from a combination of water and other ingredients (often baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)). Once the poultice is applied, it will be covered with plastic wrap for 24 to 48 hours. After this, you can remove the plastic and the stain should be gone. For more information about removing stains from granite and other helpful care tips, check out this article

Can You Use Grout Cleaner on Granite Countertops? 

No, you should not use grout cleaner on granite countertops. Only use products designed for use on granite. 


What is the Best Sealer for Granite Countertops? 

There are many great sealers on the market. Some of the best include Laticrete StoneTech BulletProof Sealer and Superior Zero Ultimate Stone Sealer

If you take good care of them, your granite surfaces can stay in great shape for years on end. One of the major benefits you will receive from granite is that it is not difficult to care for. Through reviewing this guide, you can keep in mind why you should not use vinegar to clean your granite, what you should use instead and several other helpful tips related to caring for your granite.

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