Cleaning Lessons from The Kitchen
What’s the best way to clean granite counter tops? Bryan Akner, president of Clean Extreme Pros housekeeping and maid service of Palm Beach Gardens Florida says he hears a lot of varying views on this — use Windex! No, never use Windex! Use a special granite-only cleaner! No, you don’t need a special granite-only cleaner! — but after doing our research, we think we’ve discovered a consensus among stone experts on how to care for granite. The best part? You really don’t need any special cleaners to get those counter tops shiny and streak-free.
The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Granite
DO: Make sure your granite counter top is sealed. While granite is a very hard surface and less porous than marble, unsealed or weakly sealed granite will soak up oils, spills, and stains. To check whether your granite is sealed, leave a few drops of water on the surface. If it beads up, you have a secure seal. If after a few minutes the water has soaked into the granite, then it’s time to reseal the stone.
DON’T: Use harsh or abrasive cleaners and sponges, Windex, acidic cleaners like vinegar, lemon, lime, or anything with ammonia or bleach. Frequent use of these chemicals will dull and weaken the sealant over time. Basically, the harsher the cleaner, the quicker it will break down the sealant.
DO: Wipe up spills as soon as you notice them.
DO: Use warm water, a mild or gentle dish soap, and a nubby washcloth or microfiber cloth for daily wipe downs.
What About Disinfecting?
A well-sealed granite counter top is relatively impervious to bacteria. Hot water and dish soap should be adequate for daily sanitizing. However, if a stronger disinfectant is desired, mix together a 50:50 solution of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Spray onto the granite, allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse with water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth. Avoid bleach or ammonia-based cleaners.
And then there is the Clean Extreme Pro’s favorite method of using a commercial grade steam cleaner. Super-heating the granite counter top with nothing but pure steam and a clean micro-fiber cloth is not only safe for the granite, its also a great way to clean if there is anyone that is chemically sensitive in the home according to Mr. Akner.
What About Special Granite-Safe Cleaners?
There are granite cleaners out there, like this one from Method and this one from Granite Gold. Some all-purpose surface cleaners also specify that they’re safe for granite. Use these cleaners if you want — just know that you don’t have to buy them if you don’t want to. The cleaning tutorial below will work just fine!
All you need to clean granite counter tops are warm water, mild or gentle dish soap, a dish cloth, clean microfiber cloth or terrycloth towel, and 91% Isopropyl alcohol (optional).
How To Clean and Disinfect Granite Countertops
What You Need
Mild or gentle dish soap
Clean microfiber cloth or terrycloth towel
Isopropyl alcohol (optional)
Wet your dish cloth with warm, soapy water. Fill the sink with warm water and a mild dish soap, then thoroughly wet a clean dish cloth.
Wipe down the granite counter tops. You don’t need us to tell you how to do this part. Just wipe away any spills or crumbs on your counter top!
Dry with a microfiber cloth to avoid streaking. Dry and buff your granite counter top thoroughly with a microfiber cloth or soft terry cloth towel to avoid streaking.
Shine and disinfect with a water and isopropyl alcohol solution. To periodically disinfect your granite counter tops, remove soap residue, and restore shine, mix together a 50:50 solution of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Spray onto the granite, allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse with water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
Enjoy your nice, shiny, clean granite counter tops!
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO CLEAN ANYTHING, CONTACT BRYAN AKNER OF CLEAN EXTREME PRO OF PALM BEACH GARDENS FLORIDA AT (561) 891-1300
Try this expert advice from hotel managers on keeping bathrooms clean.
Whether cozy, sleek or luxurious, hotel baths are the perfect getaway. Now you can transform your bathroom into just such an escape. At Inn-spired Bathrooms, you’ll tour six hotel-inspired baths, garner simple ideas for getting the look you want and learn the cleaning secrets of hotel housekeepers.
How do hotels keep those bathrooms so clean? One quick answer is that hotels clean bathrooms every day, even if the same guest is occupying the room night after night. While you may not want to clean your entire bathroom every day, doing small things ? such as wiping down the counters, faucet and sink, and spot-cleaning the mirror ? can give your bathroom a daily perk-up. The rest is all in the weekly routine.
To get the dirt on the routine, we asked two experts: Jenny Botero, resident manager of the 697-room Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va., and Erika Jacso, director of style for the W New York Union Square, in New York City, which boasts 270 rooms. They gave us 10 simple steps for keeping your bath sparkling.
Step 1: Vacuum and dust
On the rare occasion that the W Union Square receives a complaint, “it usually has to do with finding hairs on the tile or floor in the bathroom,” Erika says. Her team’s goal is to make sure that never happens. They work from top to bottom, dusting light fixtures and shelves with micro-fiber cloths before vacuuming floors and crevices.
Step 2: Heat up surfaces
Heating tile and the tub just 10 degrees above the normal air temperature “doubles the effectiveness” of alkaline cleansers, Jenny says. Her staff fills the bottom of the tub with a couple inches of the “hottest water they can draw from the tap” and lets it sit for a few minutes. Erika’s staff also throws hot water over the tiles, shower and tub.
Step 3: Spray
Drain the tub, then spray an antibacterial cleaner on tile walls, tub, counters, sink, toilet and floor. Work from top to bottom, starting at the top of shower walls, and spraying down to the tub and inside the toilet bowl.
Step 4: Spread
Use a sponge or cloth to spread the cleanser around evenly on tile surfaces.
Step 5: Sit
Disinfectants need contact time in order to work. Erika’s team lets the cleanser sit for five to seven minutes inside the toilet bowl and on surfaces.
Step 6: Scrub
Use a scrub brush or nonscratch abrasive pad to scrub every square inch of the tub and tiles. Both housekeeping experts swear by Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, especially for hard-to-remove gray rings inside the tub.
Step 7: Rinse
This is the most important step, in Jenny’s opinion. The chemicals in cleansers are designed to attract soil and particles, she points out. If you don’t rinse after spraying your cleanser, dirt is going to stick to it and build up and “be even more troublesome.”
Step 8: Dry
Use clean, dry cotton cloths or rags to thoroughly dry all surfaces. Jenny recommends using color-coded cloths for cleaning ? blue for glass and mirrored surfaces, yellow for the toilet, and pink for tub and sinks. That way, you never make the mistake of wiping off the sink with a cloth that was used to dry the toilet.
Step 9: Glass and mirrors
Spray the mirror and other glass with a glass cleanser and wipe dry.
Step 10: Floors
Exit out of the bathroom by rinsing, wiping and drying the floor.
Clean Extreme Pro
If housekeeping and maid service duties just aren’t your thing, call Bryan Akner, president of Clean Extreme Pro to get professional cleaning services in your Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach and Jupiter home or office.