How to Clean a New Granite Mortar And Pestle

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Growing up I remember the sound of “kpom” “kpom” in Mum’s kitchen whenever I return from school. That sound heralds the beautiful prepared soup or spices that are well-grounded to nurture the soul and the belly of our African Selves.

I grew up loving the sound of the African mortar and pestle, learning to understand its deep baritone sound and what it means to us. Oh, that memory fills me with nostalgia. Haha.


There is one thing I always run from when it comes to the African Mortar and Pestle, and that is cleaning it.

The thought of it chases me away, and Mom will have no choice than to pull my long ears to get back to cleaning after the mortar and pestle have done their work.

From the typical African wooden mortar and pestle, we moved to the granite mortar and pestle.

I remember the first time it was brought home. I had never seen anything like it before and I was surprised there could be anything other than an African Wooden Mortar and Pestle. That was how my journey with the granite mortar and pestle began.

It is one thing to learn how to use the mortar and pestle, it is another to clean it when it is new.

It was believed then that the Granite Mortar and Pestle is fairly non-porous and detergents can seep through its surface, but for the number of years my Mom and I used the granite mortar and pestle, we never had such issues.

4 Amazing Ways You Can Clean a New Granite Mortar And Pestle?

Using White Rice

One of the things I was taught was the use of a handful of white rice ground into the bowl to pick up whatever residue lay in it. The grounded white rice can thereafter be cleaned out using a dry towel and then the granite mortar and pestle is ready for use.

Using Kosher Salt

You can also use Kosher Salt to clean your new granite mortar and pestle and then you can thereafter clean with a dry thick towel, and you are good to go. Easy Peezy! Right?

Using Baking Soda

You can also wash it water and baking soda. Once it gets dry, you can thereafter grind salt in it and wipe with a dry cloth.

Using Soap & Water

Left this for the last because I know how important it is to want to clean your new granite mortar and pestle with water and soap, especially detergent.

Use warm water whenever you want to clean your new granite mortar and pestle. This will get rid of any stains that may come with your new mortar and pestle.

I will advise you to use a mild and less scented detergent/ soap if you want to clean with that. This is because scented soaps tend to leave a scented residue on your new mortar and pestle and we don’t want that, do we?

This scent could easily pass into your food and spices if they stay on the mortar and pestle and that will not be nice at all.

You can use a towel, or damp mild sponge to clean up the new granite mortar and pestle. A good cloth with your warm water and unscented detergent will work a great deal in the cleaning of your new grinding tool

Afterwards, thoroughly rinse your new granite mortar and pestle in warm water, to remove all evidence of scented soap remaining in it.

Dry your new granite mortar and pestle with a dry towel to prevent any stain that will be in it through the use of water. Pay particular attention to the corners in your new mortar and pestle, so as not to miss cleaning those important places.

You can try your dishwasher detergent with warm water to clean your new granite mortar and pestle but using a scented detergent is a NO!

Do not try to use an acidic liquid or harsh chemical to clean your new granite mortar and pestle, else you may just destroy the stone totally.

What causes permanent stains in granite mortar and pestle?

This is another important question I will need to address because once you buy a new granite mortar and pestle, the last thing you’d want is to wake up one morning, ready to ground spice, and then spot a stain that can hardly be cleaned.

So in order to avoid stains, not to mention permanent ones, there is a need to know what causes permanent stains in granite mortars.

Since these mortars are granite, they are likely to get stains or retain stains when you use them for oily or acidic ingredients. This does not mean they can not be used for these kinds of ingredients.

Apart from the ways to clean granite mortar and pestle that we have looked into earlier, here are the immediate steps you should follow once you finish using these mortars.

This cleaning process will help avoid any stain that may want to become permanent over time.

  • To rinse mortar and pestle, one should use running water.
  • Leave it for a towel to air dry.
  • Take 2 tablespoons of white rice grains and start crushing them.
  • Remove the coloured grains and repeat the process until the crushes grains remain white.
  • Again, rinse mortar and pestle with water.
  • Leave mortar pestle for air dry.
  • Later, rinse mortar and pestle with either Acetone and Isopropyl alcohol.

So in a sentence, if you are to ask me what causes permanent stains in granite mortar and pestle, I’d say that it is the neglection of temporary stains that give rise to permanent ones.

Each time you use your granite mortar, ensure you wash it immediately with the steps I’ve shown you. That shouldn’t be something hard for you to do.

What if the granite mortar and pestle smell, how do I go about it?

General maintenance tips for granite mortars

Those who have been using mortar and pestle for years can actually relate to this more. There is a time you are likely to notice that your mortar is smelling, this is really not nice and something must be done.

Most people address the problem of cleaning a mortar but only a few will tell you how to get rid of the Odour that they emit.

Of course, you use your granite mortar to grind various things such as herbs, spices, cinnamon and the rest.

It is for this reason that you need to learn, not just how to clean, but how to properly remove the smell of the previous ingredients that you’ve worked on so that they don’t contaminate whatever ingredients you’d be grinding next.

My grandma would sometimes tell us that there is nothing wrong with having the smell of the previously ground stuff but really it matters. It dawned on me when I bought my first set of granite mortars.

While it actually depends on what you want and your taste of neatness, you should know that just the smell of the previously ground contents can really spoil the tastes of what you are going to ground next.

If you want to learn how to get rid of smell properly from a granite mortar, then I recommend this article to you HERE.

Are there Chemicals for cleaning granite pestles?

So far, I have not come across any chemical substances that can clean stains or smells from a mortar in a go. No.

Although, some people claim that there are some cleaning agents that we use in washing dishes that could clean some stains in the mortar. You should try it out and let me know how that works for you.

It is because of this reason that we have shown you the most effective and easiest way to clean them by making use of things you probably have at your disposal already.

While some people may think that these methods to clean mortar and pestle seems like a time-consuming, monotonous and tedious task, these steps are less hazardous, quick and easy to perform.

Benefits of using a clean granite mortar and pestle

General maintenance tips for granite mortars

Generally, there are a lot of benefits to things when they are kept in perfect condition. And as for granite mortars, they become the best source of dirt and contamination when you leave them unclean.

There are various ways to clean a granite mortar which I believe you now know of.

The reason why I will show you the benefits of using a clean granite mortar and pestle is that so many people have a misconception about mortars.

For example, it is important to know that each and every step has its own significance and value in the cleaning process.

If you leave out any of these steps, or you do not clean your granite mortars effectively, then here are some of the benefits you will miss out.

The taste of grounded ingredients is preserved

When a mortar is clean, there is zero possibility that it will smell, and when it doesn’t smell, the taste of Other ingredients you want to ground will be preserved.

When these tastes are preserved, you will prepare a very sumptuous meal, and when you prepare a sumptuous meal, your family or customers will love you.

I’m sure you don’t want to break the chain by leaving a granite mortar unclean.

When you have a granite mortar and pestle, you will want to add more spices to your diet that you can easily ground. Each spice may have its own taste and smell.

But when you properly wash a mortar after use, it reduces the risk of contaminating one ingredient’s taste and smell with the other.

As someone who has cooked with freshly ground spices, I can tell you how much better your food will taste when you add freshly ground spices in them. This is the job of a clean granite mortar and pestle.

Clean granite mortar and pestle will improve the recipe

I can notice the envy that appears in the faces of Few of my colleagues whenever they enter the kitchen. When they see my mortar on the counter and how it is seated on a comfortable corner looking very clean, they salute my cooking skills.

The result of a clean granite mortar and pestle will motivate you to get in the kitchen and cook more and experiment more, they will do more justice to the fresh herbs and spices.

I believe that cooking should be fun for anyone when you have the right tools as their very best condition.

A clean mortar and pestle on hand will not only let you work out some of your aggression but will present cooking, as a whole, in a very different and convenient perspective.

If by now, you have never savoured the taste sensation of fresh herbs and spices, then get a granite mortar and keep it in the best condition.

Granite Mortar and pestle will last long

This does not only apply to mortar made of granite alone. Generally, all mortars will last longer when you keep them clean after each use.

The benefits of a clean granite mortar and pestle are seemingly endless, and having this kind of grounding tool in the kitchen will give you a revelation of the flavorful meals that you will make once you’ve started grinding up your own fresh herbs and spices!

How often should you clean granite mortar and pestle?

General maintenance tips for granite mortars

I came across this question online and I asked myself “should someone really be asking this kind of question?”

There is no limit as to how you clean kitchen equipment. The more you keep things clean and tidy, the more they will last long.

You should clean granite mortar and pestle immediately after use. Each time you use them, clean them with the steps I’ve shown you. This way, you will enjoy the grounding tool for a long period of time.

General maintenance tips for granite mortars

General maintenance tips for granite mortars

Maintenance tips for mortars vary. It actually depends on what material your mortar is made of. As the case may be here, we are addressing general maintenance tips for granite mortars.

To maintain stone mortar and pestles made from marble, granite or lava stone, use warm water and rice. This has been proven by so many researchers as they preserve the durability of stones-like structures.

The use of warm water and a rough scrub brush is needed only when your mortar is made of Clean ceramic, glass, and metal (alloy, brass, iron) mortar and pestles

As for wooden/bamboo mortars (which most people use too) just a damp cloth to wipe them clean will do.

Scented Soap should not be used to clean mortar and pestle

If you do not use another cleaning method for another mortar made of another material, then you’ve gotten the better maintenance tips that will make it last for long.

Looking for the Best Granite Mortar and Pestle to buy?

Signature East of Thailand Granite Mortar and Pestle

How to Clean a New Granite Mortar And Pestle

This Signature East of Thailand Granite Mortar and Pestle is made of 100% solid granite that is expected to last a lifetime.

This beauty is handcrafted, polished in style to make it easy for you to have your spices properly grounded to a smooth finely grounded powder.

A rock hard stone handcrafted in Thailand is hefty and hard. It possesses a matte surface that helps to ground properly but also allows you to clean the mortar as easy as possible.

The texture of the mortar allows the grounded ingredients to be centred properly in it.

You can either buy this granite mortar and pestle for use in your home or it can serve as a beautiful wedding gift for family and friends.

Specifications of the granite mortar and pestle

It weighs 9.8kg
Height of the mortar is 5.8 inches
Diameter is 8 inches, with an inner diameter at 6 inches.
Mortar Depth is 4.1 inches

Length of Pestle is 7 inches while its diameter is 3 inches
Total weight of mortar and pestle is at 10.5kg

Ready to Buy?