What do Ammonia and Bleach Cleaners Do to Granite Surfaces?
When it comes to stone care, there’s a lot of misinformation on the Internet. This is true across many subjects, but for stone, constant articles are parading across our newsfeeds that talk about the benefits of DIY, cheap and even toxic cleaning strategies. Here’s the thing: Even though granite and other natural stone and even quartz may seem like a hard, resilient substance, it needs to be treated with care. Your ammonia and bleach cleaners are going to damage your natural stone’s seal and dull the professional finish of both natural stone and quartz, putting natural stone at risk of etches and stains, and both natural stone and quartz with just an unsightly appearance – and potentially costly repair or replacement. Our Stone Care Experts are here to help you avoid that outcome. But, first, let’s do a little digging. What are these liquids that we’re putting on our surfaces?
What is Ammonia - and Why is it Bad for Granite Surfaces?
Household ammonia (or, more specifically, ammonium hydroxide) is a solution that’s very good at breaking down fats, oils, grease, wine stains and other types of kitchen-based grime. Since it has this stain-busting power, it’s tempting to think of it as a holy grail cleaner, one that might be good for all types of surfaces and stains. Unfortunately, the same chemical strength that helps ammonia break down grime will help ammonia break down any sealant you’ve treated your granite or other natural stone. Sealing your granite is a crucial step in protecting it well, as granite and other natural stones vary in porosity. If you’re constantly breaking down your granite’s seal with ammonia or ammonia-based products, you’re working against the protective steps you’ve already taken. Plus, it will dull the professional finish, which can also happen on quartz. As the Natural Stone Institute notes, “Frequent or over-use of an ammonia solution may eventually dull the surface of some stone types.” (As an additional safety tip, they remind us that we should never mix ammonia and bleach together — the result is a lethal gas!). Bleach, as a diluted form of sodium hypochlorite, can be extremely harsh and problematic for granite surfaces as well. While it can be a great solution for other aspects of home maintenance, we’d advise keeping it far away from natural stone and quartz.
Granite is Low Maintenance, but Requires Strategic Care
If you take away one message today, remember this: Granite is porous. It may seem innately durable, but you do need to care for it in specific ways to reduce damage and help it last well for years to come. Fortunately, in this case, the simple approach is the best one. If you use the right products formulated to clean and protect granite without stripping its seal or etching it, granite will retain its luster and beauty with a low-maintenance routine. We’d recommend finding an effective granite daily cleaner and sealing your stone regularly to keep it safe. Above all, stay away from so-called “natural” or DIY cleaning hacks, particularly those that involve ammonia or bleach. While they may appear to have good results in the short term or streamline your cleaning routine across multiple areas of your home, they can lead to frustrating and expensive damage if you use them frequently on natural stone and quartz. Clean and disinfect your granite using gentle, specifically engineered formulas, instead, and you’ll always be able to enjoy your home’s granite features.
Our Stone Care Experts are Ready to Help You Protect Your Granite’s Natural Beauty
Perhaps you’re wondering which products will be the best to use for your granite and when. Maybe you’ve inherited a beautiful granite countertop that does happen to have some ammonia or bleach damage, and you’re wondering what your options are. First, take care not to make any existing issues worse through the use of harsh cleaners. Then, call our friendly team for help. Our Stone Care Experts are ready to put three-generations of stone-care expertise to use for you. We’ll help you care for your stone and coax a beautiful luster out of it, too. Call our friendly team today at 1-800-475-7866 to learn more about what our premium products can do for you and your granite surfaces.