Cleaning Granite Countertops With Hydrogen Peroxide
Is Hydrogen Peroxide safe to use on granite?
I recently read that many hospitals use Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) to clean surfaces, floors and countertops instead of bleach or chlorine as it is very effective at killing germs and removing dirt without leaving a harsh or noxious odor.
As I researched further it turns out that H2O2 has been used in numerous ways beyond wound care, including as a mouthwash, hair dye, and everyday cleaner. All that plus it is inexpensive.
I recently tested H2O2 on our Brazilian "Copper Canyon" granite countertops and it left the surface clean and very shiny.
I did note, however, that after the initial cleaning I needed to retrace my path to clean off any excess or it left a film. But with the film cleaned off, it looked brilliant.
Do you have any experience with using Hydrogen Peroxide for cleaning granite countertops and if not, do you have any concerns about doing so?
Yes, Hydrogen Peroxide is commonly used on marble and granite countertops for stain removal... not so much for regular cleaning and here's why...
Hydrogen peroxide is safe for use on granite occasionally
as it will not immediately damage granite countertops but could with repeated application.So, I would not
recommend hydrogen peroxide as a regular cleaner since it is acidic.
Most granite will not be harmed by acids right away like marble will... but still, you shouldn't go out of your way to constantly expose the surface to acidic cleaners and substances. Over time
regular use of acidic or harsh cleaners can etch and dull the polish and degrade the granite sealer.
Hydrogen peroxide is best used for removing stains and to disinfect granite countertops when seriously needed.You'll find complete and detailed information
in our Granite & Marble Maintenance e-books
about using hydrogen peroxide and other ingredients (different chemicals are needed for removing certain types of stains) to remove stains, etc.
Other methods and cleaners (discussed below) are generally a better choice for regularly cleaning granite countertops and to sanitize without potential damage to the finish.
Also, countertop sanitation studies
demonstrate that polished granite has a high "cleanability" index (comparable to stainless steel) and is very resistant to bacteria growth.
There's no evidence that overly aggressive cleaning or frequent use of disinfectants are needed on a countertop like in a hospital.
Hospitals are swarming with bacteria and need constant disinfecting. Not so bad in your home.
Occasionally, yes you'll have a need to thoroughly disinfect surfaces and may choose to clean your granite countertops with hydrogen peroxide but common methods for cleaning granite work well to maintain a sanitary surface.
How do you deep clean a granite countertop?The first step
to deep clean and/or disinfect granite involves the simple removal of germs, microbes, bacteria, viruses with thorough washing and rinsing.
Washing the surface with hot water and dish soap and rinsing well will remove the vast majority of germs and bacteria. Dawn dish soap
is safe for use on granite and is a popular choice.
Again, washing and rinsing are what the above-noted cleaning studies found and what the Center for Disease Control also recommends as the first line of defense.
To be clear... soap does not kill germs. It removes them and removal is the most recommended
method to clean and "disinfect" a surface. The one problem with soap
is that it leaves a film that builds up over time just like soap scum in the shower.
Of course, you'll be using soap around the sink all the time and it works to clean and largely disinfect granite and other natural stone surfaces.
However, when used as a "regular" cleaner as often recommended you'll end up with soap scum on your granite which only serves to attract more dirt making the surface look dull and dingy.
Note this will happen even if rinsing well. Unless you are rinsing several times with rather large volumes of water, soap will still leave a residue. A better option
for regular cleaning is to use just hot water for general clean up of common foods and spills and then a few sprays of a stone cleaner like this Granite & Marble Cleaning spray
at the end of the day.
This is the best granite cleaner we've used. Made for and by stone care professionals.
You can also use this granite cleaner for the "removal" of bacteria, viruses, and germs just like soap to help disinfect the surface but without the filmy buildup. And it dries streak-free.The next step to deep cleaning
is to use a specific disinfectant like hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, or bleach solution over the entire surface.
FYI... different disinfectant cleaners for marble
must be used as the above will immediately damage marble, travertine, and other natural stone.
To be effective for disinfecting you must keep the surface wet with these products for several minutes.
This Mold & Mildew Cleaner for Granite
is also a good choice for disinfecting granite as it contains bleach in a concentration that is non-damaging to stone including marble.
Yes, specialty stone care products are more expensive, but using the proper granite cleaning products will eliminate 90% of the problems people most commonly ask me to solve for them. It's just more prudent to use products that work best for stone.
But using hydrogen peroxide for a general deep clean 2 or 3 times a year or after you've exposed the surface to a lot of meat or fish (probably the best use of H2O2) is fine for granite.
How do I naturally shine my granite?
The shine is actually part of the granite itself, so what we are really trying to achieve here is to bring out that shine.
Generic products like hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, vinegar, and bleach will clean granite and getting the granite really clean is what will reveal that shine.
However, the shine won't last very long since these products evaporate and the surface gets dirty again.
And these products can actually dull the shine if used repeatedly for regular cleaning as noted above.
If you really want the granite to sparkle and shine, you may consider using a Topical Polish/Shine Enhancer
once or twice a month.
This product doesn't wear off quickly. It works like car wax to enhance the shine but does not build up like wax. It also adds some surface protection and makes it easier to clean. Check out
our Do's & Don'ts Guide to Cleaning Granite
for many more helpful tips, what cleaners are safe on granite, removing stains, and granite repair solutions.