How to Safely Remove Hard Water Stains from Granite

Don't let hard water stains leave your granite countertops looking dull.

Granite is a natural stone that feels luxurious when used for kitchen countertops or vanity units. However, hard water stains can make it look dull and less than perfect. If you’re wondering why your granite surfaces haven’t been as gleaming as usual, this could be the reason.

Learning how to remove hard water stains from granite will eliminate the dullness and return its luster. The quartz and feldspar will twinkle again, and your surfaces will be restored to their natural glory.

Why Does Hard Water Stain Granite?

Granite is a favorite material for kitchens and bathrooms; however, these are the places where we use water all the time. Splashes around faucets are common, and while you may wipe them up, inevitable spots remain.

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Hard water contains minerals, including calcium and magnesium. When water is allowed to stand on your granite surface, it evaporates, leaving these hard deposits behind. Over time, they build up, and you end up will dull, whitish marks on your granite (1).

Mineral deposits won’t harm your granite surfaces. But, the longer you leave them, the harder they are to remove. We have different cleaning options below, depending on the severity of the hard water stains.

Daily Cleaning for Light Stains

Use mild detergent and water on a sponge to clean your granite surfaces daily. Alternately, choose a cleaning product that’s designed specifically for use on stone.

Be Careful

Make sure the cleaner you use is suitable for granite and is not acidic as this can damage the sealant and the stone.

Choose one from a specialist stone care company like the Granite Gold, and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.

Pro Tip

Cleaning stains as soon as you notice them will mean less work in the long run. What you think is a water stain might be a soap deposit and so will clean up easily.

Light Hard Water Stains

If you notice some light spots around your sink or basin, they can be easily cleaned off:

  1. Detergent: Use a mild detergent and a brush with soft bristles (or a toothbrush).
  2. Scrub: Put your cleanser on the stain and gently scrub it with the brush to lift the mineral deposits.
  3. Rinse and dry: Once finished, rinse it off with clean water and dry it with a towel.

Try This

You could use a designated granite cleaner and leave it to sit on the stain for about 30 minutes to loosen the minerals. Then, scrub gently with a soft brush and rinse and dry once the stain has gone.

Slightly Stubborn Hard Water Stains

If the detergent and brush combination doesn’t remove the water stains, try a home remedy — baking soda. This method might take several applications to remove the stain altogether, so be persistent!

  1. Create a paste: Mix baking soda with a small amount of water until it forms a paste.
  2. Scrub: Apply the paste to the hard water stain and gently scrub it with a soft bristle brush.
  3. Finish: Rinse with fresh water and dry with a towel.

Obstinate Stains Around Faucets

Water rings tend to build up around the base of your faucet. When this happens, you need to bring out the big guns — well, the plastic scraper or a razor blade.

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Be Careful

Take care not to make any gouges in the stone surface or damage the sealant.
  1. Set up: Using a plastic putty knife, make sure the edge is flat against the granite.
  2. Scrape: Remove the mineral deposits by pushing the blade against them using gentle pressure.
  3. Wipe, rinse and dry: The buildup should start to flake off, and can then be wiped with a sponge, rinsed with clean water, and dried with a towel.

If the putty knife doesn’t work, you can use a sharp, clean razor blade. Again, make sure the blade is level with the granite and work slowly and gently to loosen mineral deposits. Take particular care not to cut your fingers or the surface of the granite.


Using a commercially prepared granite cleaner to soak the stains before scraping might make them easier to remove. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.

A Few Words of Caution

  1. Protect the sealant: Granite is durable and tough, but if you damage the sealant or the surface of the stone, it can become porous (2). This means it will stain easier, and the surface of the stone can be compromised.
  2. Avoid acid: Don’t use acidic cleaners, even natural ones like vinegar or lemon juice. Also, steer clear of steel wool and harsh, abrasive cleaning components that can scratch the surface.
  3. Reseal: As part of regular maintenance of your granite surfaces, have them resealed every few years. You can check if the stone sealant is wearing away by putting a drop of water on the surface of the granite. If it stays then the sealant is working; if it soaks in, then it needs replacing.

Glowing Granite

Learning how to remove hard water stains from granite will keep your countertops or vanity surfaces looking pristine and glossy. It will help protect the surface and can prolong their life.

Clean hard water stains as soon as you notice them. This will save elbow grease and make cleaning a breeze. Don’t forget to take steps to protect your beautiful granite surface when scraping and using cleaning products.

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About the Author

Sylvia Jones

Sylvia Jones is a hands-on, DIY aficionado from Indiana. She is passionate about home improvement, gardening, and environmental conservation. In her spare time, you can find Sylvia getting involved in home improvement projects around the house with her husband, or spending quality time out in the yard.