Granite countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their beauty and durability.
However, over time, they can start to turn white, which can be a big disappointment. In this article, we will discuss why granite countertops may turn white, how to prevent it from happening, and what steps you can take if it has happened to you.
We will also discuss why it is important to know the cause of whitening in order to properly address the issue and ensure that your countertops remain beautiful for years to come.
By the end, you should have a better understanding of why granite countertops turn white and how best to prevent or restore them.
Things That Cause Granite Countertops to Turn White
There are several reasons why granite countertops may turn white. Here are some of the most common causes.
When something acidic, like vinegar or lemon juice, touches granite and is left to dry, it can cause the surface to turn white.
This is called etching. The acid reacts with the calcium carbonate in the granite. It makes the surface look dull and whitish.
Not only can this affect the appearance, but it can also cause permanent damage to the stone.
The way this happens is that the surface gets eaten away, leaving white patches, pits, and scratches that can be difficult to repair.
2. Mineral Buildup
Water with a lot of minerals, like calcium or magnesium, can leave a white film on granite. This makes the granite look different and not its original color.
In many cases, this can be removed with a special cleaner. However, if the buildup is too thick or has been left on the surface for too long, it can be difficult to remove.
On top of this, the buildup can cause permanent discoloration to your granite, so it is best to address it as soon as possible.
Stains can also occur on granite countertops due to spills of certain liquids like coffee, tea or wine. When these penetrate the surface, they can leave a white mark that may be difficult to remove.
You may be wondering how stains from things like coffee and tea can turn granite white. The answer is that, over time, the minerals in these liquids react with the calcium carbonate in the granite and cause a white discoloration of the surface.
4. Improper Cleaning
Like most natural stone countertops, granite is not a very forgiving countertop material. If you are not properly cleaning it with the right products, it can cause a white film to appear on the surface.
It is important to use only gentle cleaners designed for granite countertops in order to keep them looking their best. Some harsh cleaners would be too abrasive, which can leave a white film on the surface.
Too much sunlight exposure can also cause granite countertops to turn white. The UV rays from the sun can fade the color of the stone and make it look dull or whitish.
This is very common on outdoor stone countertop surfaces and granite countertops that are close to windows and get a lot of sunlight.
Using drapes or shades can help to prevent this from happening. More on preventive measures are below.
6. Using the Wrong Sealers And Protectors
It is important to use the right sealers and protectors on granite countertops. Some chemical-based products can damage the surface of the stone, causing it to turn white due to excessive etching or staining.
In most instances, the effects of using the wrong sealants and protectors is not seen immediately.
It can take up to months or even years for the damage to become visible. And once the signs of the damage occur, there’s no turning back.
How To Prevent Granite Countertops From Turning White
Let’s reverse engineer the above-mentioned point to get a better understanding on how to prevent granite countertops from turning white.
1. Avoid Etching
The best way to avoid etching is to never put acidic liquids on your countertop. Be careful when using vinegar, lemon juice, or other acidic cleaning products, as they can cause permanent damage to the stone.
If you must use them, make sure to rinse off any residue and dry the surface immediately. Never allow any acidic substance to dry over your granite or natural stone countertops.
2. Avoid Mineral Buildup
The best way to avoid mineral buildup is to use clean, filtered water when cleaning your granite countertop.
This will help reduce the number of minerals in the water and prevent them from building up on the surface of your granite.
You can also use special cleaners designed for granite countertops to help remove any buildup that has already occurred.
3. Avoid Stains
To prevent staining, it is important to wipe up any spills immediately. This will not only help prevent discoloration but also preserve the natural beauty of your granite countertop.
Additionally, you should consider using coasters and placemats to protect the surface of your countertop from spills.
4. Proper Cleaning
It is important to use only cleaners designed for granite countertops in order to keep them looking their best.
Avoid using harsh chemical-based cleaners as they can damage the surface of the stone and leave a white film on it.
Instead, opt for mild soap and warm water. Then use a soft cloth to dry the countertop after cleaning.
5. Sunlight Protection
Too much sunlight exposure can cause granite countertops to turn white. To protect your countertop from UV radiation, consider using drapes or shades on windows that get direct sunlight during certain times of the day.
This will help ensure that the color of your granite remains intact and prevent it from fading over time.
6. Use Sealers And Protectors
To protect your countertop, use sealers and protectors made for stone surfaces such as granite countertops. These products help to protect your countertop from etching, staining, and mineral buildup.
It is also important to reseal your countertops every year or two in order to ensure that the sealant is still effective. A professional stone restoration service can help with this process.
By following these tips, you can help preserve the beauty of your granite countertop for years to come.
Remember, the key to preventing your granite countertop from turning white is to be proactive and take care of it on a regular basis.
With proper cleaning and maintenance, you can help ensure that your granite countertops remain beautiful for years to come.
How to Restore Granite Countertops that Have Turned White
If your granite countertop has already turned white, I strongly recommend that you seek professional help from a local stone restoration service.
They can help you restore your countertop to its former glory by removing the white film and restoring the natural color of the granite.
If you do decide to go this route, make sure that they are experienced with granite countertops and have a good reputation in the industry.
You should also check the reviews for the company you’re considering so that you can ensure that they provide quality services.
In summary, it is important to take the necessary steps to prevent granite countertops from turning white.
It is important to avoid acidic substances and mineral buildup, remove stains, use proper cleaning methods, protect your granite from sunlight exposure, and use sealers and protectors.
If the worst happens and your granite countertop has already turned white, it is best to seek professional assistance from a stone restoration service.
Taking the necessary steps to clean, maintain and protect your granite countertop will help ensure that it stays beautiful and vibrant for years to come.
So don’t wait any longer—start taking care of your granite countertops today!