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Cleaning granite counters after each use will keep them hygienic and prevent stains from penetrating.

Granite is a dense stone, composed mostly of silicate, so it does not chemically react with weak acids and most other household items. Granite does have minute fissures between the crystals composing the stone, but the crystals are so tightly fitted together that there is little chance of anything deeply penetrating the stone. You may notice a darkening of the stone when the granite has absorbed moisture, but this usually evaporates quickly and returns to normal.

Some stone retailers sell a pH neutral stone cleaner. This will dissolve the soil without damaging the granite or any surrounding surface.

Dilute 1/2 ounce of the stone cleaner with warm water in a large spray bottle. Spray the cleaner on the counter and wipe with a soft cloth. Usually there is no residue; however, if you wish, you may rinse the counter and wipe dry again.

Do use white scrubbing pads; they will not scratch most stones. Do not use abrasive cleaners; they may scratch some stones. Do not use thick, creamy cleaners; they will stick in the natural pours of the stone. Soft squeegees, soft sponges and soft, natural cloths are ok.

A stronger solution of stone cleaners can loosen small areas of stubborn dirt. Apply with a sponge and allow the cleaner to penetrate the soil. Wipe up thoroughly and rinse well.

Granite is so dense that bacteria laden moisture usually does not penetrate the stone. Granite is virtually as hygienic as stainless steel. If you need to create a sterile surface, some companies manufacture stone cleaners that contain antibacterial or antimicrobial additives. These are safer than bleach or other household chemicals. Granite is composed of more than 70% silica; however the other minerals included in a specific piece of granite may chemically react with some chemicals. If you absolutely must experiment with bleach, alcohol or ammonia, choose an inconspicuous spot.
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