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Can You Use Vinegar on Granite Countertops?

Can I Use Vinegar on Granite Countertops?

Wondering if you can clean granite with vinegar? Find out if you can use vinegar on granite countertops to help you avoid a cleaning solution that can damage your pricey countertops.

Vinegar is an excellent cleaning solution for those looking for a cleaner, more cost-effective option. It can be used to clean and disinfect many areas and parts of the home and is particularly good at getting stains off carpets and making windows shine. But can you use vinegar on granite countertops?

One place it should not be used, however, is on granite. If you have stunning granite countertops in your kitchen, resist the urge to clean them with vinegar.

Vinegar should not be used to clean granite because it is acidic. Granite countertops have a protective seal and when washed with vinegar, it becomes damaged. The result is a dull, cloudy appearance and damage to the seal and the stone beneath. Use warm water and dish soap to clean the granite.

Someone cleaning a countertop with a yellow rag, with text that says, "Can you use vinegar on granite countertops?"

When you invest in a gorgeous granite addition to your kitchen, it is understandable that you want to keep it looking fabulous for as long as possible.

While daily care is necessary, you must use the correct cleaning product for your surface. Vinegar is a fantastic cleaner for many surfaces around the home, but let us find out why you should not use it on granite surfaces.

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Can You Use Vinegar on Granite?

It is best not to use vinegar on granite. Although small amounts will not cause too much harm, over time, vinegar damages this beautiful stone.

Vinegar can clean and disinfect many other surfaces around the home, including pots and pans, greasy stoves, microwaves, fridges, windows, floors, carpets, and more. It is acidic, so it can break down grime and disinfect the soiled area.

The acidic property of vinegar is the reason it should not be used to clean granite surfaces. Granite is a somewhat porous stone. When vinegar is used directly on the rock, the acid eats away at the stone, causing fissures or holes to form.

Most granite countertops are installed with a protective seal on them. This protective seal should defend the stone from damage, dirt, and wear and tear. When properly looked after, the protective seal on your granite countertop should last many years.

When you clean your countertop with vinegar, the acid in the vinegar slowly eats away at the protective seal covering your granite. The countertop takes on a cloudy, dull appearance and loses its shiny and appealing look.

If the seal is damaged enough, the vinegar you use can penetrate and reach the granite, causing the stone itself to become damaged. It is a shame since granite should last many years when well taken care of.

What to Use Instead of Vinegar on Granite?

If you cannot use vinegar to clean your granite, what can you use? It is best to use gentle cleaning solutions with your granite.

Follow our simple guide to learn the best way to clean your granite countertops without using vinegar.

  • Wipe off crumbs and other dirt and debris from the countertops.
  • Use warm water and a little dish soap to wipe the counters with soap.
  • Do not use abrasive sponges when wiping your granite countertops; instead, use a rag or the soft side of a kitchen sponge.
  • Rinse the soap from your countertop using a clean, wet rag or the same sponge with no soap on. Use an “S” shape motion as you wipe away the soap suds, rinse the rag or sponge and repeat until all the suds are removed.
  • After rinsing, you may wish to dry the countertop with a dry rag or dish towel. This will give the seal a lovely shine.
  • To polish the granite countertop, rub in a small amount of cooking oil and buff it until the countertop is shiny and smooth.

If you do not wish to use soap and water, you can use a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water. Mix half alcohol with half water. You can also add a little of your favorite essential oil for a fresh scent. Or you can use a store bought granite cleaner.

It is best to perform a test on your granite countertop before using any cleaning agent. The test should aim to ascertain whether or not the seal of the granite is still viable. If you discover that the granite’s seal is damaged in some parts of your countertop, it may be best to call in a professional to redo it for you.

How to Test the Seal of Your Granite Countertop

If you have been using vinegar or other harsh cleaning agents on your granite countertop, it may mean that all or a part of the protective seal is damaged. There is a way you can test to see if this is the case.

It is best to test if the protective seal is damaged before using soap or other cleaning agents, as you would not like to further damage the stone itself. Let’s take a look at how you can test your seal to assess if it is damaged.

All you need for this super simple test is a little water. In high-traffic areas where you typically use and clean your countertop regularly, pour a little water directly onto your countertop. You need to pour little puddles measuring about three inches across.

Allow the puddles to sit for about thirty minutes. When you return, check the pools for any dark marks, rings, or circles. The presence of any of these could indicate that your granite’s seal is compromised, and you will need to have it repaired.

While it is possible to reseal granite yourself, it is likely a good idea to have it done professionally.

If you find no dark marks, rings, or circles, your granite’s seal is still intact, and you can continue cleaning it using gentle detergents and water. Be sure to stay away from vinegar and other acidic and abrasive products.

How to Fix Vinegar Stains on Granite Countertops

What if you have already used vinegar on your granite countertop, and it has left stains? You may have been cooking with vinegar and left a spill on the countertop for a little too long before cleaning it up.

In that case, you may need some advice on how to remedy the situation. Fear not. There are ways to restore your granite countertop to its former glory.

You can look for a ready-made store granite polish or make your own at home. You can even use both!

You can start by spraying a little of that onto the affected area. Rub it in with a soft rag and buff it. Apply a sealant to the affected area.

Once the sealant has dried, create a spray using half water and half rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Spray the area and rub it in using a soft, dry cloth.

This process should make the area shine again, and you can use the alcohol-water mix to maintain a lovely luster over the entire countertop going forward.

Be sure to clean up any future vinegar spills as quickly as possible to avoid stains on your stunning granite countertop.

Conclusion

It is simply not a good idea to clean granite with vinegar. Vinegar is acidic, and granite is porous, so the vinegar tends to damage the rock. Furthermore, granite installed in kitchens typically has a protective seal. Over time, vinegar damages the protective seal and increases the chances of you needing to repair or even replace it, which is unnecessary.

There you have it, the answer to the question, can you use vinegar on granite countertops? Ensure you always use the right cleaning product on your countertops.

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