As durable as granite is, there are situations that could lead to surface discoloration. Most of the time, what you perceive as being an off-color spot on your granite floor tiles or countertops is actually a stain.
While granite is somewhat resistant to staining, many substances can still manage to leave stains if the surface sealant has weakened over time. True discoloration is caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays or extreme heat. The good news is these are situations that can be fixed, and in some cases you may be able to do it on your own.
Causes of Granite Discoloration
To determine the methods that should be used to fix the discolored spot, it’s recommended to consider the possible causes. Granite on the kitchen floor or countertops is more likely to have been stained by organic substance used in meal preparation. In the bathroom, they were probably caused by cosmetics made with synthetic oils and pigments. There’s also the possibility of granite being slightly discolored by extreme heat or constant exposure to sunlight. Mold and mildew spots are like small pinpoints that range in colors from gray to dark green.
Keeping granite sealed can protect against discoloration and other damage. Here’s a quick video explaining how to seal granite and other types of natural stone:
Why Granite Becomes Discolored
Although granite is less porous than some other types of natural stone, it can still absorb substances that cause a chemical reaction. The best way to prevent this is by keeping the surface protected with Granite Gold Sealer®, which reduces the absorption factor to protect against stains and etches, which can lead to costly repair or replacement. In the case of UV ray discoloration, it’s better to close blinds or use curtains to block direct sunlight. Don’t place hot pots or hair styling irons directly on granite countertops. Use insulating objects such as trivets and pads whenever possible.
Scrubbing with a Stone-Safe Cleaner
The first step should always be to soak the spot with Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® before scrubbing it with a soft-bristled nylon brush or stone-safe scrubbing pad. This may work for certain stains, and if so the next step should be to clean the rest of the surface before applying granite sealer, which should always be done after removing any stains.
Getting Rid of Tougher Stains
When used in small quantities, bleach can remove some stains—such as food, pet accidents, and other organic stains—off granite surfaces, but they should never be used as part of your daily cleaning routine. For organic stains, use a paper towel or cotton balls soaked in bleach and place them on the stain for 24 hours before rinsing with water. For oil stains, a few drops of acetone mixed with baking soda can be used to form a paste that needs to be left on top of the stain for 24 hours. The stone should be resealed after the stain is removed. Hard water limescale can be scraped away with a new, single-edge razor blade, but you have to be gentle so the surface doesn’t scratch. Remember to thoroughly clean your granite with a stone-safe granite cleaner after the discoloration goes away, then seal it as well.
If you have granite or another type of natural stone in your home, such as marble, slate, or travertine, care for your stone properly using the cleaning, sealing, and polishing products provided by Granite Gold®. Call one of our knowledgeable representatives today at 1-800-475-STONE (7866) if you have any questions, and check our Store Locator to find a store near you that carries Granite Gold® brand products.
Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.