Granite is a natural stone that looks stunning and elegant when used for vanity units and kitchen countertops. However, hard water stains on granite can make them look dull and shabby. Plus, it can also be very challenging to remove them. So, if you’re thinking why your granite surfaces haven’t been as luxurious when you first purchase them, this could be the culprit.
No worries, though! Cleaning and removing hard water stains on granite will quickly put back its luster. The feldspar and quartz will shine once again, and your surfaces will be brought back to its pristine condition. To help you out, here are some tips on how to remove hard water stains on granite countertops, to keep it looking at its best and to maintain its elegance.
Why Does Hard Water Stain Granite?
Before we get rid of them, let’s know first why hard water stains granite.
Granite has become a popular material for kitchens and bathrooms. However, these are also areas where we usually use water. Faucet splashes are typical. While you can wipe them up, still there are still spots that can remain.
Water actually contains minerals, such as magnesium and calcium. And, when water is allowed to sit on your granite countertop, it evaporates, leaving behind hard deposits. Through time, they solidify, which causes the white marks on your countertop.
While these stains won’t harm your granite, it affects the appearance of your countertop. Moreover, they become harder to remove through time, which may require much effort and even a few bucks. With that, it is your best interest to remove them as soon as you notice them and avoid further problems.
Things You’ll Need On Cleaning Your Granite Countertops
Now that you’re away how hard stains start on granite, it’s time to have them fade away!
There are a lot of things you’ll need to use to remove hard water stains from your granite countertops. It is recommended that you prepare them prior to doing the procedure for your convenience. It’s a great thing that the majority of these items are available in your kitchen or in the household. Make sure to collect the following things:
- A sharp razor blade
- A soft cloth
- Paper Towels
- Dishwashing liquid
- Denatured alcohol
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Granite cleaner
4 Ways To How To Clean Your Granite
Once you’ve gathered the following item, you can now choose any of the ways mentioned below to easily clean hard water stains on your granite.
1. Blade and Granite Cleaner – For Tenacious Stains
If you have strong stains on your countertop or water rings around the faucet from water that stays on the surface, use a designated granite cleaner that you can quickly find in your nearby supermarket or grocery store. Be mindful, however, that granite cleaner is a harsh chemical so make sure to protect your hand with safety gloves before beginning the process.
After applying the granite cleaner, use the sharp razor to gradually scrape away the hard deposits on the solid stains. Make sure not to use the blade too forcefully as it can scratch and lead to unwanted damage on your granite.
After removing the hard mineral particle, you can now use a soft cloth to clear them away. Put granite cleaner again on the stain and use a clean sponge to touch all the areas. Let the liquid stay depending on the instructions given on the product’s label. Then, wipe it again using the cloth and you will notice the stain vanishing. However, if the granite cleaner is unable to clear the stain fully, you can switch to stronger chemicals, such as muriatic acid.
While basic in nature, baking soda can be effective in sucking up the hard water stains from your granite countertop. Make sure to wet the stains and blot it first. Then, make a baking soda paste by mixing it water. See to it to gauge how much water you’ll be putting or somewhat enough to form a thick paste.
Next, apply the paste on the stains, top it up with plastic and leave it for 24 hours. The baking soda paste will do its magic on the stain. Wash the spot with gentle soap and water to fully remove the leftover marks on your countertop.
3. Denatured Alcohol – For The Same Stubborn Stains
For the same stubborn stains, another way to get rid of them and restore your granite countertops lost glory is by cleaning them using denatured alcohol. Just simply mix three parts of water, one part of denatured alcohol then put a few drops of dishwashing liquid.
Apply this liquid on the solid marks and use a clean cloth to rub the stains in a circular motion. Make sure to change the sides of the cloth from time to time. Continue repeating the steps until the stain clears away or until you get a shiny surface.
What’s great is that you can put the mixture in a spray bottle and use it for the regular cleaning of your countertop. See to it, however, to pick a dishwashing liquid that is pH neutral. Any acidic product can react negatively with your granite and lead to etching on its surface.
4. White Vinegar – For Slightly Stubborn Stains
For slightly stubborn stains, white vinegar can be your best ally in defeating them. White vinegar is preferred than normal vinegar as it is much less acidic and won’t cause any etching on your granite’s countertops. Take some paper towels and use them to cover the solid water stains. Once done, wet the paper towels with white vinegar drop and let them soak for over 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the paper towels. Using a soft scrubber, remove all the leftover stain in the area. See to it, however, that the paper towels won’t dry up on the surface while waiting for it to soak up all the stains. If it, unfortunately, dries up, it can lead to further mark on your granite. Extra caution is needed for this method.
While it may seem easy to get rid of hard water stains from your granite countertops, cleaning any stain as soon as you see them will mean less effort and time in the long run. Moreover, you also save up on the cost of having to buy products to remove these solid marks. Often times, what you deem as a water stain might also be only a soap deposit, which you can wipe off easily.
If you see light water stains around your basin or sink, make to sure clean them off immediately. Get a brush with soft bristles (an old toothbrush will suffice). Then, put water and detergent on the stain and scrub it using the brush. This procedure will help lift the mineral deposits and clear them away. Once finished, rinse the area with clean water and dry it with a cloth or towel.
Alternatively, you could use the denatured alcohol mixture you’ve made as an everyday cleaner, let it sit on any early stain you see to loosen the minerals. Then, scrub it again using the brush, and rinse and dry once the stain fades away.
Protect The Sealant
You may not be aware but the granite has a sealant on the surface of the stone. While the granite itself is tough and durable, the sealant is quite vulnerable. It is critical not to damage it at any cause as it can be porous. Doing so will cause it to stain easier and having the actual stone compromised. With that, it is your best to protect the sealant from any damage.
Never ever use acidic cleaners or even natural ones like lemon juice or normal vinegar. They have harsh elements that can damage the sealant. Moreover, avoid using steel wool or other extra hard cleaning materials to avoid scratching the surface.
Also, don’t forget to reseal your granite every few years. This should be a part of your regular maintenance to keep your countertop’s condition. To check if the sealant is starting to wear, put a drop of water on the surface of your granite. If the water droplet stays, you’re good as the sealant is still well-working. However, if it soaks in, then, it needs replacing.
Granite countertops really look marvelous. However, its elegance comes at a hefty price and should be paralleled with the utmost care. You need to have smart ways to clean them and keep their natural glory, knowing that hard water stains can be very challenging to deal with. Make sure to follow the above-listed tips to keep your countertop stunning and shiny.