Why Does Granite Stain?

Why Does Granite Stain

Granite is famous for its durability and ability to have minimal staining. Although it is a well-loved material for countertops and other pieces of furniture at home, it is still not a perfectly stain-resistant surface. But what is the primary trigger for granite to develop stains?

The reason behind stains on your granite is its microscopic holes that allow liquids to absorb and discolor the surface. Granite is one of the least porous natural stones, which is fortunate, and it won’t stain if adequately sealed. However, the seal on your granite counter will erode over time, leaving it vulnerable to stains.

It’s crucial to understand that this is common and expected for all granite and other natural stones. Improper cleaning, such as not thoroughly removing food and beverage spills or residue contained in smoke from cooking, eats away at the granite’s color and clarity over time. As a result, the granite’s surface darkens significantly compared to when it was newly installed.

How Do I Keep My Granite From Staining?

Some stones, such as granite, are less permeable than others. Granite is water-resistant and only absorbs a tiny amount of moisture. One of the reasons it is so famous for building exteriors worldwide is this. To prevent any stain formation, you should master the art of sealing.

But what is sealing?


It is crucial to seal your granite immediately after installation, as do most professional fabricators. After that, you can easily repeat the process to keep your granite looking brand new for years to come. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Allow your granite counters to dry completely after cleaning them with water.
  2. Use a clean paint roller to apply the sealant liberally to all parts of your counters. You can use a clean paintbrush or paper towels to get into the corners. The goal is to apply a thin layer of sealer to the entire stone surface.
  3. Let the sealer soak into the counters for 15 minutes. After that, wipe down the counters with a clean cloth.
  4. You may wish to apply a second coat if you have white granite or another stone more prone to stains. Wait at least 48 hours before applying the second coat in the same manner as the first. 
  5. Wipe the counter clean with clean towels or paper towels, removing any excess sealant. Excess is whatever didn’t seep into the granite.
  6. If possible, let your furniture sit for 24 hours before using them.
  7. Clean your rollers or brushes with water before storing them in a dry location.

What Causes Granite To Get Stained?

To ensure that your granite is well-kept, you should watch out for these daily items.


Granite isn’t stain-proof and isn’t resistant to water discoloration. So if your granite counters often come in contact with water, dark patches may emerge.

If you’re unsure about your seal’s quality, pour 3 inches of water on the surface of your granite and let it sit for 30 minutes. Ensure you do this in multiple places because the seal’s integrity may vary from one spot to the next. The stone is sealed correctly if the water beads. 

If already penetrated, it’s time to reseal the stone—look for a black mark or ring made by the water. Before sealing any stone surfaces, look for etching and stains. You’ll want to address these issues before applying the granite sealer.

Wine, Vinegar, Coffee, and Tea

Anthocyanins are natural pigments found in many plants and fruits. These readily react with the molecular structure of granite surfaces chemically. So if you spill wine on your granite piece, you should anticipate a black stain to appear if you don’t clean it right away. 

With a good granite cleaner, you can easily remove those surface stains, such as those that occur on a thick seal. However, deeper stains that penetrate the pores are more challenging to remove, and they’re more prone to happen when the stone surface isn’t well-sealed.

White wine can also stain granite, though you may not notice it right away. Try placing a paper towel, cotton balls, or a white terry cloth towel soaked in liquid bleach on the affected area. Wait for 24 hours before rinsing with water.


These stains can soon turn into dark patches, whether created by vegetable oil in the kitchen or synthetic oil in the bathroom. To remove oil stains from granite, make a thick paste with baking soda and water, enough to cover the entire stain, and let it sit for 24 hours. Then, before applying a new coat of sealer, rinse with water and remove any residual paste.

Cleaning up spills as soon as they happen would be the best way to keep your granite counters stain-free. However, even a properly sealed granite piece can discolor if a spill stays long enough. Also, of course, lighter-colored granite is more susceptible to staining than darker granite. So, if you have a white or another light-colored granite, you need to be particularly cautious.

How Do You Bring Granite Back To Life?

It’s just as crucial to keep your granite pieces looking new as it is to seal them. So we’ll show you how to use a DIY granite cleaner to make your granite sparkle back to life.

Step 1: Clean Off the Counters

Remove everything from the counter to begin. Next, move all appliances, crockery, and souvenirs to a different surface, such as the kitchen table or stovetop. Finally, brush away debris with a dry sponge once the counters are clear of heavy things.

Step 2: Scrub the Surface

You should avoid putting anything too acidic or basic on granite since they have a sealer to keep them glossy and stain-resistant. Regular vinegar, Windex, or bleach will dull the granite and degrade the sealant. As a remedy, the usage of a small amount of soap and water should suffice. 

Make a good lather with dish soap and warm water on a sponge, and start cleaning. If you use abrasive cleaning tools, it could damage your granite furniture. Scrub your counters in an “S” pattern from back to front. If the spill is obstinate or sticky, you may need to scrub a little harder.

Step 3: Remove Stubborn Stains

If scrubbing doesn’t work, your granite might need the use of a razor blade. Use it to scrape any filth and build-up. You won’t scratch the surface. Ensure that the blade’s top edge is resting on the counter. Rinse your sponge and use it to wipe away the suds when you’re through. 

You may have to rinse, ring out, and wipe up the remaining suds a few times. Make sure there are no vast puddles or leftover suds on your counters. When working with sharp objects, it’s a good idea to wear gloves.

If you don’t have a razor blade on hand, a paste of baking soda and water effectively removes stubborn stains from granite. Diligently scrub the area gently with the paste and a soft towel. It may take several attempts to remove a stubborn stain. 

Apply the paste to the stain, cover it with plastic wrap, then tape down the borders for a very tough stain. Allow time for the paste to dry. It could take a few days. When the paste is dry, wipe it away with a soft cloth. Rinse well with warm water.

Step 4: Disinfect the Surface

Mix isopropyl alcohol and water in a spray bottle with a 1:1 ratio. Wait five minutes after spraying the water/alcohol combination all over the counter. After five minutes, wipe the wetness off the counters with a clean dish towel in a sweeping “S” motion from back to front. Your counters should be clean and disinfected once you’ve done these instructions.

Step 5: Add Shine

Make a mixture of three parts baking soda to one part warm water, and combine until smooth. Then, apply a thin layer of the paste to your granite surface, and gently buff with a clean cloth. Next, wipe away any residue with a damp cloth that gives the counter a lustrous sheen and makes it stain-resistant.

You’ll need to reseal your granite regularly. Over time, the sealer will wear away, leaving the counter dull and vulnerable to stains. However, knowing how to clean granite will ensure that the sealant lasts for years and the surface remains lovely.


Any liquid poured over granite will often stay on the surface for at least a few minutes. This liquid may soak into the granite pores if it’s not sealed, and it will typically dry out in 15-20 minutes in these situations.

The liquid left on the counter can sometimes seep in and leave a stain. Even if this occurs, the stain will not necessarily be permanent. A topically applied paste that pulls out any moisture from the stone can most of the time remove it. Here are ways to properly care for granite countertops.

If you seal your granite correctly every year, you’ll never have to worry about water rings, transient dark areas, or stains. Don’t worry because we’ve got your back if you have other concerns. You may always count on our blogs for additional granite information.

Quintal’s Granite & Marble Inc.


1775 Monterey Rd #64a, San Jose, CA 95112, United States

Quintal's Granite & Marble

Quintal's Granite & Marble

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