Granite countertops are prevalent nowadays, and many households have them either in the kitchen or bathroom. You should clean your granite countertops frequently, so you don’t let hard water stains build up over time. If you haven’t cleaned these countertops in a while, then white powder-like smears have probably materialized near the faucets and everywhere tap water sprays. Hard water stains are usually the reason why your granite countertops aren’t as shiny as usual. In this article, we will explain all the safe ways you can clean hard water stains from your granite countertops, give you some tips regarding the care of your granite countertops, and solutions for hard water. You will immensely decrease your hard water stain problem if you follow our tips and tricks.
How to Clean Hard Water Stains from Granite?
Granite is often used in modern households today, and whether it’s in a kitchen or your bathroom, it’s a luxurious thing to add to make the surface look elegant and shiny. If you have hard water stains around your faucets and other places on the countertop, there are a few things you can try which will clean the surface and make it look shiny again.
Professional Granite Cleaner
The easiest solution is to buy a cleaner that is specifically designed for granite. You can find one online or at any store that sells these products in your area. These cleaners are creamy-like, and you need to follow the instructions on the package. For most cleaners, you need to put the solution on the granite countertop and use a soft sponge or cloth to spread the cleaner evenly on the entire surface of the countertop. Leave it for about fifteen to thirty minutes for the granite to absorb the cleaner. Use a soft cloth like a microfiber cleaning cloth to wipe the counter. You can use water to clean the granite cleaner and then wipe it off using a dry soft cloth. If there are stains that are harder to remove, you should use a single edge razor blade to lightly push the hard water stain and then wipe the area with the cloth, rinse and dry it.
Home Made Granite Cleaning Solutions
If you don’t have a professional granite cleaner handy and you want to remove a hard water stain, then use one of these methods:
- Combine baking soda and water into a soft paste and apply it to the stain. Scrub it by using a soft sponge or brush, and once you are satisfied with the result, rinse the spot with clean water and dry it well.
- Combine baking soda and a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and apply it to the stain. Then cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for a day. Remove it using a damp soft cloth, and you can clean the surface with mild soap and water to equalize the granite shine of the whole surface.
- Combine water, three drops of hand soap, and a small amount (¼ cup) of rubbing alcohol. Spray the substance on the counter and wipe it with a soft cloth. You can use this solution every day and even on appliances and faucets. You can even add a few drops of essential oils to the mixture making the solution smell better.
What to Use to Clean Granite Daily and Prevent Hard Water Stains?
Even if you don’t have stains around your faucets, you still need to take care of your granite countertops by cleaning them frequently to prevent the buildup of hard water stains on the surface. Here are some of the ways you can use to prevent hard water stains:
Use Some Kind of a Water Softener Solution
Using a solution to soften your water in your household is one way to prevent hard water from staining your countertops. There are plenty of high-quality water softeners out there designed for different parts of your home. So look for the one that suits your needs and don’t hesitate to install it because it will significantly decrease your hard water issues. Softening the water will contribute to all of the following areas:
- Prevent the buildup of mineral substances and corrosion in your pipes.
- Make your skin hydrated and softer, because hard water dries your skin.
- Soaps and shampoos will produce more foam, which means you won’t have to use as much product.
- Your clothes may feel stiffer and even have hard water stains if you don’t soften the water in your household.
When buying a water softener, you will also need to purchase salts responsible for softening your water by exchanging particular ions. You can purchase special salts for water softeners after following this guide in the form of salt tablets, bags, or crystals and add them to the tank.
Clean the Surface with Mild Detergent (Hand Washing Soap) and Water
Combine hand washing soap and water to create a solution and spray it on the granite countertop. To rinse it off, don’t use water, but a soft cloth, like a microfiber cleaning cloth, to soak up the solution from the granite. This will add shine to your countertops, and we recommend using this method at least once every day, and if you can’t every few days, to effectively prevent hard water stains.
Use Some Kind of a Water Filtering System
Water filtering at home is another option you can try out, which has many benefits, like:
- Drink safe water from the tap
- Help the environment
- Prevent any plumbing problems
- Spend less on soaps, shampoos, and bottled water
- Reduces hard water stains on surfaces
One of the best filtration systems is the RO system (reverse osmosis), which purifies the water via a semi-permeable membrane. There are plenty of top-rated reverse osmosis systems that we have reviewed and that you can buy online but read up on them to make sure you get the right one for your household.
Clean Hard Water Stains When You Notice Them
We know that this rule applies differently depending on the situation, but if you have the time, clean the hard water stain as soon as you see it, so it doesn’t build up more over time. As we said, cleaning the granite surface every day with mild soap and water is one way to extend the life of the granite and make sure it looks brand new. You can also dry the granite using a soft cloth after you use part of it. For example, if you washed the dishes you can use a soft cloth to dry the surface of the granite and near the faucets to prevent hard water stains from forming.
Things to Avoid While Cleaning Granite Surfaces
When cleaning granite using any one of the methods we described above, we recommend that you protect the sealant (surface of the stone) as much as possible. Any scrapes, scratches, or other damage may cause the sealant to break, which means that your granite would be more prone to damage, stains, and you may compromise the stone.
As much as you clean and protect your granite, some damage is expected, that’s why we recommend that you have your granite countertops re-sealed once a year at least to make sure they look in perfect condition. The fastest way to test if you need to re-seal your granite is to place a water drop on it. If the droplet soaks, then the sealant needs to be replaced, but if it stays on the counter, then you are okay. There are helpful tips and guides online which can show you how you can re-seal your granite countertop yourself, but if you don’t want to do it, there are professionals out there who will help you.
Another tip regarding granite cleaning is to forget about any acid cleaners of any kind (even natural ones, like lemon juice or vinegar. Acids cause damage to natural stone, and you shouldn’t clean the countertop with them. Also, you need to use soft materials to clean the surface, avoid anything that can scratch the surface of the granite countertop. Abrasive materials are also not recommended to clean granite countertops, like Brillo pads, wool, etc.
Summary for Hard Water Stain Removal on Granite Countertops
Whether it’s a mild condensation stain left behind from a hot cup or a hard water stain around your faucets, it’s inevitable to stain your granite countertop. The various types of smears have different solutions, but the best advice you can take is to regularly clean your granite surface and not use any acids or abrasives, which can additionally damage the surface. If there are too many scratches and the granite sealant is compromised, you will have to re-seal your granite countertop either by yourself (DIY) or hire someone to do it professionally. We explained all the solutions we could think of to fight hard water stains and even gave you some tips on how to keep your granite surface clean and shiny for years. If you come across tips that recommend using acids or natural acids, like vinegar, don’t listen to them because they can damage the granite surface.
Hard water stains are also a problem on stainless steel surfaces. Read our article to get rid of these hard water stains on stainless steel surfaces, as well.