The use of granite for kitchen and bathroom countertops has exploded in popularity over the past few decades. The reasons are simple: this tough and decorative stone is the perfect mix of beauty and functionality. However, just like many other high-use surfaces in the house, granite can become stained from exposure to certain liquids, including water. Luckily, there are simple ways to clean these stains.
Two Types of Water Stains
Granite is a porous stone, so even something as seemingly innocuous as clear water can seep in and mar its appearance. Water stains, which are among the most common types of countertop stains, come in two forms. A simple water stain is the kind that comes from a drinking glass or other container that has been left sitting on the counter for long enough to let water droplets or condensation work their way into the granite. However, if the stain has become an etch, it was caused by an acidic liquid, not water. The other type of water stain, which is more difficult to treat, is caused by hard water that leaves a mineral deposit behind.
Simple Water Stains
This type of stain may cause your granite to look darker or lighter in the area that has been exposed to too much moisture. If it is in fact water and not an acidic liquid like wine, it will dry and evaporate.
Hard Water Stains
The minerals in hard water cause a different kind of stain on granite. When hard water sits on a granite surface and dries, it leaves a visible mineral deposit that often creates white rings, especially around faucets. For this kind of stain, use a specially formulated granite cleaning product like Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® and scrub with a soft bristled brush, then rinse and dry with a soft cloth. You can also use a single-edge razor blade to gently scrape away the residue or a safe-on-stone pad to scrub the area softly before rinsing and drying.
To prevent or minimize these stains, your granite surface should be treated with a high-quality granite countertop sealant that helps stop the absorption of liquids into the stone. Even sealed granite can become stained and need treatment to return the countertop to its original appearance, but there are some precautions that can help minimize damage. Never use common household cleaners that can damage the protective sealant and put your granite at risk for stains and a dull appearance. Clean your counters regularly with a nonabrasive, nonacidic cleaner. Always clean up spills immediately, before the liquid has the chance to be absorbed.
Water isn’t the only thing that can stain granite. Your countertops could be stained from rust, oil, and organic matter as well. If you have questions about caring for your granite counters, reach out to Granite Gold®. We have a long history of stone care expertise that spans three generations. Give us a call at 1-800-794-1550 to learn more.