Rust stains on granite countertops look awful. Some stains are so stubborn and dirty that they may force you to replace your countertops. However, the good news is that you can remove these stains in most cases.
Let’s check out the 4 common methods you can use to remove rust stains from granite countertops.
Method # 1: Commercial Stain Removers
Commercial stain cleaners work great if your countertop has been timely sealed and kept in good condition. Here’s how you can make it work.
- Follow the instructions on the packaging and apply the cleaner to the rust stains.
- Scrub the stained area with a nylon brush or a soft scrubbing pad in a circular motion. Make sure you don’t use abrasive pads, steel wool, or other tools that can scratch or etch the granite surface.
- Rinse to see if the stain has disappeared or become lighter.
- Repeat the process if the stain gets lighter.
- You can also cover the stained area with plastic wrap after applying the cleaner to get better results. Apply the liquid and seal the area using tape. Now wait for 24 hours or until the cleaner gets dry.
- Remove the paste gently once the cleaning solution is dry. You can use water to remove the paste if it doesn’t come off easily. Rinse the area with water.
- Seal the stained area after removing the stain or the entire countertop if you haven’t sealed it recently.
Method # 2: Poultice (Baking soda & water paste)
You can use a commercial poultice or prepare your own using baking soda or water. Simply mix baking soda and water in a bowl to make a paste with a thick consistency. Do not add lemon juice, bleach, or vinegar, as they can corrode granite and cause discoloration. Follow the steps below to make this method work.
- Apply a thin layer of poultice over the stain and ensure that it covers the entire stain. Applying a thicker layer won’t make the cleaner more effective but it will increase the drying time.
- Cover the application area with a plastic sheet and tape it.
- Let it sit for 24 hours or until the paste is fully dry.
- Remove the tape and the dried poultice.
- Rinse with water to see if the stain has reduced or disappeared.
- Repeat the process if you see any improvement.
- Dry and seal the surface.
Method # 3: Oxalic Acid
Oxalic acid can remove rust stains from granite surfaces, but it can also harm granite. Hence, you must be careful and follow all the instructions on the packaging.
Oxalic acid comes in granules form, and you must dilute it as per the instructions before applying. Add 1-2 drops to the rust stain and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. You can use more drops to cover the stain’s surface if it is a big stain.
You may need to add more drops if the surface absorbs the liquid. Keep on doing this until the drop stays on the surface. Use a cotton ball to absorb the liquid after the staying time. The cotton ball will go rusty, indicating that the method worked. Repeat the process if required.
Rinse the application area and seal the countertop after it is completely dried.
Method # 4: Hydrogen Peroxide
Precaution: Hydrogen peroxide will only work if the surface is protected with the sealant. Surfaces without sealant will absorb hydrogen peroxide and spread the stain on the surface. You can check this by sprinkling a few drops of water on the surface. Wait 10-15 minutes and see if the water is still there. If it is there, it means that the surface is properly sealed, and you can go ahead with this method.
Use a 4% solution to clean the rust. Hydrogen peroxide higher than this concentration can damage your countertop. Simply pour a few drops on the stain and let it sit for 12-24 hours. Repeat the process if the stain starts disappearing.
Rinse the surface and let it dry. Apply sealer when the surface is completely dry.
Tips for Cleaning Rust from Granite Surfaces
- Avoid acidic or harsh cleaners while cleaning any natural stone like marble, granite, or quartz. These cleaners can corrode and discolor stones.
- Avoid abrasive tools like steel wool, scrubbing pads, or pointed surfaces to clean granite. Granite is rugged and durable, but these things can damage the finish and polish.
- Always test a cleaner on an inconspicuous spot before applying it on the entire spot.
How to Prevent Rust on Granite Countertops?
- Seal all granite surfaces at least once a year or after 3-4 months if granite is installed in a high-traffic area.
- Always keep your countertops clean when working, and wipe away acidic spills immediately. These liquids damage the protective coating and discolor granite.
- Be more careful about outdoor installation, granite near faucets, and high-traffic areas.
Are Rust Stains Dangerous for Granite Countertops?
Yes. Granite is porous, and it can absorb rust particles over time. These particles can damage the structural integrity of granite and reduce its lifetime.
Can CLR damage Granite Countertops?
Yes. CLR is acidic and too strong for granite. Although CLR is an excellent cleaner for removing hard water stains, rust, and limescale, it is not recommended for stone surfaces.