With all of the conflicting information out there on the best ways to clean and maintain your granite counter tops, it’s time to set the question to rest and provide a direct, easy answer that will help your newly installed granite countertops last a lifetime. Here are the do’s and don’ts of cleaning granite:

DON’T use Windex or anything abrasive. Abrasive cleaners like vinegar, ammonia, or anything with bleach, and abrasive sponges like steel wool or anything with a tough exterior can have a negative effect on your counter tops over time. Harsh acidic cleaners and rough sponges wear down the sealant quicker than intended, eventually exposing the granite underneath. And speaking of sealant. . .

DO make sure your counter top is sealed! Granite is a not porous like marble or other softer materials, but it can still soak up stains and oils. Every spill has the risk of damaging the granite over time. Want to test if yours is sealed properly? Splash some water on the surface and see if it beads up or soaks into the granite. If it’s the latter, it is time to reseal.

DON’T waste your money on high-priced granite-safe cleaners. You can use them if you really want to, but just know that it’s unnecessary to keep your properly sealed and installed granite counter top clean.

DO clean your granite counter tops gently. All you have to use is warm water, normal dish soap, and a soft cloth to keep it clean without affecting the seal. That’s it. And since a properly-sealed granite countertop is mostly bacteria-free, this cleaning method should be all you need to keep it sanitized!

When treated well, your granite counter tops will last a long time, but don’t hesitate to have them resealed if you’re ever concerned about keeping them in the best shape. Either way, you’ve made an excellent choice with granite!