Granite countertops can make a beautiful addition to any kitchen or bathroom, immediately adding value to your home. While they are generally known to be very strong and sturdy, this doesn’t mean that they are impervious to damage. Many people’s most significant complaint about granite is that it stains a lot.
Granite is a porous natural substance, meaning that its surface is full of tiny holes. When you spill something on the granite, even just water, this can get inside those holes and begin to cause problems. Stains tend to leave massive patches of discoloration, making it a hard question to ignore. The good news is that stains like this can often be removed, and there are several treatment options you can use, that will all show you how to remove stains from granite countertops.
When trying to figure out how to remove stains from granite countertops, your first attempt at doing so should be as gentle as possible. It’s easy enough to work your way up to harder and stronger chemicals that may damage your counter themselves, but only use them if you must.
To begin with, attempt to scrub away any stains with a little mild soap and water. Use a soft-bristled brush to help the detergent get right into the pores of the granite. In many cases, the combination of detergent and movement should be enough to lift any organic stains, such as food or drink marks, and sometimes even water stains.
Try baking soda
Learning how to remove stains from granite countertops doesn’t have to require expensive specific cleaning products if you don’t want to go out and buy them. There are also a couple of natural remedies that you can try, using products you have lying around the home. These have a relatively high success rate on smaller stains that aren’t too had to remove, such as oil stains. For example, try mixing baking soda and water, or baking soda and acetone (nail polish remover). Mix this to create a paste, and spread this over the stain. Cover it with plastic wrap and leave for at least 24 hours. When you return, remove the paste (that should have dried up by now) and rinse the area with warm water. The stain should be lifted. In some cases, with tougher stains, you may need to repeat this process two or three more times, but you should see progress each time.
Bleach is another item that you may potentially have lying around your home and can be used to treat stained granite countertops. There are two methods that you should consider when learning how to remove stains from granite countertops. Firstly, spray the bleach on the countertop, and wipe at the stain with a brush. It is recommended that you use a soft-bristled brush because you don’t need anything harsher for a lot of stains. Scrub away at the stain until you can see progress. Stains caused by things like mold and mildew might not immediately lift, but you should be able to see them get lighter as you continue to scrub.
Some people prefer to let the bleach sit for a while, and lift stains that way. Spray bleach onto paper towels or a cloth, and then leave that lying on the affected area of the bench for approximately 24 hours. Again, it may take a few tries to remove the stain fully, but you should be able to see an improvement after the first 24 hours.
The good news is that when used properly, bleach is not going to harm your granite countertops. Provided that you wash the bleach away thoroughly when you are finished cleaning, and you maintain your counters’ sealant, it should aid in removing stains without causing new ones.
Use a poultice
You can purchase poultice that is specially designed to be used on granite or other hard stone surfaces. Just like the baking soda paste, you need to spread this evenly over the stain, then cover with plastic wrap and leave for 24 hours. When it has thoroughly dried, use a scraper to remove the poultice, washing the area with warm water. Repeat the process a couple of times to fully lift the stain.
Try using an abrasive material
Another option that you may want to consider, to remove stains from your granite countertop, is buffing them out. Usually, stains are only in the very top parts of your granite, or even just in the sealant. There are ways that you can try and buff these away. Again, you should always start with the softest option first, and work your way up to harsher materials if the situation calls for it. Try scrubbing at your stained granite with a brillo pad or some steel wool. These will help to scrape up stains, and then you can wipe away all the residues that come up.
Call a professional
There are going to be some stains in your granite countertop that you cannot remove by yourself. You don’t need to give up hope just yet, though, as often professionals can deal with much tougher stains. They have access to more potent cleaning products and know exactly how to use them to get rid of stains without damaging the granite.
It may seem excessive to call a professional over a stain on your granite countertop, but it’s important to remember that stains are something that you should deal with sooner rather than later. It’s possible that your sealant could be wearing down, leading to particles getting inside the granite and getting stuck there. Bacteria or mold may start to grow, which not only looks unappealing, but it can also begin to smell very bad and become incredibly difficult to remove. Calling a professional as soon as you know you can’t fix it yourself means that they can hopefully get to it before the situation worsens, and they can restore your counters to their top condition.