In many parts of the UK, you will notice that limescale is a big problem due to the hardness of the water. If you have granite worktops in your kitchen or bathroom, you may see limescale mostly around your sinks and taps.
Left unattended, limescale can build up and cause considerable damage to your beautiful natural stone surfaces. It looks unsightly and can become difficult to remove without causing damage to the granite.
The best way to keep your granite worktops looking their best with their stunning polished finish is to clean limescale away. This post will explore the best way to remove limescale without damaging your precious granite worktops.
What is limescale?
Limescale is caused by hard water. With around 60% of the UK having hard water, it is a common problem for many households.
Hard water has a high mineral content that includes over 200mg of calcium carbonate per litre. When hard water dries on surfaces, it leaves a residue of chalky powder.
Depending on the composition of minerals in your area, the residue may be white, brown, grey or pink.
At first, you will not notice limescale as it will be barely visible, but over time, if left, it builds up until you can see the hard limescale on your surfaces, around taps and pipework and possibly even on your kitchen worktop.
By the time you can see it clearly, the residue will have hardened and adhered to your surfaces, making it difficult to remove. It looks unsightly and will potentially damage your surfaces.
Can I use regular limescale cleaners on granite worktops?
Generally, if you see limescale around your taps and sink, you can buy over-the-counter cleaning products designed to remove the limescale quickly. They contain acids that soften the limescale and allow you to wipe it away easily.
Unfortunately, acidic cleaners will damage the natural stone on granite countertops and remove the sealant that protects the porous surfaces. You may notice scratches and roughness if you use these cleaners on granite surfaces, so it is vital that you do not use them on any granite worktops.
Other more natural methods recommended to remove limescale can also cause damage to granite. Vinegar and lemon juice are popular environmentally friendly cleaning products, but they are very acidic and potentially damage the sealant on your natural stone surfaces.
Sometimes people resort to using steel wool, a knife or other abrasive products to scrape away problematic limescale. While tempting, it could scratch and permanently damage your shiny granite finish and leave permanent scratches and marks.
What products can I use to remove limescale from granite worktops?
You can buy a wide variety of specialised granite cleaners designed to clean granite without causing damage. They do not contain any acidic chemicals that will damage the sealant on your worktop, so you can be sure they are safe to use.
Their primary purpose is to remove grease and grime as well as watermark stains caused by hard water. They will work best on limescale that has not yet built up and gone hard.
Spray the product on your granite worktops before wiping away with a soft cloth. Regular cleaning and wiping water from your granite surface can help prevent your limescale problems from worsening.
If you already have an issue with limescale, you must tackle the problem carefully to stop it from worsening.
Ensure you stick to using cleaning products that are specifically for use on granite worktops. Spray the area and let the product soak the limescale.
Next, use a soft nylon brush to rub the limescale before rinsing away, and then dry the area with a soft cloth.
You will need to use a different technique on severe limescale that has taken hold. You can use a single-edged razor blade or a stone-safe scrubbing pad. Do not use any other abrasive product, or you will cause scratches to your granite surfaces.
First, soak the surface with your granite-safe cleaning spray and use the razor blade over the worktop surface where you have limescale. Gentle pressure should be enough to detach the limescale without causing any harm to the stone.
Using the blade gently and evenly is essential to avoid scratching the granite surface.
If these methods do not work, you should contact granite specialists to seek further advice. They will discuss options with you to ensure you do not cause damage to your worktops.
How to Prevent Limescale Build-up on Granite Worktops
Limescale build-up is a complex problem to solve, so prevention is a far better option. If you can avoid limescale damage, you will not have to resort to time-consuming and complicated removal methods.
Remember that if water is left to sit on the surface, it will lead to mineral build-ups that cause limescale, especially if you live in a hard water area. Therefore, the best way to prevent limescale is to ensure you clean your surfaces daily and dry them with a soft cloth.
It helps to get into a routine, so try wiping your worktops down every evening and don’t skip on the drying stage. As well as removing minerals from your surfaces, it will also help retain the polished surface that makes granite an attractive material.
Besides a daily clean and wipe down, granite requires very little maintenance other than applying sealant every three months to prevent stains. This easy process involves wiping the sealant over the surface so it can penetrate and create a barrier.
If you seal your granite worktops regularly and wipe them down daily while wiping away water and keeping them dry, you should be able to keep the lustre of your granite surface in excellent condition.
If you want to know more about looking after granite worktops or are thinking of getting some for your kitchen or bathroom, get in touch with us today at Mo’s Stonex. We are the leading industry specialists for supplying, manufacturing, templating and installing premium work surfaces at affordable prices across England with over ten years of experience in the field.