Cleaning Granite Counter TopsHosting a holiday party is a lot of fun until the day after when the cleanup begins. Anyone who has hosted a party knows that accidents and spills that are found the morning after are inevitable. It’s easy to mop up the floor and get out the carpet cleaner but what should you do about your granite counter tops? Here are a few safe methods for cleaning granite.

Removing Candle Wax from Granite

The holiday candles left a beautiful scent in the air all evening but when the wax dripped over the edge of the dish onto your counter top, it wasn’t so beautiful. To safely clean natural stone like granite the best method is to make the wax colder and harder by applying an ice pack for about a minute to the entire spill. Once it has hardened, use a dull butter knife, your fingernail or plastic scraper to lift and remove as much of the wax as possible. If there is discoloration after removing the wax, use a sponge with a cool soapy water mixture using a PH neutral soap.

Cleaning Sugar Based Spills from Granite

Rock candy, caramel, chocolate and marshmallow are all popular treats this time of year, if you had mishaps with any of these either during the preparations or your party, you may find yourself looking for a way to remove them from your counter. The icepack and scraping method recommended for removing candle wax is still a good first step for these spills, however, once you are trying to remove any discoloration that is left behind rather than soap and water, use specially formulated granite cleaners and dry as usual.

Managing a “Mystery Spill”

There are bound to be some things on your granite counter tops that you’re not able to identify. When that is the case and cleaning with your granite safe cleaning product doesn’t remove the stain, try a mixture of diatomaceous earth (a powder widely available at hardware stores) and the PH neutral soap. Simply apply the paste to the stained or darkened area, cover with plastic and remove after 48 hours. In some cases 2 applications may be necessary. Properly maintained, granite and natural stone counter tops can look beautiful for years to come.