Granite countertops are a beautiful and durable addition to any kitchen. Not only do they add style, but they also last for years with minimal care.
However, one downside of having granite countertops is rust stains which can be difficult to remove if left untreated.
In this article, I will discuss four home remedies on how to remove rust from granite countertops.
5 Ways Granite Countertops Get Rust Stains
Here are 5 common ways granite countertops can get rust stains;
1. Metal cookware and utensils
If you leave metal pots, pans, or utensils on the countertop for a long time, rust spots may appear. Even if the metal doesn’t look rusty, it can still cause stains.
This happens a lot in busy kitchens where people are always cooking. In many cases, it is hard to detect when rust spots have started until it’s too late.
2. Chlorine-based cleaning products
Chlorine-based cleaners can cause rust spots on granite countertops. This is because chlorine reacts with the minerals in granite and causes rust stains.
On top of that, chlorine-based cleaners are usually acidic, which can cause even more damage to the granite without proper care.
3. Iron Particles In Hard Water
Iron particles in hard water can also cause rust stains on granite countertops. This is because the iron reacts with minerals in the granite and causes rust spots to appear.
This is common in building with old rusty pipes or in areas where there are naturally higher levels of iron in the water supply.
For example, in places like Northern Arizona, iron levels in the water supply can be very high, and the water is hard. This can cause rust spots on granite countertops even without metal cookware.
4. Iron-containing Fertilizers
Granite countertops can get rust stains if they are close to a garden or outside area.
Also, if you have any natural plants that are fertilized with iron-containing fertilizer sitting on your granite countertop rust can form on the surface.
A reddish-brown discoloration can be noticed on the surface of the granite countertop.
In this type of situation, it is important to wipe down your granite countertops regularly and not allow any fertilizers from your plants to come in contact with the granite surface for prolonged periods.
5. Rusty Metal Containers
Do not leave metal containers that are rusty on a granite countertop. Rust can spread and get onto the countertop, even if the container is not touching it. This can cause rust stains.
This is probably the most common way granite countertops get rust stains. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the contents of any containers that are left on a granite countertop and make sure there is no rust present.
Why Is Rust Difficult to Remove From Granite Countertops?
Rust is difficult to remove from granite countertops because the rust has bonded with minerals in the stone. This makes it harder to remove than other types of stains, such as dirt or food.
Also, it tends to be difficult to remove because it is a deep stain. This means that the stains are usually chemically bonded and not just surface dirt.
When rust is left on a granite countertop for too long, it can actually etch into the stone and cause permanent damage.
Therefore, it is important to remove rust from a granite countertop as soon as you notice it.
5 Home Remedies To Remove Rust From Granite Countertops
Here are five home remedies you can try to remove rust from granite countertops:
1. Vinegar and Baking soda
Vinegar and baking soda combined is a powerful mixture that can be used to remove rust from granite countertops. This is because these two ingredieents are both good at dissolving rust.
To use this method, here are the things you need and the steps to follow;
- Mix one part vinegar and two parts baking soda in a bowl to create a paste-like solution.
- Apply this onto the rusty area of the countertop and cover it up with plastic wrap.
- Leave for 12-24 hours.
- Use a putty knife or a similar flat object to scrape off the paste.
- Rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.
2. Lemon juice and Salt Solution
Lemon and salt can help take out rust stains. Lemon is acidic, and salt is rough, so together, they work well.
Lemon juice has citric acid. It is a type of acid that can break down rust, which is made from iron oxide and sits on the surface of the granite.
The lemon’s acid also makes the discoloration from the rust lighter.
Salt is abrassive and can help get rid of rust. Mix it with lemon juice to make a paste. Rub the paste on the rust spot. The salt will break up the rust, and it will come off of the granite.
Rust is a pesky problem, but lemon and salt make an ideal combination to tackle it on your granite countertop.
If you’re seeking a natural or non-toxic option for removing rust stains instead of relying on potentially damaging chemical cleaners, then this solution could be perfect for you!
And the best part? You’ll end up with not only sparkling clean surfaces but also a fresh lemony scent in your kitchen afterward!
To use this method, here’s what you need to do;
- Cut a lemon in half. Squeeze the juice on the rust stain.
- Make sure to get all of it covered with lemon juice.
- Generously sprinkle some salt on the lemon juice and let it work its magic.
- The salty granules will help scrub away any rust particles with ease.
- Leave the lemon and salt mixture on the rust stain for one hour.
- This will help break down the rust.
- Wait an hour before cleaning the stain. Use a soft brush or sponge to gently scrub it.
- Do not scrub too hard because it might scratch the granite.
- Rinse the counter with water.
- Dry it with a clean towel.
- If the stain is still there, do this again until the rust is gone.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can help take rust off the granite. This is because of their special chemical makeup.
Hydrogen peroxide is a type of bleach. It can break down rust molecules and help to remove rust stains from granite surfaces. Hydrogen peroxide is also good at killing bacteria and germs on countertops.
Baking soda, otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate, is a delicate abrasive that can effectively remove rust stains without scratching or harming your granite surface.
Not only does baking soda work wonders at removing stubborn stains, but its natural deodorizing properties will also help eliminate any unwanted odors from the countertop.
By blending hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, you will concoct a potent cleaning solution that can effectively eliminate rust stains from your granite countertop.
The foaming action created by this combination helps to lift the rust particles up and dissolve them quicker for easier scrubbing.
This remedy is gentle on delicate surfaces, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your granite with harsh chemical cleansers.
Nevertheless, be aware that hydrogen peroxide can lighten certain kinds of granite. Consequently, it is wise to test a small area on the countertop before applying the solution all over the stain.
Here’s how to use this method to get rid of rust stains on your granite countertop;
- Mix two parts hydrogen peroxide with one part baking soda in a cup.
- Make sure it is well blended together.
- Pour the solution on the rust stain and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- The foaming action will help break down the rust particles.
- Gently scrub the stain with a soft brush or sponge.
- Do not use too much pressure while scrubbing because it might damage the granite.
- Rinse the countertop with cold water and dry with a clean cloth.
- If the stain is still there, repeat the process until it is gone.
- This should help you get rid of rust and restore your granite countertop to its original shine!
4. Oxalic Acid
Oxalic acid is an excellent rust remover for granite countertops due to its capability of removing rust without harming the stone. However, caution should be taken as this acidic compound will etch or damage some natural stones if used incorrectly.
Before utilizing oxalic acid to eradicate rust stains from your granite countertop, it is essential to trial a small, hidden area first to ensure that the product does not cause any harm or discoloration.
To use oxalic acid,
- You will need to dissolve the powder in warm water.
- Mix two tablespoons of oxalic acid powder in 2 cups of warm water and stir until it is completely dissolved.
- Apply the solution to the rust stain and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
- The acid will break down the rust particles, making them easier to remove.
- Gently scrub the stain with a sponge and rinse it off with water.
- Make sure to wear rubber gloves when cleaning, as oxalic acid can cause irritation.
- Dry the countertop with a clean cloth and check if the rust is gone.
- If not, repeat the process until you achieve the desired results.
When using oxalic acid, it is critical to abide by all safety precautions. Put on gloves and goggles while also wearing protective clothing, and make sure the area you are working in has plenty of ventilation.
Additionally, under no circumstance should you mix oxalic acid with other substances; furthermore, keep it out of reach of children or animals.