How to Remove Every Type of Stain from Granite Countertops

Granite countertop stains come in all shapes and forms. Learn how to remove them all with this trusted guide to removing stains from your granite countertop.

A granite countertop can be the crowning glory of your kitchen, but it needs a little extra attention to keep it looking its best.

As natural stone is a porous material, common substances such as water, cooking oil, coffee, marker pens, and candle wax can seep into your beautiful stonework, leaving patches of discoloration and limescale buildup.

In this article, we’ll be sharing our professional tips on how to remove a stain from granite countertop surfaces quickly, and how to keep your countertop looking its best with minimal effort. 

Of course, if cleaning your countertop feels like a constant battle, you can always book a professional, affordable cleaner through Homeaglow.

Before you start

Natural stonework such as granite is very durable, but you need to ensure you treat it carefully to avoid damaging the surface. 

When you’re trying to remove stains from your granite countertop, avoid harsh or acidic cleaners such as:

  • Lemon juice
  • Vinegar
  • Ammonia
  • Abrasive commercial cleaning solutions
  • Steel scouring pads

All of these can damage the sealant on the granite, and eat into the surface of the stone, making it progressively harder to maintain over time. (The same goes for cleaning stone shower tiles and cleaning marble tabletops.)

To clean your granite countertop effectively and gently, we recommend having these items on hand to remove any stains as soon as they appear:

  • Gentle liquid dish soap
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Sponges and microfiber cloths
  • Acetone
  • Plastic scraper
  • Brillo pad or other stone-safe scrubbing pad
  • Old toothbrushes
  • Cling wrap
  • Sticky tape (preferably one that doesn’t leave sticky residue!)
  • Granite sealant

How to remove an oil stain from a granite countertop

If you notice a splash or a ring on your granite counter that has been caused by cooking oil, it’s simple enough to remove this with some common household cleaners.

  1. In a small bowl, mix together a tablespoon of baking soda and a few squirts of liquid dish soap. Mix this into a spreadable paste and apply it to the oil stain.
  1. Tear off some cling film and cover the stained area. We recommend taping the cling film down with some sticky tape to hold it in place.
  1. Leave the baking soda paste on the stain for about an hour, or overnight if it looks like it might be a stubborn stain. Then, peel off the cling wrap and wipe the area down with a clean, wet sponge. If the stain is still visible, repeat the above steps. 

For extra stubborn oil stains on granite, you can mix up a paste using baking soda and a few drops of acetone. This mixture makes for a gentle cleaner, and will not harm your granite countertop. Follow the above steps and clean the paste off after an hour to check if the stain has been removed.

If you use a lot of oil for cooking in your kitchen, ensure you check and seal your granite countertop regularly to prevent drips, splatters, and stains from becoming a constant cleaning chore.

How to remove a grease stain from a granite countertop

Similar to oil stains, greasy stains from things like butter, fat, cosmetics, and skincare products can all leave marks on your stone countertop that can detract from its natural beauty.

To remove a grease stain from a granite countertop or backsplash, reach for your trusty baking soda (or cornstarch).

  1. In a small bowl, mix some baking soda with a small amount of water to form a spreadable paste. 
  1. Using a clean cloth, spread the paste over the grease-stained area. Tape some cling film over the stained area and leave this solution on overnight to draw out the grease from the granite.
  1. In the morning, remove the cling film and paste, and wipe down the area with a soft, wet cloth or sponge. Repeat these steps if the stain needs more time to lift out.

How to get soap stains out of granite 

If you have a granite countertop in your kitchen or bathroom, it’s going to be a high-traffic area for soap residue, which means you’ll need to pay regular attention to keeping it clean and dry to avoid soap buildup and staining.

Many common kitchen and bathroom commercial cleaners contain chemicals that can break down the surface of granite over time, so we recommend a gentler option if you’re wondering how to get soap stains out of granite.

You can try these two trusted methods, depending on the type of soap stain you’re looking at.

Wet sponge

Leave a moistened sponge on top of the soap stain for a day or two. This can lift the residue out of your granite. We recommend this as a good first option to try for stain removal. 


If you need a little more strength, it’s time to bring out the baking soda and acetone. 

  1. Mix baking soda and a few drops of acetone in a small bowl to form a paste. 
  2. Spread this onto the soap stain and cover this area with cling film. Tape the plastic film down and leave the paste to work its magic overnight until the baking soda has had time to dry and neutralize the soap residue. 
  3. In the morning, clean the stained area and repeat the above steps (if needed) until the stain has completely gone.

How to remove limescale from granite countertops

Limescale can be a serious problem for your granite if you live in an area with hard water. This type of water is high in dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which can make it more difficult to clean down your countertop. It can also leave your granite looking filmy and streaky. 

These mineral deposits commonly appear as a brownish-red, pink, or gray film, which can eat into the surface of your countertop over time, decreasing the longevity of the stonework.

While you might not notice it at first, limescale can accumulate and leave your granite countertop looking dull. You might also notice it caking up around places like faucets and sinks. Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to remove limescale from granite countertops when you do notice a buildup happening.

Don’t be tempted to reach for harsh chemicals to solve this problem. Gentle household cleaners work just as well, without any collateral damage to your granite.

  1. Using a Brillo pad, or any other stone-safe scrubbing pad, work gently at the areas of granite where you notice any chalky limescale patches building up. This should quickly remove the minerals from your countertop and return your granite to its original appearance.
  1. If the buildup is heavy, soak a microfiber cloth in hot water first, and cover the limescale area with this cloth for about 15 minutes to loosen up the minerals. Then gently clean as above with your scrubbing pad.
  1. Once you’ve removed the limescale, wash your granite countertop down with clean water to remove any lingering particles that might settle back into the stone. Finish up by drying and buffing your countertop with a clean microfiber cloth.

If limescale is an ongoing problem, ensure that you always dry your granite countertop after you wash it. This will remove any mineral buildup and ensure your stonework stays shiny and fresh.

How to get wax off granite

Candles are a popular kitchen accessory to add ambiance to your home and invigorate the senses with delicious scents. But if you put them on your countertop, you should know how to get wax off granite quickly in the event of any spills and splashes.

  1. When you notice a wax stain, grab a plastic scraper (or a single razor blade) and gently scrape the excess wax from the surface of your countertop. 
  1. Heat your iron to a warm setting. Place a towel over the remaining wax stain and press down on the towel gently to melt any remaining wax and lift it up into the towel fibers. 

These steps should completely remove the wax from your granite. Clean the area with fresh water, then dry and buff the countertop with a soft cloth.

How to get sharpie off of granite

If you’ve got kids, there’s a good chance your granite is going to meet with a permanent marker at some point. So we’re going to share our two favorite methods for how to get sharpie off of granite in a flash.

Magic Eraser

This is our favorite method, and the easiest one. It’s completely safe to use on granite. All you need to do is wet the eraser and rub it in a circular motion over the sharpie stain. And like magic, the stain will disappear.

Baking soda

  1. Mix up a paste of 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, and 1 tablespoon of warm water in a bowl. 
  2. Wipe this paste onto the sharpie stain and leave for 15-30 minutes. 
  3. Once it has dried, wipe away the paste and clean down the area with fresh water and a clean cloth. 
  4. If the sharpie mark is still visible, repeat this process until your granite is back to normal.

How to get coffee stains out of granite

Coffee stains and granite countertops pretty much go hand in hand. To prevent these stains, we recommend using coasters at coffee time and wiping up any coffee drips and splashes as soon as they happen.

  1. Clean the coffee-stained area using a soft cloth, warm water, and liquid dish soap. This should remove the majority of coffee stains out of granite.
  2. If you need a stronger solution for old or stubborn coffee marks, mix up a paste made from 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. 
  3. Apply the paste to the coffee stain and cover it with cling film. Tape the plastic film down and leave this paste on overnight to dry. 
  4. In the morning, remove the plastic and wipe the paste away using fresh water and a clean cloth. Dry and buff the area to restore the luster of the granite.

How to prevent water stains on granite countertops

Water is a common visitor to granite countertops, but it can dry and leave splash marks, streaks, and rings, which detract from the beauty of this stone.

Most water stains can be quickly removed using a bit more water and liquid dish soap. Simply wash your countertop down with a wet, soapy cloth, then rinse it off and polish it dry.

If you notice chalky residue or film on your countertop, you might have hard water stains which require a different cleaning method. In that case, follow the steps for limescale removal that we mentioned above.

To prevent all types of water stains from discoloring or staining your granite, it’s important that you don’t let water sit on your countertop for too long. Clean and dry any watermarks the moment you notice them.

Check and seal your granite countertop regularly

The best way to prevent stains from permanently affecting your granite countertop is to seal the surface regularly. Granite sealant is available from good hardware and homeware stores. 

After you’ve cleaned your countertop, apply the sealant according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The sealer will sink into the granite and fill in the porous surface, repelling stains and making your countertop much easier to keep clean.

Keep your granite countertop looking spectacular for years to come

The natural finish and beautiful colors of granite make it a popular choice for countertops in kitchens and bathrooms. But this stonework needs a little extra attention to ensure it stays vibrant and shiny.

If you’d like any help keeping your countertops and kitchen clean, Homeaglow is here to help. Find and book your perfect cleaner online today.

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