How To Remove Limescale From Granite Countertops

Date: August 23, 2021
Author: Jon Smith
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Hard water can occasionally stain granite. When water contains a lot of minerals, it is considered hard water. These minerals can cause a buildup known as limescale. When limescale is allowed to build up, it can dull your granite countertops and eventually stain them.

Our easy-to-follow cleaning guide will teach you how to remove limescale from your granite countertops.

What Causes Limescale Build Up?

Many people do not realize that water can stain granite countertops. However, if you have hard water, you have probably experienced the white, chalky substance known as limescale. Limescale can also appear as pink, gray, or reddish-brown, depending on the mineral content found in your water.

In the beginning, limescale may not be visible; however, with continued exposure along with improper cleaning practices, your granite can begin to experience limescale buildup. Limescale is difficult to remove even with cleaning solutions that contain harsh chemicals that can potentially damage your granite countertops.

Products to Avoid

There are numerous products on the market that tout their ability to remove limescale. Unfortunately, many of these products should be avoided as they can damage the surface of your countertop. In addition to this, many DIY formulas can damage the natural stone surface and cause pitting.

Some of the ingredients that should be avoided include vinegar, bleach, disinfecting wipes, multipurpose cleaners, and window cleaner. Degreasers, ammonia, and bathroom cleaners can also damage your granite. Finally, avoid using abrasive materials like metal brushes, steel wool, and abrasive cleaners as these items can scratch and permanently damage your granite countertops.

Products to Use

There are several products that can be safely used to remove limescale buildup on granite countertops.

Window Scraper

Before beginning, replace the blade in your window scraper with a new replacement blade. A blade that is rusty or old can scratch the surface. So change the blade even if you have only used it a couple of times.

  • Pro Tip – Do no use a paint scraper, putty knife, or wallpaper scraper. These are no sharp enough to remove limescale and may scratch the surface of your countertops.

Microfiber Cloths

You will want to use a clean, microfiber cloth for this project. If you do not have a microfiber cleaning cloth on hand, you can use a clean, dry dishcloth or a roll of high-quality paper towels.

  • Pro Tip – When washing microfiber cloths avoid wash in hot water with a high-quality detergent. Do not use fabric softener as it can reduce the effectiveness of microfiber cloths and result in smearing.

Granite Polish

You will also need a stone polish designed for granite countertops. The polish is designed to restore the color and finish of your granite countertop.

How To Remove Limescale from Granite Countertops Safely

We have created a step-by-step guide on how to remove limescale from countertops. Follow these instructions to keep your granite looking great.

Step One – Wet the Countertop

Begin by wetting your microfiber cloth with hot water and placing it on the area you need to clean. If your limescale buildup is mild, it will only take a couple of minutes to soften the buildup. If, on the other hand, the buildup is heavy, you will need to leave the cloth on your countertop for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Pro Tip – One of the most common areas for limescale buildup is around the sink, including the base of your faucet and your drainer. Wrap a hot, wet cloth around the faucet and place a couple of hot, wet cloths on the drainer area. Allow these areas to soak while cleaning the rest of your countertops. You may need to rewet your microfiber cloth periodically.

Step Two – Remove the Limescale

After your countertop has soaked for a few minutes, the limescale should be soft enough to remove. Use your window scraper to remove the limescale buildup. Remember to keep the blade flat against the surface to avoid damaging your countertop.

As you scrape the limescale, you may need to re-wet your countertop. A wet blade is a lubricated blade. Wetting the surface often will make it easier to remove limescale from your countertop. Continue wetting and razoring the countertop until all limescale has been removed.

The limescale should come off without using much force. If you cannot remove the limescale with a smooth motion, re-wet the surface and allow the water to loosen the limescale for a few minutes longer.

  • Pro Tip – Make sure to keep the blade flat against the countertop. If the blade is not kept parallel to the surface, it can scrape the countertop.

Step Three – Dry the Countertop

Once the limescale has been removed, wash the countertop down using clean water. This will remove any loose bits of limescale and prevent them from reattaching to the countertop surface. Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to buff the countertop dry.

  • Pro Tip – Do not allow the countertop to air dry as this can cause spotting and streaking.

Step Four – Polish the Granite Countertop

Once dry, you will need to polish your granite countertop. Work in small areas to avoid streaking. Apply a small amount of polish to the countertop and allow to sit on the surface for about two minutes. Then, buff the countertop to a shine. When buffing, buff in a circular motion to avoid streaks.

  • Pro Tip – If areas of your countertop had heavy limescale buildup, you may notice that your countertops have lightened. The granite polish can help restore the color. Repeat the polishing process daily until the countertop reaches the desired color.

How to Avoid Future Limescale Build Up

The best thing you can do to avoid limescale buildup is to immediately dry your countertop after cleaning. Additionally, if you have a soap dispenser or drainer on your countertop, check under these daily and wipe and dry after each use.

Finally, if you notice any limescale buildup around the base of your faucet, you may have a leak. You may need to either replace the washers in your faucet or replace the entire faucet.

Drying your countertops and daily buffing will reduce the amount of limescale on your granite countertops. Buff daily to keep your countertops shining.

Final Thoughts

Limescale buildup can make your granite countertops look terrible. Luckily, you can easily remove the limescale. When it comes to limescale buildup, the most important thing to remember is prevention is key to keeping your countertops looking new. Wipe your countertops down daily, and buff dry using a soft, dry cloth

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About Jon - Website Owner

Jon Smith

Hi, my name is Jonathan Smith. I have been in the granite business for many years and have worked my way up from an installer helper to an installer and then a countertop business owner. 

I started my countertop company with very little and grew extremely fast because of my knowledge and helpfulness. I started this countertop resource for 1 main reason. That reason is that there are no countertop websites with all the correct information and none of them are from an industry expert like myself. 

I am still in the trade every single day installing countertops, educating people on the type of material they are using for their homes, and making people's dream kitchens a reality.
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