DIY Granite Cleaner

This is going to really show my age, but how many of you remember “Alice” the housekeeper from the Brady Bunch Family TV show? You never really got to see her doing much cleaning other than light vacuuming and constantly wiping down the kitchen counters with a snow white cleaning cloth. If Alice did any strenuous activity she would “throw her back out” and have to rest.  Not a bad gig if you ask me. Still, I wouldn’t mind having an Alice of my own who managed the impossible task of keeping kitchen counters sparkling clean every day, all day long! The reality is, it’s not going to happen. Our kids are pretty good about doing chores and helping out. But the bottom line is, I’m the Alice in our house, always wiping the kitchen counters down. Keeping granite counters clean is costly. I’ve always been afraid to use anything other than the “recommended” commercial cleaners because I worried about stripping off the seal and damaging the surface.

So when I saw this “DIY Granite Cleaner” from Melissa at No. 2 Pencil I knew I wanted to so some research to make sure it was safe and then give it a try.

Granite Cleaner

Here is what you need to know about safely cleaning granite, marble and stone surfaces. These surfaces do NOT do well with acidic (citrus-based) cleaners. The vinegar or citrus can actually cause what looks like “etching” on them.

Windex is another no go, it will quickly strip the “seal” off of your granite/stone. You are now left with two options, expensive over the counter products or make your own. I chose this recipe because it is the one most seen on Pinterest. They all have the same ingredients, water, rubbing alcohol, dishwashing soap and essential oil. The amounts may vary a bit, but the ingredients remain the same. I think the following recipe has the best equation:

1/4 c rubbing alcohol, 3 drops dishwashing liquid, 2 cups water, 5-6 drops essential oils.  Place them in a cleaning bottle, mix gently and you are ready to go.

I first cleaned off any “sticky remains” from the counters with a damp rag, let them dry and then used the granite cleaner and a clean, dry cloth. First thing I noticed was the smell of the alcohol, which I didn’t like. I had just finished the counters when Sherri called. I glanced back at the counters before answering the phone. They were still wet and looked like they were going to streak. I was disapointed because I really wanted this to work. I chatted with Sherri for about 20 minutes and walked back into the kitchen.

I found my counters dried beautifully without any streaks or alcohol smell! They were so shiny that you could see the reflection of my backyard and the cleaning bottle on the counter top. I took the following pictures by setting my camera on the counter and pressing the button. If you don’t think that is “perfect” shine, then I’d suggest getting your eyesight checked! Not only are my counters gorgeously clean but it only cost me a fraction of the price!

DIY Granite Cleaner

DIY Granite Cleaner

I will NEVER go back to an over the counter granite cleaner again, I’m happy to report that…..

This Pin ROCKS!

UPDATE: Several readers have asked why I used Lemon Essential Oil in my granite cleaner since lemons are acidic and can cause permanent etching in granite counter tops. I contacted doTERRA Essential Oils and asked them if their lemon oil is acidic. Here is their response:

“The citric acid in lemon juice is what causes lemon juice to be acidic.  Lemon essential oil does not have any citric acid, therefore it will cause no acidic damage”.  doTERRA Product Support

If you want to use a citrus essential oil from another company I recommend you contact the companies product support to double check if their oils are non-acidic.



  1. Another “goody” brought us by Made From Pinterest! Love that you were daring enough to try this on your own granite :) Looks like you did your research. Thanks for giving me another “goody” to trie.

  2. What exactly is “essential oils?” I searched for a description and found many answers. What scent is your essential oils?

    • Brandi,

      This definition of essential oil comes from the Doterra web page. “Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant.” I used a “citrus” scented essential oil in my granite
      cleaner. Hope this helps! Tracy (the middle child)

  3. Colleen says:

    Where might you purchase an essential oil?

    • Colleen,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Spark Naturals has a great line of well priced essential oils. Tracy – The Middle Sister

      • Laura Martinez says:

        read all your comments and I found that Amazon does carry doTerra products. I will definitely try this and am looking forward to that shine on my granite counters!

        • Hi Laura!

          You are going to love using my DIY Granite Cleaner, your counters will shine and it saves so much money! I also love DIY cleaning products because it cuts down using unnecessary chemicals that are harsh. Thanks so much for following us! Tracy

  4. I would like to share this on my blog. May I? Credit to you of course. . Thanks, Sandra

    • Sandra,

      Thank you so much for asking to share my post on DIY Granite Cleaner. Please feel free to share it with your readers. Tracy – The Middle Sister

  5. Is it OK to use lemon essential oil to clean granite? Does it fall into the “acidic” category you mention in your article, and therefore damage the granite over time?

  6. Just wondering…Is it safe to use a citrus essential oil in this solution? Wouldn’t that be considered acidic & defeat the purpose of it being safe for granite?

    • Pam,

      I’ve updated the post explaining why using lemon essential oil is safe! Great question, thanks for the comment! Tracy – The Middle Sister

  7. One more question for you….Can this be used on other household surfaces, like laminate, fiberglass/plastic, or porcelain? I’d love to be able to use it to clean the other rooms in my house.

    • Pam,

      Sorry for the delay in my response, it took a awhile to research your question. Yes, you can use this cleaning solution on laminate, fiberglass/plastic and porcelain. However, I would still double check with the manufacturer of your laminate floors just to be on the safe side. Happy cleaning! Tracy – The Middle Sister

      • Thanks again for looking into that for me! I finally made the cleaner & used it today. It worked great & smelled a lot better than I was expecting too. I even used it on my bathroom mirrors & had no streaks. I used Dr. Bronner’s Castile liquid soap in lavender & left out the essential oils. I really wanted to try this & was too impatient to wait for my oils to come in the mail. I might try adding some once they do arrive.

  8. I have been researching granite cleaner recipes and most say do not use windex because if the ammonia…but the recipes call for a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Which brand do you use? I’m pretty sure Dawn has ammonia as well.

  9. I know this is an older thread but I had a question for you. What concentration of rubbing alcohol do you use? 70% or 91%?

  10. Does this need to be stored in a glass spray bottle?? I can’t seem to find one large enough. Advice please!! :) thanks

    • Danielle,

      No, I store mine in a plastic spray bottle and it is just fine! So glad you are going to try it out. Once you counters are clean put your feet up and enjoy watching the olympics. Tracy – (the middle sister)

  11. Is the essential oils just for smell or does that help with the shine?

    • Essential oil will help with shine, smell and it certain types have cleansing properties. If you don’t have any essential oil, feel free to leave it out. I like the ability to personalize the fresh scent. You will love the results you are going to get!

  12. Just tried it and Love it !! It’s everything you said. I also used on my cooktop- shines clean and no streaks, microwave, dishwasher, I didn’t want to stop :)

  13. I did not have any essential oils so I just made it without this ingredient. Works like a wonder cleaner. I was cleaning everything from mirrors to glass to our marble bathroom counter tops and our granite in the kitchen. I love this stuff and so cheap to make.

  14. Sharon Hopkins says:

    Does it work on Stainless steel appliances too?

    • Hi Sharon,

      Yes, you can use this to clean your stainless steel appliances, I would recommend making sure you use the 70% rubbing alcohol, not the 90% rubbing alcohol. Enjoy your shiny appliances! Tracy (the middle sister)

  15. Hmmm. We’ve had granite counters for over a year and I’ve never spent a dime on a special cleaner for them. A soapy washcloth works just fine, or for a really clean counter I just use Simple Green. Why reinvent the wheel?

    • Hi Dawn,

      Great to hear you have had such great results with just a soapy washcloth when cleaning your granite counters. Some people prefer DIY cleaners as opposed to store bought cleaners. One thing I get with this DIY granite cleaner that I don’t get with a soapy wash cloth is the really pretty shine. I also like the smell from the essential oil. I think is a just a matter of personal preference. Thanks so much for commenting! Tracy (the middle sister)

  16. Melissa VanSlambrouck says:

    Thank you for the great DIY cleaner! I love that I won’t need to spend an arm and a leg on my new granite countertops! Quick question, just wondering if you use lemon essential oil because of it’s disinfecting properties (aside from the fresh smell)? Or does the rubbing alcohol provide all the disinfecting you need? Thanks again!

  17. Mary Jo Bracken says:

    After reading all the comments — positive, favorable comments, by the way; my question is — will this DIY Granite cleaner work and be safe for Corian countertops? Thanks!

    • Hey Mary Jo,

      I did some research and couldn’t find information that suggests using an alcohol based cleaner on Corian. I would contact the manufacturer of your Corian and ask them if this cleaner would be safe to use. The only other option would be to try it on a small spot for a couple of weeks to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage. Thanks for following us, Tracy

  18. THANK YOU. I really want that shine back! my counters are less than 3 yrs old and look so much older. Now I can make them look good again.

  19. Thank You for this review. My counters are less than 3 yrs old and now I can get that shine back!

  20. Can you use this cleaner on Corian?

    • Ursula,

      I did some research and couldn’t find information supporting using an alcohol based cleaner on Corian. I would contact the manufacturer of your Corian and ask them if this cleaner would be safe to use. Thanks for following us, Tracy

  21. I often use my granite counter tops to roll out cookies, piecrust, or knead bread. The thought of cleaning a counter with something chemical or even isopropyl alcohol concerns me. I use vodka to polish my counters. I have a chiseled edge on my granite and find that it really gets out any food residue that might drip into the edge. My counters always have a beautiful shine. Been doing this for 12 years.

  22. Can I use BabyGanics Foaming dish and bottle soap for the dish soap part? the ingredients are Naturally Derived Plant Based Cleaning Agents (Coconut, Palm Kernel, Corn and Sugar based surfactants), water, preservative (less than 0.1%), Citrus fragrance.
    I already made the mix and my granite tops looks great! But i just want to make sure I can keep on using this without ruining my counter top over time! Thank you in advance! =)

    • Hi Crystal!

      Yes, continuing to use your BabyGanics Foaming dish soap in my DIY Granite Cleaner is safe. I’m so glad you tried it and like it, I love using mine! Thanks so much for following us, have a great holiday season! Tracy

  23. Well. I have used just a little bit of concentrated fabric softener dissolved in (boiled first then) warm water. About 60 ml of the product on 500 ml of warm water, wipe it on the counter, with a little dump cloth, (not really dump, just a bit), wait for about 5 minutes to dry out and voila, it´s perfect clean and shiny. Not sure if it would work in other countries, as I´m in Brazil.

  24. This is awesome! We’ll be featuring it in our Home Selling blog series this week as we help Chicago’s NW suburbs’ home sellers prepare their kitchens for showings. Feel free to drop in and say hi.

    Thanks again,

    The Rob Morrison Team

    • Hello Rob Morrison Team,

      Thanks for including our DIY Granite Cleaner and Magic way To Clean Stove Burners in your Kitchen-Heart or Heartburn? post. We love sharing our tested cleaning pins! Your blog is beautiful and very informative, thanks again for sharing our cleaning tips with your readers. Warmly, Tracy

  25. Just curious if it is ok to use Orange oil from Doterra or Grapefruit oil? Will it eat through a plastic bottle?

    • Hey Brooke,

      The amount of essential oil used in my DIY Granite Cleaner is so small that there is no risk of it eating through a plastic bottle. You are going to love your sparkling clean counters! Hope you have a great day, Tracy

  26. Thank you girls! For all your great cleaning solutions, can’t wait to try this on my marble & granite bathroom/shower tiles. I have always used a steamer and micro fibre cloth to clean my granite benches with great results (no chemicals).

  27. Joanne Downs says:

    I keep a spare tube of toothpaste under the sink, and use it to clean my granite. Just pop some on a damp cloth, rub, rinse and dry with a fresh cloth. The granite is sparkling, I don’t worry about ingesting any residue and the kitchen smells minty fresh! Cheap, safe and effective: what more could you want.


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