Natural stone, which is most often used in countertops and backsplashes, can be a very beautiful material.
Natural stones like quartz and granite are tough and can last a long time if properly maintained.
I’ve learned that removing hard water stains is vital for extending the life of natural stone.
Read on to learn more about how to remove hard water stains from natural stone.
Removing Hard Water Stains from Natural Stone
The best way to remove hard water stains from natural stone is with a specialized natural stone cleaner. If you don’t have a natural stone cleaner, you can make a paste with baking soda and water. This paste must be applied to the stain, then scrubbed off with a soft brush.
Your Options When Removing Hard Water Stains from Natural Stone
Rinsing with Water
If you notice hard water stains on your natural stone, the first thing that you want to try is rinsing with water.
Simply fill a spray bottle with water and spray down the counter. Be sure to wipe down the counter immediately.
This will ensure that rinsing the counter with water doesn’t simply create more hard water stains. It should also remove most existing hard water stains.
Natural Stone Cleaner
Perhaps the best option for removing hard water stains from natural stone is a specialized natural stone cleaner.
These cleaning products often come in the form of a specialized liquid solvent. They can be found at any home improvement store.
The solvents used in natural stone cleaners are designed to remove hard water stains and soap scum without harming the sealant or the stone underneath.
The instructions for using a natural stone cleaner vary slightly from product to product, so be sure to carefully read the product’s label.
You may have to apply the solvent and let it sit for a little while so that it can eat through whatever residue is on your natural stone.
Baking Soda-Based Paste
If water and natural stone cleaner haven’t gotten the job done (or if you don’t have any natural stone cleaner on hand), you need to use something stronger.
I’ve discovered that baking soda-based paste can be an extremely effective cleaning solution in a number of situations.
I have even used baking soda-based paste to remove stubborn hard water stains from my natural stone countertops.
Using baking soda-based paste to clean natural stone may seem like a bad idea if you haven’t tried it.
After all, one of the cardinal rules of maintaining natural stone is avoiding abrasive cleaners. However, baking soda is the exception.
It is abrasive enough to remove tough hard water stains, yet gentle enough to avoid damaging your natural stone.
Making this baking soda paste is very simple. Simply mix two parts of water and one part of baking soda. Stir the water and baking soda until they are blended together.
Once you’ve created the paste, all you have to do is apply it to the hard water stain and scrub it off with a soft-bristled brush.
An unused toothbrush would work well. When you’ve scrubbed off the baking soda paste, rinse the stone with water.
Be sure to dry off the stone thoroughly or more hard water stains might form.
The Last Resort: Scraping Buildup Off With a Razor Blade
The last resort for removing hard water stains from natural stone is to use a razor blade. As long as you’re careful, you should be able to scrape off stubborn residue with a single-edged razor blade.
Make sure to keep the blade as close to parallel with the stone as possible to avoid scratching the finish.
Using water as a lubricant will also help you avoid damaging the sealant on your natural stone.
You should not use a double-edged razor blade for this job, as you may end up cutting yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Natural Stone
Can I use vinegar to dissolve hard water residue on my natural stone countertops?
Vinegar is often used to dissolve residue and soap scum on various surfaces. However, you should not use vinegar to clean your natural stone countertops. As vinegar continues a natural acid, it can eat through the sealant over your natural stone and badly damage the stone itself.
Is it bad to use dish soap to clean natural stone?
Using dish soap to clean natural stone is not recommended, as there is a good chance that it will leave soap scum on the stone. However, you shouldn’t be worried if you accidentally get some dish soap on your natural stone. It will not damage the stone itself, nor will it damage the sealant.
What sort of cloth should I use to dry natural stone?
You shouldn’t use whatever rag you have lying around to dry off natural stone. A dish towel or the like may actually cause the sealant over your stone to wear more quickly. If the towel isn’t clean, using it can even scratch your stone. Instead, you should be sure to use a microfiber cloth when drying off natural stone. Microfiber cloths are very soft, so they will not cause extra wear on your natural stone’s sealant.
Preventing Damage to Natural Stone
Even if you quickly remove any hard water stains, your natural stone sealant will eventually wear out.
You should have your natural stone resealed on a regular basis. Most experts recommend that you do so at least once per year.