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How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Granite: What Can You Do?

Written by F. Resway on May 31, 2020
Edited By Marble Last Updated On January 01, 2024
Reviewed By Samantha Peterson
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Granite countertops are a top choice among homeowners because of the beauty and durability the surfaces bring. While the natural stone can stand up to a lot of the wear and tear it will see in the kitchen or bathroom, the surface can occasionally incur water stains. This guide will focus on a specific type of water stain called hard water stains, and how you can remove them from your granite countertop. 


What Are Hard Water Stains? 

While it may be obvious that a water stain is a stain caused by water making its way into the pores of your granite, you may be asking, “What is hard water?” Hard water stains are the result of ‘hard water’ buildup on your granite countertop. Hard water is water that has a high mineral content. Because of this, hard water stains are more difficult to treat than regular water stains, as they leave behind a mineral deposit. 

What Do Hard Water Stains Look Like? 

A hard water stain will often appear as a white ring, commonly around faucets. On the other hand, a regular water stain will either slightly lighten or slightly darken the area it impacts. But while regular water is likely to dry up, hard water stains can impact the appearance of your stone. 

How Do You Clean Hard Water Stains on Granite? 

To clean hard water stains on granite, you will need to use a cleaner specifically designed for use on the natural stone, such as this product. Regular water stains can often be removed using a poultice made with products like baking soda, but for hard water stains, you must follow a specific process. Apply the cleaner, scrub the area with a soft bristled brush and then rinse and dry with a soft cloth. Another way to remove these stains is to carefully take a single edge razor blade, gently scrape away the residue and then rinse and dry. While both can work, the better option here is to use the granite cleaner. 

Cleaning Hard Water Stains on Granite
Step 1 Apply a granite cleaner
Step 2 Gently scrub with a soft bristled brush
Step 3 Rinse and dry with a soft cloth

What Should You Avoid Using? 

Never use any abrasive cleaning products when attempting to remove hard water stains from your granite. Common household cleaners often fall into this category. Many of these products contain acidic components that can wear down the seal on your granite. You should also avoid cleaners such as bleach, Windex, vinegar and lemon juice. 


How Can You Avoid Hard Water Stains on Granite? 

The best way to try to keep your granite countertop free of hard water stains is by sealing. Granite, like most natural stone, is porous. Sealing closes up these pores so liquid and stains cannot sink down into the stone. 

You can seal your granite countertop using high-quality sealant products such as Laticrete StoneTech BulletProof Sealer. While this does not ensure that you will never get stains on your granite countertop, it does ensure that the surface is better protected from stains. 

In the case of hard water stains, the best stain remover will ultimately be a granite cleaner. While there are other methods to remove stains, this particular process can help with removing hard water stains from your granite.

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