DIY: Homemade Granite Cleaner

granite cleaner 9

I have had several people ask me about a homemade granite cleaner solution. Apparently you can’t just spray any old cleaner on granite or you could very likely damage some very expensive countertops!

Marble, granite, and stone do NOT like having acidic (ie: citrus-based) cleaners used on them. Citrus or vinegar will actually cause “etching” on granite countertops. Not a good thing.

granite cleaner


Granite countertops also don’t like it when you use something like Windex on them because it strips the “seal” off of the stone.

So what does that leave us???  Water? Well, yes and no. Even water is problematic because, by itself, it will leave streaks. BUT, add a little rubbing alcohol (or regular alcohol, like vodka) and a drop or two of some kind of soap…and you’re in business!

Apparently there are some very nice countertop/granite cleaners out there that do a great job…but $7.00 for a 12-ounce bottle? We can do better than that! :-)


granite cleaner

After researching several homemade options out there…I discovered they all had the same basic ingredients…just in varying amounts. Some had a LOT of alcohol in them…some very little. I think the following “recipe” has a good balance of the ingredients, based on the information I read.


Homemade Granite Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol (or cheap vodka)
  • 3 drops of Dawn or other dish soap (Castile soap would also be a good alternative if you prefer)
  • Water
  • 5-10 drops essential oil (optional – to help mask the alcohol smell)

Put the rubbing alcohol or vodka into a 16 oz spray bottle. Add the dish soap, essential oil and fill up the rest of the bottle with water.

Now give it a few shakes….THEN give it a try!  It should give your countertops a nice, clean shine. Works on appliances too! All at a FRACTION of the price of the store-bought stuff.

Let me know how it works for you! I’m filing this away for when I get my own granite countertops….someday. ;-)


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    • janice murphy says

      granite cleaner is fab, i have been using the expensive one in your add, and this is just the same, i use lavender essential oil and my kitchen smells great, rub hard on water marks and they go too.

      • says

        What is Essential Oil and where can I get it? I would like to try this homemade remedy on my Granite.

    • shawna says

      is there any essential oil you do not recommend? is there such thing as adding an oil that is not good for you to mix with alcohol? any that will create a toxic mixture? i would like to use peppermint oil, would that be ok?

      • Barb says

        I use peppermint oil, simply because I love it :-) This granite cleaner works great, though I may increase the alcohol to 1/3 cup next time. It dries well, but not quite as quickly as the expensive chemical-ladened variety!

  1. Nicole says

    How about the wintergreen rubbing alcohol? The minty-ness already masks the alcohol smell!

  2. Megan Verhoeven says

    Jillee – you rock!!!!!! Just made this up and it is the BEST!!! I’ve been looking for this recipe for ages – and just couldn’t make up my mind which one to try, so thanks for doing all the work for us!!! My counter is sparkling – which makes for a happy morning!!!(I know – I’m easy to make happy) I didn’t even add the essential oil – the smell goes pretty quickly.
    Thanks again

  3. Jo says

    Hi Jillee! Does this work well on stainless steel? I’m having a BLEEP of a time cleaning my refrigerator doors. It’s driving me nuts!

      • Sheryll says

        A lady that sells appliances for a living told me to use pledge on my stainless appliances-it does a great job!

      • says

        I use … Of all things… Olive oil! To clean my SS appliances. Have used pledge, which works, but not as well. Baby oil is a nice idea, that would smell so fresh!!

      • LIz says

        I used to use olive oil and it was great. I loved that I could use a product that I always had right in the kitchen anyway. The only problem is, my dogs kept licking it and then I had tongue marks all over my fridge! Now I use baby oil. Love the smell.

      • Alyssa says

        Liz that is so funny. Thanks for giving me a good laugh. Glad to know both olive oil and baby oil work.

    • Heidi says

      I just bought all stainless steel appliances and I have found the only thing that works is a microfiber cloth. I haven’t tried the other suggestions, but I like this cheap solution.

    • says

      Windex, or a similar product (homemade or store bought) is great for solid surface!

      I work in the granite/solid surface industry and we recommend ammonia free Windex for properly sealed granite, either ammonia free or regular Windex for quartz, and either for Corian/Hi-Macs/etc.

      Hot soapy water does nicely on solid surface, too. A scotch brite pad and Soft Scrub (or homemade SS) works wonders for stains (especially if you have a solid surface sink!)

      • Adriana says

        I was just wondering how badly windex can damage granite. My husband and I bought a house 6 months ago and I thought any windex was good, so i’ve been using it on my grainte. Have I completely ruined them? They look like they have really small swirl marks in them :( Can I repair it somehow?? Thanks so much!

      • says

        Anything that has ammonia or citrus in it can strip off the sealer on a granite (and stain terribly if the sealer has not been kept up on or stripped off accidentally previously) and it can also etch natural stone. What you’re describing is probably a bit of etching and it’s very difficult to repair stone (granite or quartz) when they have been etched. There’s also a slight possibility that the sealer was stripped off and what you’re seeing is staining/how the stone soaked up the Windex. One way to test that out is to do a homemade poultice of baking soda and water.

        Mix together enough baking soda and water to make a paste the consistency of sour cream. Wet the area you want to test the poultice, where the swirls are. Slather on the mixture. Cover the mixture/spot with plastic wrap; you can also tape down the edges with masking tape so it doesn’t flutter away if someone walks by fast enough. Let it sit for 24 hours. It will dry up and will pull up most, if not all, of the stain if it ends up just being a stain (not etching). Wipe off the excess poultice and clean the area and gently clean the area with mild soap and water. You can apply another round of it if it looks like it went away even a little bit.

        If it doesn’t work, I’m sorry. You’ve then etched the countertop. I would highly recommend going and buying a bottle of sealer (511 impregnator is the most common 1 year sealer, but there are 5, 10, and 15 year sealers on the market as well) and do a thorough sealing of all your tops. Switch to ammonia free Windex or use Jillee’s concoction up top to save money.

        Hope this helps.

  4. Judy says

    This great! Do you have a recipe for a travertine floor cleaner? I am desperate for one!

  5. Deb says

    Jillee, unfortunately, I am in the same granite-less boat as you :( Hopefully, soon, right?
    However, I have been using just plain rubbing alcohol for years to clean in my kitchen (stove top, counters, refrigerator handles, etc.) and bathrooms (countertops, toilets-eek! etc.) as well as doorknobs and other non-painted surfaces. It does a good job wiping up minor messes, leaves NO streaks, kills germs (at least I feel like it does) and the smell dissipates quickly. Your idea to add water and soap will likely stretch the small price paid for the alcohol, but if you are in a hurry, I put a spray handle right on the alcohol bottle and go!

    • says

      Oh Deb….don’t do it. Granite is a monster no one tells you about. I would much prefer a solid countertop surface. Granite is a pain.

      • Deb says

        Funny you mention this julie, because my husband, a cabinet maker, and I were talking last night about the benefits/pitfalls (pun intended) of granite. My daughter got granite and already has several chips. We were thinking man-made quartz, a much harder material. Thanks for the confirmation!

      • Sandra Simmons says

        I agree on the granite! We have chips! I like the idea about just sticking the nozzle in the alcohol. We do that with hydrogen peroxide for pet accidents on the tile floor in the laundry room. The vet told us to just spray and it will get rid of anything, pet vomit, urine or blood.

      • says

        Hi Deb! I’m a new reader to the blog and obviously your comment about granite/quartz was posted way back in June, but I thought I’d add my two cents about the materials since I work in the industry.

        I recommend quartz to anyone and everyone. It’s a great material that requires low maintenance. No having to worry about sealing it, it cleans up nicely, rarely scratches… But, it can chip out. You can drop something on it and have a chunk go flying out. Luckily, it’s usually an easy, inexpensive fix, but it’s something to be mindful of when choosing stone. I love the look of granite, however, anymore, quartz companies (Silestone especially) are coming out with products that look like granite! I think the benefits of quartz far outweigh the ‘benefits’ of granite any day of the week, and it’s pretty darn affordable and can look amazing if you have the right fabricator!

        I’d steer clear of solid surface. Cheap plastic crap, in my opinion. Just don’t tell my boss!

  6. lifeishappy says

    YES! Just tried this formula and it is awesome! I also sprayed it on my stainless steel appliances and it left them shining without streaks! I am so excited for a super affordable kitchen cleaner! Thank you!!!

    • Angela says

      Works great and used on stainless steel appliances. WONDERFUL,!!! No streaks. Thank you Jill your site is also wonderful.

  7. penny says

    it worked great!!! I didn’t use the essential oil but the smell goes away quickly.

  8. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jillee !!!! I appreciate this. I am so looking forward to try this on my granite tops.


  1. […] The only exceptions I have found are granite and televisions. For my tv screens I use a microfiber cloth and will add a drop or two of water to the cloth if there are any marks that need removed. Because of the acidity in the vinegar, I wouldn’t use this on granite or marble. A natural recipe for granite cleaner can be found here. […]