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topic 11303p4

Remove stains from Granite countertop, p4

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A discussion started in 2001 but continuing through 2019

April 16, 2012

Q. I am probably the most unfortunate daughter left what we thought was an empty MAGENTA ink cartridge right in the middle of my granite I have a large red spot! HELP!

Karen Boess
- Springfield, Missouri, USA

May 19, 2012

A. My granite countertops were white, brown and black (Deer brown). The installer told me to wipe it with detergent and a sponge. He never mentioned sealing them. After 2 years, the white was gone and they looked dingy. I bought 5 lbs of poultice for over $100, from a company I found online, for my small kitchen. It was supposed to be sufficient for my square footage but it came up short. It did about 2/3rds. It worked great! You had to mix it with lacquer thinner. However, for the remaining 3rd, I used Diatomaceous Earth (DE) (available at a pool supply store) and lacquer thinner. It worked equally as well at a fraction of the price. Mix the DE with lacquer thinner [affiliate link to product info on Amazon] until it forms a paste that you can trowel on, cover it with plastic, tape the edges and 24 hours later remove it. Let the countertop dry, then seal it. Mine looks like new.

Scott Bullen
- Winchendon, Massachusetts

September 12, 2012

Q. I've got home tonight and noticed a lighter discoloration on my dark grey honed granite countertop. The discoloration looks foggy and opaque. I wonder if my cleaning lady put a bottle of a cleaning product on top. Wiped it off, but not totally removing the product. The stain has this circular shape just like when you clean something.
I'm afraid she's damaged my countertop and I'll have to pay for someone to come by and try to fix it.
Any suggestions?
thank you

vanessa oliveira
- new york, New York, usa

September 17, 2012

A. Hi all,

For a year and a half I've had a new, brown flecks in beige, granite in our kitchen. I think its name was Mexican something. I love it but was badly surprised to see it stain in the first few days, in spite of on-site sealing. What a shock.

There seems to be two approaches on removing stains: oil-based stain, or non-oil-based stain.

For non-oil based I use a 6% Hydrogen Peroxide solution/poultice. You will have to buy 12% at a health food store and dilute a small amount. Make a poultice with baking soda (or any of the other inert dry materials mentioned in the response threads, but nothing with color). Completely cover the grease spot and the cover with plastic wrap or cut up a plastic bag. Again, no colors. I use masking tape to tape the plastic over wet poultice. It should be a really wet paste, saturated but not running. Leave it on at least 24 hours. This covering prevents the liquid from evaporating, and allows the poultice to work. Remove the cover and clean up the wet residue.

Now it looks great. Wrong! The liquid has migrated down into the granite, releasing the stain, the poultice draws up the stain, but now you have a bigger stain. Someone mentioned that. Just wait patiently. It might take two or three days to dry out. After it is completely dried and the larger stain has disappeared, check the original stain. You might have to repeat the process a couple of time.

What is a poultice? Wikipedia lists two definitions, one for skin sores and the second: "It can also be a porous solid filled with solvent used to remove stains from porous stone such as marble or granite."

For oil-based stains use acetone and one of the inert powders. Follow the same rules.

Note: My countertop sealing varies throughout the countertop. Fortunately, around the sink it is sealed the best. Near the stove, not so good. I intend to reseal it and have been looking online for a better sealer. Don't know the answer yet. Also, don't know if you seal it two or three times if it works better?


Hope this helps, it is what I do

Frank Previte
- Spring, Texas, USA

putty stains on granite countertop
October 5, 2012

!  This is a new problem not previously discussed. My new granite countertops were installed Sep 24. When installers left, I reconnected the water and drain lines, using a work light under the cabinet. I got out from under the cabinet to turn the water on and noticed a shaft of light coming from the back right corner of the sink. Upon further checking, the sink wasn't centered properly and there was an actual gap which I could put my fingernail into. The installers had used a bead of silicone caulk but it wasn't completely dry or cured. So I was able to scooch the sink over to cover the gap but was then left with light shining out from THREE corners of the sink. My fix for that was to jam some plumbers putty up into each corner so that water wouldn't leak back under the sink corners! Little did I realize that there is OIL in plumbers putty! The countertop is in a downstairs kitchen unit and I did not go back down there until 10 days later. Now I have four corners of my sink area that are discolored and darkly stained. Racked my brain for two days trying to figure out why this staining was occurring - and seemed to be growing! Suddenly, had an epiphany - I had put plumbers putty into each of the four corners of the sink.

Immediately went downstairs and removed all the putty, and taped some super-absorbent towel pieces over all four areas. I will be trying some of the ideas listed here to get this minute amount of oil to wick itself back out of the corners. This is just a warning to others - sometimes the most innocent of fixes can get you into a nightmare world! It will take me hours of time and effort to try and get these stains back out of these unsealed, unpolished granite corners - and all the while, the contents of the sink cabinet will have to be removed, doors removed, etc. How could I have done this to myself? I thought I was smarter than this. I realize after reading this thread that I may never get this brand new beautiful countertop back to its original color. A word of warning - NEVER use plumbers putty around granite. Linda L.

Linda Lutz
- Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

February 24, 2013

A. Oil spots can be removed with a poultice made of 80% plaster (either molding plaster or plaster of paris) and 20% baking soda. Mix with mineral spirits to a toothpaste like consistency and cover the spot with poultice. Cover poultice with plastic and seal with masking tape. 2-3 days later, razor blade the dried solution off top. Boom... stain is gone. Repeat as needed and be sure to seal area a day or two afterwards to help prevent this from happening again. Please be advised that sealers or impregnators only slow down the absorption of oils, they do not stop it. It gives you time to clean up oil; but if left on, the oil WILL penetrate the stone and darken it. Granite is still a beautiful and natural material for counter tops and yours is unique from any other in the world.

David Aiello
- Walkersville, Maryland

March 14, 2013

Q. I just had my granite counters put in and Palmolive dish soap left a greenish blue ring on it! I tried the baking soda paste and left it on overnight and now I have a dark area. Will it go away and the stain is still there. Thanks.

Toni Clawson
- Sterling, Virginia

March 28, 2013

!! Acetone strips sealer off counters and will leave dull patches, looking like it's been etched (which it has).

My understanding was the sealer's job is to 'bead up' whatever gets spilled on the counter, giving us a window of time to wipe it up to avoid staining. I can see how leaving oil on stone counters overnight might lead to a stain, but are all of these comments about oil stains in that category? If not, it sounds like the sealer may not be doing it's job? Either the wrong sealer and/or improperly sealed?

Kate Steele
- Detroit, Michigan, USA

April 24, 2013

Q. Ok here is a new one. I got a granite wood stove and I had a bouquet of artificial flowers near it. Well it melted on it and I had to scrape some flowers off with a razor blade but it still left black scorched marks.. How do I remove this?

Stephanie Conti
- Petersburg, New Jersey

November 26, 2013

Q. Can you suggest me a cleaner. I put oven spray on granite bench top; it looks like a whitening has come up. How I can fix that? If any expert can help on this, thanks. Black granite damage. So give me any suggestions; thanks.

Kuldeep Kaur
cleaning - Brisbane, Australia

January 8, 2014

Q. I have a black Granite countertop while cleaning my bathroom I set a bottle of cleaner on it that contained bleach when I went to take it off it had a white ring where the bottle was sitting. I have tried everything and can't get it to go away any suggestions?

Karen Engelkens
- Fulton, Illinois, USA

March 20, 2014

A. For those white heat spots I ended up having someone come in to rebuff & seal the granite on those spots I now always throw a dish towel under my pots & pans when placing them on the granite. Now I am having an oil drama since my husband cooks his own breakfast his bacon grease is killing my counter. I am gonna try the stone cleaner then seal that area with a good stone sealer to stop it from absorbing until I can get to clean it up.

Deborah Jones
- LaGrange Ohio USA

March 2014

Hi Deborah. Buy him one of those screen-style grease spatter shields for his frying pan. They work pretty well (unless he lays it on your granite counter while he flips the bacon).


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

June 16, 2014

Q. Bathroom cleaner has gotten onto black marble floor, leaving white spots. How can I remove the marks?

georgia Gillen
- uk

August 6, 2014


I have a black granite kitchen top which I accidentally left oven cleaner on. Now the countertop has a white cloudy appearance. I know that this is one of the substances I definitely shouldn't put on granite, but does anyone have any advice how to remove the stain? I haven't seen anyone else post this question yet.


Armstrong Barkley
- Amsterdam, Netherlands

October 11, 2014

Q. Hi,

I tried using the StoneTech stain remover after reading reviews and watching videos. The original small stain is gone but in its place is a much, much larger stain in the shape of the remover (only bigger - it's bigger than my hand!). Is this common? Has anyone else had this problem? Is it the solvent that is still drying?

Also, there are flecks of the stain remover in the pores of the granite. Has anyone had this problem and been able to remove them? Thanks.

Leah Reich
- Berkeley, California, USA

November 16, 2014

A. I tried removing grease stains from my unsealed granite by putting lemon juice (just squeezed some from a lemon) directly on the stain and then added talcum powder and made a paste. I allowed it to sit for half and hour and removed it. It was amazing! I applied a second application on an especially difficult stain. This really worked well for me.

Heather Wharton
Homeowner - Las Vegas, Nevada

affil. link

November 20, 2014

Q. Hi,

We moved to new condo and have light-colored granite countertop. It got oil stain so for that I used baking soda and water poultice to remove it but when I wiped it off after 24 hours, the stain became larger and rough to touch. It is looking now big darkened and rough to touch stain surface. Can you please help me out how to remove it and make it smooth like before?

Thank a lot!

Kinsy Shah
- Edmonton, AB, Canada

January 25, 2015

thumbs up signThe paper towel/acetone application did the trick! I tried everything & this worked beautifully the 1st time!! Thank you~Thank you!!

Kay Carlson
- Sarasota, Florida USA

September 29, 2015

Q. Just moved to our new condo we renovate everything and we install granite countertop for our new kitchen. I didn't know that oil can stain granite so after cleaning the new chopping board I applied olive oil and lean it against the wall of our kitchen and allow it absorb the oil when my husband removed the chopping board he was shocked and upset since it was new. I tried to mixed cornstarch and dawn green color soap and cover it with damped folded paper towel but stain still there I bought Stonetech oil remover and let it dry for 2-3 days and when my husband roved it, it was totally clean ... really happy with the result

Sheryll M.
- Chicago, Illinois

November 11, 2015

Q. I went to work to clean house and brought with me a bottle of The Works to try to clean their shower with as they get a blue hue left on things from the water and this product has worked wonders on rust, calcium buildup etc. I had the bottle in the shower with me while I rinsed everything off so I didn't expect there to be any residue on the bottle. When I got out of the shower I set it on their granite counter top & minutes later when I moved it I noticed two rings in the shape of the bottom of the bottle. I wrote the company to ask for any help and they pretty much said that the damage was done but to try a baking soda & water paste and let that sit for several hours and then use a granite polish. Does anyone else have a remedy for this as I know when the people get back from their vacation they are going to want to kill me if I can't fix this. I feel horrible about it and am doing everything I can to find a solution.

Dannielle W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
House Keeping - California, USA

March 4, 2016

Q. I accidentally left a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner on the counter top and it leaked. It left a ugly whitish ring. =>
How can I get it out? Not sure what poultice would work in this situation. :0(

- Oregon, USA

March 7, 2016

A. I would try making a paste of equal parts of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water, mix in baking soda to form a paste. Apply with a soft rag and let sit for 5 minutes. Wipe off with clean damp rag, rinse and dry. Hope this helps.

Mark Baker
Process Engineering - Phoenix, Arizona USA

March 16, 2016

A. I've said this in other threads, and possibly somebody above me here has said so as well, but it bears repeating:

What people think of as a "stain" on any given surface will usually be one of two things:
1) Residue, a foreign material that has dried onto the surface.
2) Etching, when the influence of a chemical has physically removed material from the surface.

Residue is no problem, usually some combination of water, soap, or solvent will remove the material.

An etched surface is another matter entirely. Think of it like gouging a wooden tabletop with the corner of something solid and heavy. The original, smooth surface is GONE. The proper fix is to sand down the area of the gouge until you've created an entirely new smooth surface. It involves a lot more work, and the correct abrasive materials for the given surface. The more polished the original surface was, the more an etch mark will stand out. Even just a very slight etch can completely change the way light is reflected and scattered from the surface in the affected area.

Etched surfaces are very much an "ounce of prevention, pound of cure" situation. Be careful with your chemicals, folks! Many household cleaners are quite corrosive to surfaces other than that which they are intended for.

ray kremer
Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois
stellar solutions banner

March 18, 2016

A. You could always pour the bottle contents on the rest of the granite top and wash it off when it matches the stain.

Mark Lees
- A god forsaken rock in the middle of the Irish sea

December 29, 2016

Q. I placed a white plastic cutting board on dark blackish countertop.. not sure if granite or?? but there is now a light mark around the frame of the cutting board.. as though it bleached the countertop.. since it is not oil stain will the cornstarch therapy be correct or something else.. any suggestions appreciated

Lin Chapin
- w palm beach florida

April 1, 2017

Q. Hi everyone,

I so appreciate everyone's advice on this thread and was hoping for some expert advice!

I have a light colored peach granite with dark spots throughout.

After living in my new home for a year, the top half of my countertop has maintained it's color (light peach color), but the bottom half (where we do all the chopping, pouring, etc.. has turned a darker color. It's no longer a bright light peach color but now it's a darker dull color. I suspect it's water damage. We found out later on our granite was never sealed.

After much research, I considered trying Granite Poultice but after reading some of your advise, it seems that perhaps cornstarch will help with my deeply embedded water stain?

Any advice you all can provide would be absolutely wonderful!

Mabel Henry
- Staten Island New York, USA

July 17, 2017

Q. I have a light colored granite and have only had it about two months. I have spots all over it that won't clean off. They kind of look like water ring spots but also in places it's much larger.

11303-5b   11303-5a

Can anyone tell me what this is and how to get rid of it? Please!

Sandra Wilcox
- Salina kansas

November 1, 2017

Q. I had stained granite counter tops. I read about using acetone. I had some Acetone Fingernail Polish remover. So I tried it on a small area. It worked. So I purchased acetone at my hardware store & did the counter. Now it is dark where the acetone was.
Do I just do acetone on the rest of the counter? Or is there something else I can do?
I'm under the gun. I need to sell my house!

Cyndee Greene
- Guerneville, California USA

November 2017

A. Hi Cyndee. There are a good number of comments about using acetone on granite countertops in this thread. Acetone is a solvent that helps remove oil stains, and should not affect the granite per se to my knowledge (although I've never had granite). However, being a solvent, it will remove some "sealants", which is probably what happened.

Whether you can use a granite sealant on just the discolored area precisely enough to match the rest of the counter is hard to guess at. I suppose I'd get sealant and try it on the spot in question ... then if it doesn't match close enough, use acetone on the whole countertop. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

September 26, 2019

thumbsdown We have a granite island where our sink is located. Apparently we spilled hand soap onto the granite and just realized it. Don't know how long it was there for ... needless to say, there is now a huge dark spot on my nice granite ... tried the baking soda and water trick. That didn't work. I am needing some suggestions on how to remove. Thank you

Kristina Johnson
- Jacksonville Florida

October 31, 2019

Q. While cleaning silver today Tarn-x spilled on my granite countertop. Now that area is very gritty. Do I need to get it resurfaced? It feels terrible.

Priscilla Fogarty
Homemaker - Whiting, New Jersey

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