How to Remove Stains From Granite Countertop? [Safely]

stains on granite

Are you noticing your granite countertop’s sheen fading away because of stains? Are you worried that it’s affecting the aesthetics of your kitchen? Are you looking for ways to remove stains from granite countertops?  

Like most natural stones, granite may lose its splendor due to several environmental factors. In addition, oil or beverage spills impact its surface, causing it to lose its lustrous appearance. There are several reasons why granite loses its glossiness. One prominent reason is the development of stains on the granite countertop.

What is the Difference Between Stain and Etch?

First and foremost, it’s crucial to identify the exact reason for the granite discoloration. Color-fading of granite may happen due to stains or etches. 

Discoloration due to stains is the most prevalent reason. Granite, being porous, absorbs materials into it, leading to a change in color that differs from the remaining area of the countertop. Stains happen mainly due to food and drink spillage or exposure to chemicals. Removing stains is easy, as it requires the removal of particles that settle in granite.

Etches on granite are due to changes in the chemical composition when any strong chemical or acidic substances come into contact with it. The usual methods of stain removal do not work on etchings. You may need to involve a professional specialist to remove discoloration formed due to etching. The professional may refinish or repolish the granite, depending on the severity of the damage, to restore its beauty.

How to Remove Different Stains From Granite Countertops?

You must first identify the reason for the stain, e.g., whether it’s due to food or drink, oil, biological, hard water, glue, paint or ink, or rust. Because, in this case, one solution doesn’t fit all. The procedure differs based on the stain type.

Based on the type, we have sorted out the solutions to remove stains from granite countertops.

Related: What is the effect of oven cleaners on countertops?

1. Food and Drinks Stains

food spill on granite countertop

Stains from food and drink are tough ones. A mix of bleach and water has proven effective for removing these stains from sealed granite. However, as a thumb rule, use diluted bleach and avoid using it in pure concentration.

  1. Mix 1/3 cup of bleach into 1 gallon of water.
  2. Apply the solution and gently scrub the stain with a soft cloth or sponge.
  3. Let it sit on the countertop for ten minutes.
  4. Rinse the area with clean water.
  5. Allow it to air-dry.

2. Oil Stains

oil stains on granite countertop

Avoid using lemon juice or vinegar to remove oil stains. Lemon juice and vinegar are acidic and ruin the granite. The ideal way to remove the grease stain is by using baking soda. 

  1. Blot up excess oil with a paper towel.
  2. Mix a paste of baking soda and water.
  3. Apply the paste to the stain and cover it with plastic wrap.
  4. Let the paste sit on the stain overnight.
  5. Remove the paste, rinse with clean water, and dry the countertop with a microfiber cloth.

3. Biological Stains

mold on granite countertop

Mold and mildew also stain granite. The safest option is to use mold removers specifically designed to remove mold. If the mold remover is too harsh on the granite, involve a stone specialist. 

A few “experts” may suggest a solution containing bleach. However, you will damage the affected area of the granite if you use bleach to do so. Calling a professional to care for the problem and save your granite from further deterioration is best.

4. Hard Water Stains

hard water stains on granite countertop

Mineral deposition may cause stains on the granite due to hard water. Apply soft detergent to the affected area and clean it with a soft-bristled brush to remove the stains.

If the stains are hard, you can use baking soda paste to remove hard water stains.

5. Super Glue Stains

super glue stains on granite countertop.

Using super glue on the granite may stain it if it comes into contact with it.

  1. Procure a damp swab.
  2. Dampen it with rubbing alcohol.
  3. Rub the glue that is stuck on the granite with this cotton.
  4. The rubbing alcohol helps break the superglue and enables you to clean the affected area effortlessly.
  5. Use another clean, damp cloth piece to remove the softened glue.
  6. Ensure you do it carefully and quickly because rubbing alcohol remains in contact with the granite and may etch it if settled for a long time.

6. Paint or Ink Stains

paint stain on granite countertop

Use hydrogen peroxide or lacquer thinner to remove paint and ink stains. Hydrogen peroxide works better on lighter stones, while lacquer thinner is best for dark ones. Use both materials carefully and apply them in spots with extra care because they contain high-strength chemicals, enough to discolor the countertops.

Scrape off the paint stain with a typical razor blade if it’s superficial. 

A poultice mixture helps you remove stains if the above components fail.

7. Rust Stains

rust stains on granite countertop

Rust stains are quickly noticeable as they take on the color of the metals in the form of stands or utensils that stay on the countertop for a long time. These stains may be hard to remove as they become permanent. Here also, a poultice mixture may help you remove the stains.

  • Can stains come out of granite?

    Yes, stains can be removed from granite surfaces. The effectiveness of stain removal depends on the type of stain and the sealer used on the granite.

  • Can baking soda remove stains from granite?

    Yes, to do so, create a paste by mixing baking soda with water to form a thick consistency, apply it to the stained area, gently scrub with a soft cloth, and rinse thoroughly with water.

  • Are granite stains permanent?

    Stains may become permanent if left as they are without treatment. Therefore, it’s mandatory to clean it periodically.


A granite countertop adds a degree of elegance to your kitchen. However, it may stain for various reasons, ranging from hard water, food, and drink spillage to oil, grease, inks, paints, superglue, or metal. It requires regular cleaning and maintenance to restore its former glory.

Before working to remove stains from granite countertops, it’s crucial to identify whether they’re stains or etchings. Then, narrow it down to determine what type of stain it is, and accordingly, use the appropriate method to eliminate it.

Related: Solid Surface vs. Quarts Countertop.