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How To Clean Hard Water Stains From Granite

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You know it can be frustrating if you’ve tried cleaning hard water stains from granite surfaces. However, you can follow a few simple steps to make the job easier.

You can clean hard water stains from granite counters using water, soap, and baking soda. This process can take 30 minutes to 24 hours, depending on how bad the stains are. There are also products on the shelf should you want to take the quick route.

Cleaning hard water stains from granite using microfiber cloth.

In this article, I’ll walk you through 5 easy steps to remove hard water spots from your granite countertops. I’ll also provide some helpful tips and tricks to ensure your counters look their best. So, if you’re ready to get rid of those pesky hard water stains, read on!

Get more house cleaning tips here.

Identify the Source of the Hard Water Stains on Your Granite Countertops

Identifying the types of stains on your granite countertops can be tricky, but with a few tips, it is easily possible.

Begin by examining the granite’s surface.

Check if any blotchy or circular spots appear to be made up of calcium or magnesium residue in their pattern. If so, this identifies it as a hard water stain.

Another method is to use distilled vinegar and a towel: clean the affected area with a soft cloth and dampen it with some white vinegar, then use the same cloth to rub at the stain gently. If it becomes faint after rubbing, this indicates that this is a hard water stain from mineral deposits in the water itself.

Utilizing these techniques will ensure you can identify the source of the hard water stains on your granite countertops.

What Causes These Hard Water Stains on Granite Tops?

The leading cause of hard water stains on granite is minerals such as iron, calcium deposits, and magnesium reacting chemically with the stone surface.

Over time as water evaporates, these minerals deposit onto the surface of your stone, leaving behind a chalky residue/ white film that can corrode the finish and dull the appearance of the surface if not kept under check.

How to Clean Water Stains from Granite

While regular cleaning using mild soaps or detergents helps reduce the chance of stubborn hard water stains appearing on your granite tops, an occasional sealer application is recommended to ‘lock away’ minerals altogether – helping keep your beautiful stone looking like new for many years down the line.

But, following these simple steps will have your granite counters looking sparkly clean in no time. Because a clean kitchen is important to every homeowner.

Fill a Bucket With Warm Water and Add a Few Drops of Dish Soap 

For light stains, the best solution is fresh water and a mild detergent or dish soap. Avoiding abrasive cleaning products is the best way to ensure your granite stays in good condition.

When cleaning the hard water deposits on your granite countertops, you’ll want to begin by filling a bucket with warm water.

First, ensure that the bucket is large enough so that when adding the dish soap, there’s enough room for stirring. Then add a few drops of delicate liquid dish soap into the warm water and stir it gently until it creates sudsy bubbles.

An alternative is to put warm water in a spray bottle with a few drops of mild soap. This simple solution can be sprayed directly on the granite surface of the stained area.

Use a Soft Cloth To Wipe Down the Affected Areas With the Soapy Water

Start by dipping a soft cloth into warm soapy water.

Be sure to use a gentle cleanser such as mild dish soap. Gently scrub the affected areas, and make sure you use a circular motion. Continue wiping the affected area until the stain is gone.

Use a soft brush on these superficial water stains, especially around the base of the faucet.

Rinse the Area With Clean Water and Dry It Off With a Clean Towel

Rinse with clean water as necessary.

Once satisfied, dry off the area with a separate dry microfiber cloth or a few paper towels, so it doesn’t create any new watermarks before allowing it to air-dry completely. 

The good news is that doing this process at least once per week can help keep your granite countertops looking their best for a long time.

Use Baking Soda and Water 

Thankfully, removing these pesky stains is relatively straightforward once you have the necessary ingredients and supplies.

  1. First, ensure that all dirt and residue are removed from surfaces using a microfiber cloth and warm, soapy water.
  2. Then, make a thick paste out of baking soda and water – be sure that it’s about the consistency of toothpaste.
  3. Apply this mixture to your stains using a rag, soft-bristled brush, or an old toothbrush. Leave it there for around 10 minutes before rinsing it with warm water.
  4. If any signs of discoloration remain, use a granite polishing product on the affected areas with a clean cloth.

With these instructions in mind, you’ll be able to keep your granite countertops looking flawless despite those hard water stains!

If the Stains Are Still Visible, Apply the Paste Again and Let It Sit for 24 Hours

Even granite countertops are not immune from hard water stains, which can create unsightly blemishes along the stone.

Follow these steps to remove such stains and restore your countertops to their former glory.

  1. First, make a paste from baking soda and water, thick enough to stick to the granite but still thin enough to spread easily. Same as the above.
  2. Once you have made the paste, carefully apply it to all areas containing hard water stains; it is essential to be gentle with the stone and not scrub too vigorously.
  3. Let the mixture sit for up to 24 hours before further cleaning.
  4. After 24 hours, use a damp cloth or soft sponge to gently remove the paste and any lingering stains.
  5. Finally, rinse any remaining residue with clean water and a soft cloth, allowing your granite countertops to sparkle and shine like brand new!

If the stain still remains after the above techniques, use a razor blade or plastic scraper to gently remove the stain. This should only be used if absolutely necessary as you run the risk of scratching the granite surface.

Always test a small area first.

It is best to avoid lemon juice, ammonia, or bleach as they can damage the surface of the granite stone.

Best Cleaner to Purchase for Granite

Suppose you want to avoid making the paste and prefer a designated granite cleaner. Have a look at the two products found on Amazon:

How To Prevent Hard Water Stains From Happening

Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent hard water stains and build-up from staining your stone surfaces. 

Water ring forming from cup left on granite countertop.

Daily cleaning, including wiping away water droplets or excess water on counters, is a simple tip that can help you avoid granite stains from water in the first place. This is also great practice for cleaning your kitchen sink.

  1. First and foremost, wipe up any spills or water rings as quickly as possible since they can set into the granite’s porous surface and cause staining over time.
  2. Secondly, unless the label indicates otherwise, please refrain from using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers on your granite countertops or other surfaces, as they can harm the granite’s porous surface and lead to further staining.
  3. Finally, using synthetic sealant or polish on your granite surface will create an additional barrier against moisture seepage, which also helps prevent hard water from leaving its mark.

With these few basic steps in place, you’ll be well on your way toward maintaining beautiful granite for years to come.

Final Thoughts

Water-stained granite from mineral buildup is a common problem due to condensation from a drinking glass and the daily use of granite counter tops. Regardless of the method of cleaning used, always test a small area first.

Remove hard water stains from granite by using warm water and soap to clean granite. Gentle pressure and scrubbing the stained area with a soft cloth can typically wipe away the water stains. Use a soft towel to wipe away the soap and water after cleaning.

For the removal of high mineral content, use baking soda paste for stain removal. Leave it for 30 minutes to 24 hours, depending on the stain.

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