Monday, February 9, 2009

The best granite cleaner

Before beginning our kitchen renovations last summer, I had made up my mind to get new countertops made of composite quartz. I had done my research, picked out my color, and was ready to go.

That is, until I was told that the color I had fallen in love with was not going to be available for a long time. Ack! Not a fun surprise when you're knee-deep in construction dust.

Our countertop guy asked if I had ever considered granite. I admitted to him that I was turned off by the upkeep I'd heard about, but he shared with me his own experiences with granite and assured me that the once-a-year sealing process was a piece of cake.

Well, all it took was one trip to the slab warehouse, and I was SOLD! All that beautiful, glittering granite just mesmorized me. I picked out two slabs of my very own that day. Gorgeous chocolate brown, flecked with charcoal, pink, and iridescent pearl. So lovely!

When it was installed, I was in heaven. I caressed the smooth, shiny surfaces and whispered sweet promises of loving care. Then I realized I didn't KNOW anything about daily granite care! Yikes!

Google to the rescue. I researched the dos and don'ts of cleaning granite. I learned that the pH of the cleaner is very important for maintaining the seal, thus ammonia- and vinegar-based was not an option. (Alas, poor Windex had to be banished from the kitchen!)

The solution? Rubbing alcohol! Something I had never considered before. I grabbed an old empty Windex bottle, rinsed it out well, and added to it 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol, then filled it almost to the top with tap water. I added about five drops of dishwashing liquid, then capped it and swirled it together. Behold, a cheap and nontoxic granite cleaner!

I have used this cleaner on a daily basis for about nine months. I liberally squirt the counters and the glass top of the stove, and wipe down with a microfiber cloth. The alcohol sterilized the counter, the dishwashing liquid helps break down any stubborn food particles, and the microfiber cloth buffs the counter to a beautiful sheen. It's wonderful! I save a lot of money this way, and my countertops are happy as can be.

Happy Monday to everyone!

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