When we moved in to this house 7 years ago, I thought dark colored granite would be awesome in my kitchen. Boy was I wrong. The dark color shows every crumb and streak. I loved using a product by Method called The Daily Granite. Awesome stuff for cleaning and shining my counter tops with a pleasant smell to boot. At about $5.00 per bottle, it wasn't cheap. But it wasn't horribly expensive either.
Then things changed. The formula changed for some reason. It started leaving streaks on my counters. And the new smell was, well, yucky. To make matters more difficult, my local Target no longer carried it and I could only find smaller, more expensive bottles on line. So, I did without my favorite granite cleaner.
But recently (ok, maybe NOT so recently) my counters really started looking like crud. Maybe because DH likes to fry things and not clean the counters afterwards... The counters were more streaky than usual and never seemed to come completely clean using regular spay cleaners. I've also learned that the vinegar-type cleaner I had been using might actually harm the surface.
Enter the search for a do-it-herself cleaner. There are lots of recipes on the net. Some recommend alcohol, others go back to vinegar. Experts disagree on whether either one is entirely safe for the granite. So I went to Method's site and looked at what ingredients they use. Basically, it's water, alcohol, a surfactant (for breaking down grease) and a fragrance. With that in mind, I went back to the net and found this recipe. It's cheap (less than 30 cents per bottle), easy to make and I can add what ever scent I want (currently I'm on a lavendar kick.) Best of all, it does a bang up job at getting rid of grease and streaks.
Here is the recipe that I follow. I found it on Jillee's One Good Thing site:
1 cup water
2 ounces rubbing alcohol
4-6 drops liquid dish soap ( I use the blue dawn)
a couple drops of essential oil for scent (optional)
That's it. Mix it up in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray it on your counters and give it a minute to do it's stuff, then wipe with a very dry towel. The DRY part is the key. It helps get rid of the streaks. I use just a plain old dish towel, but I bet a microfiber towel would work even better. (Update: I did use a microfiber towel and the results were fab! I'm also thinking that I will mix the next batch of cleaner using Castille soap instead of the Dawn.)
Here are the before and after pics (excuse that it's slightly out of focus). This is the back of my sink where crud always seems to collect. It's also surprisingly hard to get a picture of streaky counter tops!
This stuff also works great on my stainless steel fridge and my black stove and ovens. I'll be sharing this tip over at the following blogs: