When you go online to look for advice on removing wine stains, you will likely find more than two million websites offering advice, tips, and numerous methods to handle this household situation. Spilled wine is something that happens far too often. This ancient fermented beverage is known to ruin favorite garments, sofas, rugs, and carpets, particularly when red wines are involved. When it comes to wine spilled on natural stone countertops, there is more than staining to worry about. In some cases, wine can break the seal of the stone or cause etching, which is a chemical reaction that causes damage to the surface of the stone.
The Propensity of Spilled Wine
If you have natural stone counters and keep wine in your house, a spill is bound to happen at some point. Most people associate being tipsy and clumsy as the main culprits of wine spills, but this has more to do with the bottling, packaging, and serving of wine. Most spills happen before anyone gets a sip. The uncorking process is awkward, particularly when it must be followed by pouring wine into flute-style glasses with long stems. Even the built-in dispensers in wine boxes are hardly spill-proof. If you only pour table wine in your house, you may be able to reduce spills by serving from a traditional, wide-mouth demijohn in a basket, but you will never be 100 percent free from the risk of spills.
The Importance of Sealing Natural Stone
Like most liquid substances, wine has the potential of leaving stains on stone countertops if the surface does not have an adequate seal. Let’s say you throw a party to show off your new gourmet kitchen complete with a center island and granite counter. Assuming the slab was sealed by the contractor, spilled wine will not form a stain, thus you can safely wipe it off with a cloth and stone-safe granite countertop cleaner. You can keep this seal fresh by frequently applying a sealer specifically formulated for stone. By doing this, you will not have to panic each time wine is accidentally spilled.
Removing Wine Stains from Stone
Should spilled wine form a stain on your granite or marble counters, this is a sign the granite sealer needs to be reapplied. Before resealing, you can remove the stain by soaking a paper towel or cotton balls in bleach and placing it right on top of the affected area, then allowing it to sit for 24 hours before rinsing with water. If this does not work, you can try lightly spraying bleach and scrubbing with a soft nylon brush.
The Soapstone Advantage
While granite counters have become wildly popular in the United States, pizzerias and delis in Italy have been using soapstone for centuries. The advantage with soapstone counters is that they are more resistant to staining than other types of stone. This does not mean they should not be cleaned and sealed often, but homeowners do not have to worry about waking up to find dark wine spots the morning after a dinner party.
After sealing and cleaning the natural stone countertops in your home, you can also use a granite polish to bring out the stone’s natural beauty and protect against water spots and fingerprints. If you have additional questions about caring for granite, marble, slate, soapstone, and other types of natural stone, reach out to Granite Gold® today at 1-800-475-STONE.