There are various stains that properly sealed granite will be able to withstand, and water is one of them—as long as it’s wiped up promptly and not left to sit on the surface of the stone for a long time, but this doesn’t include limescale accumulation from water that has a high mineral content.
Granite tends to be resistant to stains when properly sealed and maintained, which is why many homeowners choose it for kitchen countertops. However, when you have granite installed near faucets or drains, there’s always a chance of hard water stains forming. Here’s how to remove them.
Where Hard Water Comes From
Carbonates are salts derived from carbonic acid. You may know them as being part of baking soda, which is a sodium bicarbonate, and they’re also found in drinking water. The phenomenon known as hard water consists of a high volume of calcium and magnesium carbonates. Hard water is measured in terms of milligrams per liter, and it’s more prevalent in the American water management districts of the Southwest because this is where rivers have a higher mineral content.
Here’s a quick video explaining the simple, three-step process for caring for granite and other types of natural stone:
The Hard Water Staining Process
It’s not accurate to describe hard water buildup as a stain because it’s actually an accumulation of limescale. However, there’s a risk of hard water etching on granite. When hard water mixes with soaps and organic substances, the accumulation process will accelerate because of a bonding effect. When the granite surface is properly sealed, hard water starts out looking like a stain before it turns into a sticky crust over time. When the seal has been weakened, the carbonates may seep through the pores and result in etching.
Common Water Stains Versus Hard Water Stains
It’s possible for granite to be stained with water. If the surface isn’t protected, droplets will be absorbed before full evaporation. A hard water stain will form around faucets and drains. Plus, you can run your fingertips on the spot and feel that it has scaled and crusted.
Hard Water Accumulation Removal
To remove hard water stains from granite and other natural stone, start by using a new single-edge razor blade, gently scraping and shaving the buildup from the surface of the stone to prevent scratches. Then use a specially formulated granite cleaner such as Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® with a soft nylon brush or stone-safe scrubbing pad to clean the area.
Once the crust has been removed, you can apply a fresh coat of granite sealer. Regular polishing can also prevent the buildup.
At Granite Gold®, we carry a wide array of high-quality products that are safe to use on granite and other types of natural stone such as slate, travertine, and marble. To find our cleaning, sealing, and polishing products at a store near you, use our Store Locator. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.