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How granite can keep your kitchen bacteria-free

Granite can help reduce the amount of bacteria in your kitchen.

You may not realize it, but your kitchen may well be the dirtiest part of your entire house. In a much-cited, widely reported study from 2005, researchers for the University of Arizona found kitchens tend to be one of the areas most covered in bacteria – more, even, than the toilet!

As reported in, kitchen countertops had on average 1,736 bacteria per square inch, while the kitchen tap handle had a whopping 228,854.

This is the case for a number of reasons. Part of it is due to contamination by meat and vegetables, which can pass on bacteria to the surfaces they touch. Unfortunately, it seems cleaning can sometimes only make things worse: Wiping counters and other surfaces down regularly with a sponge can majorly increase the germ count, chiefly because sponges are often the dirtiest item in the kitchen.

Thankfully, there are numerous ways you can go about reversing this state of affairs. While obviously we all need to focus on changing our cleaning and food preparation habits, incorporating natural stone, particularly granite, into our kitchens can also play a big role.

Granite: The nemesis of bacteria

According to the Marble Institute of America (MIA), granite is particularly resistant to bacterial contamination.

“In a recent study, granite countertops provided the greatest reduction in bacteria counts of all materials tested,” the MIA says. The study involved contaminating six surfaces with E. coli bacteria, then cleaning them.

Granite was head and shoulders above the rest, with a 36,000 to one reduction in bacteria. The next highest, stainless steel, only posted a 4,000 to one reduction, while plastic laminate was last with 285 to one.

Remember that you’ll still need proper cleaning practices to properly make use of this. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in Florida recommends cleaning with hot soapy water, as well as the use of commercial kitchen cleaning products.

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