There is nothing worse than the feeling you get when your sisters come over with their spoiled rotten five-year-old kids and they “accidentally” spill ketchup all over your brand new shiny, not to mention expensive granite countertop. Granite and marble countertops are beautiful to look at and add a lot of aesthetic appeal to your kitchen but are high maintenance and need to be cleaned regularly to avoid food stains and marks.
In order to remove a stain from your granite countertop, you must first check if it is indeed a stain or actual damage to the granite stone. If it is damage to the granite then you’re only option is to get the whole countertop replaced. If it is, in fact, a stain the next step you would need to do is identify the source of the stain or what caused the stain. Only when you can correctly identify what food or liquid substance has caused the stain you will be able to remove it safely and efficiently by using the right stain removing chemical without causing more damage to your granite countertop.
What characteristics would constitute a stain?
A spot on your granite countertop would be a stain if –
• It causes discoloration to the granite after being absorbed – oil, tea, coffee
• It disappears once the staining agent is used
How to remove a stain?
To remove stains from granite countertops, you would need two basic items – the correct stain removal chemical, agent or material and an absorbent material to wipe off or remove the stain. The absorbent material can be paper towels, a cloth or kitchen napkin, mud or sand, or even talcum powder, depending on the nature of the stain. The next step is to identify or categorise the stain. There are basically five different types of stains and each stain has its own type of stain removing agent or chemical.
1. Organic stains – soda, gravy, tea, coffee, basic or normal food items. The stain removing agent would be Hydrogen Peroxide (30% – 40% by volume)
2. Inorganic stains – ink, dye, dirt. The stain removing agent for ink would be alcohol and hydrogen peroxide for the other stains.
3. Oil – any type of cooking oil, margarine, butter. The stain removing agent would be acetone or in other words, nail polish remover.
4. Biological stains – mildew, mold. The stain removing agent would be bleach.
5. Metal stains – copper, rust. The stain removing agent would be iron-out.
While removing the stain first test a small amount of the stain remover on a small clean area of the granite to make sure it doesn’t affect or damage the granite. Then apply a thin layer of the stain remover onto the granite and cover the area with a plastic wrap and tape down the edges and leave it for 24 hours. Remove the plastic and once the removal agent is completely dry, scrape it off gently and wipe the area clean with a wet cloth. Repeat the entire process if you have to till the stain is completely gone.