Discover the Best Hard Water Stain Remover for Granite Countertops

How To Clean Hard Water Stains Off Granite Countertops

Hard water can be a pain in the neck and tends to leave marks and spots if not wiped away immediately. If you have natural granite countertops and hard water in your faucets, you may be wondering how to clean hard water stains from granite. What’s the best way to do this?

The best way to clean hard water stains off of granite is with a mild mix of baking soda and water combined with gentle scrubbing. Tougher products and scrubbing materials can damage granite and should be avoided.

Keep reading to learn more about how to clean hard water stains from granite, the problems hard water can cause, and which cleaning products to avoid on granite countertops.

Wondering why your glassware and dishes have unsightly spots? It could be due to water hardness.

Related articles:
How To Get Rid of Hard Water Spots on Faucets
Toilet Bowl Cleaner for Hard Water: Tips and Tricks for Stubborn Stains

How Do I Clean Granite of Hard Water Stains?

Hard water stains are fairly easy to tackle on granite. Granite is a fairly tough stone and can hold up to gentle scrubbing and mild chemical cleaners. The simplest way to clean hard water stains on granite is with a mix of baking soda and water.

Combine one part water and one part baking soda into a foamy paste, put some gloves on, and begin gently scrubbing your stains with the paste and a damp, soft cloth. Feel free to graduate up to a soft-bristled brush for especially tough stains and wipe the area clean and dry with a soft microfiber cloth.

This baking soda and water combo should work great for most situations, but the easiest way to prevent damage to granite countertops is to be aware of what makes hard water problematic, and how to prevent build-up.

Say goodbye to pesky mineral buildup with these DIY techniques for tackling hard water at home.

What’s Problematic About Hard Water?

Hard water is simply tap water with high mineral deposits. The minerals calcium and magnesium are especially pronounced, and these minerals can leave behind a white, unattractive film after the water evaporates. You may have noticed spots on your faucet; this is evidence of hard water, too.

Hard water is mostly a cosmetic issue with granite, but most consumers invest in granite countertops not only for durability but also for the exceptional beauty of the stone. Keeping it looking its best is important, and any kind of stain on granite will decrease the enjoyability of the material.

So how can you prevent hard water stains, to begin with? What should you be aware of, and how can hard water stains be prevented?

Understand the indicators of hard water in your household to take the necessary steps towards a cleaner, healthier living space.

How Can I Prevent Hard Water Stains on Granite?

We’re not meaning to be patronizing here, but the easiest way to prevent hard water stains on granite is to keep it dry. This is especially important around the faucet where water can leak and dry out without being readily noticed.

Be careful to clean up after doing dishes or scrubbing out pots and pans, and if you use a drip tray for drying dishes be sure to keep the area under and around it dry and clean. Consider putting a fluffy microfiber towel under your drip tray to absorb hard water, and be sure to check this area often for stains.

The same toweling material is useful for drying inverted glasses and mugs and will help keep your granite dry, beautiful, and stain-free. If you wash down your countertops with tap water, dry them thoroughly.

You may also wish to invest in a point-of-entry water softener device to eliminate hard water stains at the source. This will be costly but will solve the problem of hard water in the kitchen as well as the restroom. So will hard water ruin granite completely? What’s the worst that it can do?

Will Hard Water Ruin Granite?

If your granite is sealed, this will offer it some protection from hard water, and other damages. The seal is a compound that sprays on and offers good protection from moisture and stains.

Granite is pretty tough, but as a stone, it’s still porous and can absorb water. This absorbed water can cause damage eventually, and granite can also absorb problematic ingredients like turmeric powder which can ruin countertops, even if sealed. The lighter colored your granite is, the worse it will look when stained.

Hard water will typically not ruin countertops, but the longer you allow a stain to hang around, the tougher it will be to remove. Intense scrubbing at these stains can damage granite, and some harsh cleaning agents can ruin granite, too. Which cleaning agents should you not use on your granite countertops?

Can I Use Harsh Cleansers on Granite?

Granite is a pretty tough rock, but some household cleaning products can not be used with granite. You’ll want to avoid anything bleach-rich or acidic, and this includes common household cleaners like Comet and Bar Keeper’s Friend. They’re great products, but they’re just too harsh for granite.

What about CLR? The problem with CLR is that it contains an acidic ingredient that eats away at calcium and lime but can also damage stone. Even though CLR is designed to remove hard water stains, make sure it’s used only on metal, not on or even near granite. Granite cleaners should be closer to a neutral 7 in pH level, and you’ll also want to avoid vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, and Windex.

Granite holds up pretty well to scratches, even scratches from knives. That doesn’t mean you’ll want to put that density to the test, though. Avoid extra-rough products like steel wool, and stick to softer cloth materials that can absorb moisture and rub in polish without causing damage.


Hard water stains on granite countertops can be removed with a mix of baking soda, water, and gentle scrubbing. These hard water stains are typically cosmetic but can damage granite if not immediately cleaned up. The harsh scrubbing that it takes to remove stubborn hard water stains can also cause damage to countertops.

Make sure to dry up any water that does pool, especially near faucets and sinks. Protect countertops with absorbent microfiber towels near drip trays, and allow dishes and glasses to dry on top of a soft surface or mat, not directly on the granite surface. Finally, avoid harsh cleansers like Comet and CLR, as these can seriously damage granite and granite seals.

Boch Richard

Richard Boch is a chemical engineer responsible for designing water filtration systems for industrial and residential customers. He has more than 20 years of experience with ion exchange, activated carbon, and reverse osmosis. Richard's expertise has made him a go-to source for municipalities and businesses looking to improve their water quality. When he's not working, Richard enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.

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