Granite countertops are incredibly durable. They won’t get scorched or blistered by a hot pan, or scratched by knives or metal appliances.
However, they do have one natural enemy: water.
So if you’ve just invested thousands of dollars on your granite counters, you need to read this article to know the issues water being left on your granite countertop can cause.
Granite countertops can get water stains, especially if your countertop was not properly sealed. These stains look like water spots or rings and cause an etching look.
Sometimes, these stains will appear as rings like the outline of a cup. Or, you may notice discolored areas, which are a sign that water has penetrated into the deeper layers.
Clean purified water will likely not have any adverse effects on your granite countertops. There are concerns with tap water or any other liquids that find a place on your countertops.
Continue reading to learn more about the effects of water on granite countertops.
Small amounts of water—like water that splashed from the faucet while you were washing dishes, or a small spill from a pitcher—will naturally evaporate leaving behind calcium and other minerals that cause your granite countertops to discolor.
Large spills can cause larger and deeper stains, especially if it’s not wiped dry right away.
This can happen if you didn’t notice a bottle or pipe was leaking, or if a damp glass or pot collected condensation and was left to sit for several days.
And if you live in a hard water area, be extra careful: hard water contains minerals, which is more likely to stain any stone countertop—whether it’s granite, marble, or quartz. This can often lead to hard water rings, especially around the faucet.
Luckily, most light water stains can be removed without any expensive products, especially if you treat them right away. It is best to use Granite Gold Daily Cleaner to clean your countertops.
For very small water spots or stains:
Just clean the stain with Granite Gold Daily Cleaner. You can get the product here on Amazon. If you need to you can scrub the area with a very soft-bristled brush, like a toothbrush).
Some people also like to use denatured alcohol to clean water stains. It can be effective in removing water stains also.
For bigger or more stubborn waters stains:
Mix together baking soda and water until you get a thick paste. Apply on the stained area, leave for a few minutes, and then scrub with a cloth or a soft brush. Rinse with clean water, and then repeat until you completely remove the stain. Or use this product which is known for stain removal. I use it often.
For hard water stains:
Hard water stains can be very difficult to remove, because of the mineral deposits. You can use this product to remove these stains.
If you do not have cling wrap, use any plastic sheet but tape down the edges—you want the plastic to press down the poultice, and keep it from evaporating or washing off.
Leave the poultice for 24 hours or until fully dry. Then, scrape off the paste with a rag or scouring pad. A wood shim or razorblade will work well for this.
If the poultice doesn’t work—or if you prefer to buy a specialty product—you can get stain removal products designed especially for countertops.
Always remember to do a spot test of any cleaning product on a small corner of your granite countertop, so you know it won’t damage the color or finish.
You can seal granite countertops to prevent water stains.
Most new counters are already pre-sealed for your convenience, but this protective layer can wear out or break down.
It is best to seal your granite countertops every 6 months to 1 year. To check if your granite countertops need re-sealing, do the Water Drop Test.
Pour a little water on a small area of your counter. Wait 10 to 15 minutes, then check. If you see water beads, that means the sealer is preventing liquid from soaking into the granite countertop. If the counter has absorbed the water, then you need to reseal it right away.
How to seal your countertop:
You can find all the information you need here on our granite sealer page showing you the best granite sealers that we recommend.
Clean the counter, wipe it dry and then spray a generous amount of the sealant. Leave it for 15 to 20 minutes, and then wipe away any excess sealant with a lint-free cloth.
Let the sealant “cure” for at least 24 to 48 hours. Don’t wet or wash the countertop, or use any acidic compound like lemon juice.
This is a general overview on sealing granite but be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations on how to seal granite countertops.
How often to reseal your countertop:
Light-colored countertops may need to be sealed more frequently—typically once a year.
However, always do a water drop test first, to check if the seal is breaking down before applying a fresh layer. Oversealing countertops can actually make granite counters look hazy, and that can be very difficult to correct.
Yes! Depending on the severity water stains are easy to remove and prevent, and resealing will only take a few minutes of your time each year.
With the proper care, your counters will last for years without any damage or discoloration.
For their beauty and durability, they are truly worth the investment.
The best advice I can give you is the most famous saying of all. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Be sure to seal your granite every 6 months to 1 year and if you have new countertops installed be sure to watch them seal it so you know it is done after installation. This will ensure that your countertops are going to prevent hard water stains and look as new as they were first installed.
Do you have hard water stains on your granite countertops? Please use the contact page here and reach out. I would like to get a picture of your stains to use in my article.