Three years ago, I moved into a home with something I never had before: granite countertops. Within a few weeks, I was searching for the best homemade granite cleaner… because, well, streaks. Here’s the perfect recipe that leaves my counters shiny and streak-free.
At first, I loved how gorgeous my new granite counters were, but I was quickly dismayed when they went from sparkling to completely foggy within a few weeks. Cleaning them only seemed to make it worse!
I wondered if they needed to be resealed. After all, the house was a few years old, and I didn’t think anyone had resealed them in quite a while. So I did the dirty work of resealing my countertops… only to have the steaky, cloudy mess return within a couple of days!
Frustrated is an understatement.
The Secret to Homemade Granite Cleaner
Luckily, my lovely friend Halle Cottis knows her stuff. When she sent me a copy of her new book Natural Solutions for Cleaning & Wellness, I saw granite cleaner in the table of contents. I flipped straight to the recipe.
No freakin’ way. It can’t be this easy.
But it was. Only two cheap-as-dirt ingredients. And the magic is in the…
Rubbing alcohol, that is. Now, alcohol can be harsh on the skin – but for cleaning your granite counters, it’s absolute magic.
Because it dries so quickly! Rubbing alcohol doesn’t linger on your counters or leave a filmy residue. It cleans and dries quickly, leaving only shine behind.
Alcohol will also remove soapy buildup and bring that sparkle back to your countertops – even if you already have a problem with streaks and foggy spots. And compared to the questionable ingredients in store-bought cleaners? Alcohol is relatively safe and non-irritating.
NOTE: If you’d like, you can also sub the isopropyl alcohol in this recipe for vodka. Both are effective for cleaning your granite countertops.
How Granite Countertops Get Streaky + Foggy
Rubbing alcohol is only half the magic, though. The other half is knowing what NOT to use on your granite countertops.
The #1 offender is soap. This can be a soapy sponge from the sink, or simply any one of the popular all-purpose cleaners you can buy – or even homemade cleaning sprays.
Many cleaners use some kind of soap as a base. After all, soap is an amazingly effective cleaner. Even gentle, natural soaps can work wonders on all kind of messes.
But DO NOT use soap or soap-based cleaners on your granite. Soap leaves behind a film that clouds up your granite counters. It makes them look dirty even when you just cleaned them!
The #2 offender is vinegar. Vinegar is another common base for homemade cleaners, and it’s a sneaky offender because vinegar is often used to bust through soap residue.
Vinegar is acidic, which makes it perfect for removing soapy film from many surfaces – but once again, NOT on your granite counters.
Acidic substances can eat into your granite, leaving the surface etched and pitted. This does the opposite of polishing – it makes your granite surface rough instead of shiny.
So DO NOT use vinegar-based cleaner (or any acidic cleaner) to clean or polish your granite, or to try and remove residue.
How to Remove Foggy Film without Vinegar
If needed, use undiluted rubbing alcohol to strip all the soapy film off your counters, and then use my homemade granite cleaner to clean your countertops on a daily basis. This will prevent your counters from becoming cloudy again.
My Additions to this Granite Cleaner
I rarely follow a recipe just as it’s written, but this one functions beautifully on its own. I do love experimenting, however, so here are a couple additions that worked for me:
- A teaspoon of Thieves cleaner. This is my favorite all-natural cleaner and it smells deliciously sweet/spicy. It’s amazing for melting away sticky, icky stuff. I don’t add much because 1) it’s super concentrated and 2) too much soap-based cleaner will ruin this recipe’s streak-free reputation. One teaspoon is plenty for this recipe.
- Essential oils. Avoid citrus oils to be safe. I added 10 drops of lemongrass because it smells lovely and is great for fighting odors (for when you cooked fish for dinner — hello!). You can also try lavender, pine, rosemary or ylang-ylang for different scents. Here’s my absolute favorite source for essential oils.
Love DIY? Me too!
So normally I’m a fan of searching the web every time I need a DIY cleaning recipe. But honestly, I forget where I find them, and half the time they aren’t even effective.
That’s why I love this gorgeous book. It’s packed with pretty much every DIY cleaning and wellness recipe you can find — but only tried-and-true, tested recipes that really, really work.
I’m talking toilet scrub, sore throat spray, no-wax candles, laundry stain remover, cockroach repellant… seriously, this book has everything.
PS: This homemade granite cleaner makes a great gift! *wink wink*
Homemade Granite Cleaner
- 1/3 cup 70% rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
- 3 cups pure water
- Pour the rubbing alcohol and the water into a spray bottle and shake.
- Spray the solution onto the granite and wipe clean with a dry cloth.
- This single product safely disinfects the counters and cleans them, too.
- Use a lightly damp, clean washcloth. Spray the cleaner directly on the counters and wipe clean.
- Allow to dry. Enjoy your sparkling counters!
- You can use vodka in place of isopropyl alcohol, if desired.
- Adjust the recipe depending on the size of your spray bottle, if necessary.
- If you want to add essential oils for scent, add them to the alcohol first and swirl it around in the bottle until mixed. Then add your water and shake. (Avoid citrus essential oils, since they may not be granite-friendly.)
More DIY Cleaning Tips:
- Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe
- How to Clean Make-up Brushes with One Non-Toxic Ingredient
- Lemon Citrus Vinegar Cleaner Recipe
- 35 DIY Natural Cleaning Product Recipes
Elizabeth is the founder of The Nourished Life and has been writing about natural living for 12 years. Her work has been featured at Shape, Bustle, and Mother Earth Living. Her mission is to help you lower your stress levels and find fun ways to become happier and healthier. Read more about Elizabeth here.