How To Remove A Stain From A Granite Counter

We love our kitchen counter and we love blueberries, but when we lifted up our blueberry carton and saw this, we weren’t too pleased with either of them at the moment:

Yes, one of the only reasons granite can be tricky is because it’s a porous stone, so it can absorb stains. And since our counters are not exactly the cheapest thing in our kitchen, the idea of a permanent pink square freaked us out in a major way. Especially when we realized that the blueberry carton had sat in that very spot for four whole days (!!!) before we picked it up and noticed the stain. We were 100% certain that we’d be stuck with that pink badge of honor for good.

But just for kicks we dug out the granite care card that came with our Stonemark slab back in January. Besides recommending that you wipe up any spills immediately (and we’re guessing that doesn’t mean four days later) it also mentioned that regular old household bleach can’t harm granite, and can actually be used to suck a stain right out of the stone.

Needless to say, we were intrigued. So we ran next door to borrow some bleach from our neighbor (since we make an effort to keep chemicals of that caliber out of our home). You see, major chemical concoctions can be granted temporary admittance on the grounds that they might save our stone (although I actually wore two layers of rubber gloves and opened all the windows to air things out). The care card suggested pouring bleach right over the stain and letting it sit overnight with some plastic wrap over it to keep the granite moist. We didn’t have any plastic wrap but we did have those big plastic freezer bags, which seemed to work just as well.

And we didn’t even have to wait til the next morning. Within about an hour the stain was nothing more than a dark shadow and in another two hours it was completely invisible. And today I couldn’t tell you where that pink square used to be if you pointed a gun at my head.

Of course, to thank the bleach for saving our counter we immediately exiled it from our home (read: returned it to the neighbor). But in this case it worked so effectively (and saved us at least one to three ulcers) so we definitely thought it was worth passing along as a possible granite saving solution for anyone else in a pinch.

And honestly, the experience has made me love our counter even more (there’s no love lost for blueberries either, which we now keep in a glass bowl on the counter instead of the hole-riddled plastic carton). The fact that a big hideous berry stain could sit there for days and completely dissappear in mere hours makes me a lot less nervous about the occasion oil or wine spill that used to make me break out in hives. The moral of the story: if you’re considering granite but are nervous about the stain-factor, it’s safe to say that it’s a lot more durable than ya think.


  1. says

    Very good to know! By the way, I really do enjoy your blog… It’s nice to see that young people like myself are not afraid of home rennovations! (And you do a lovely job of rennovating!) I can’t wait to put some of your tips to use – when we buy our own home!

  2. says

    We had a similar situation and I found that the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser flexed it’s muscles really hard and got the stain out. I’m not entrely sure what that sponge has in it (chemically speaking) but I know it has saved us from many a berry stain.

  3. jenny says

    …I don’t know if this would work with granite countertops, but I’ve had a lot of luck with mixing cream of tartar with a little white vinegar (so it’s like a paste) and putting it on dried stains for a few minutes before wiping it off…

  4. says

    What an amazing blog you have!! I just moved into a recently remodeled row house in Columbus, OH. We have a stain on our granite and I’m going to attempt to remove it today! Thank you so much for your insight and bravery!

  5. Susan says

    I had a similar stain in my bathroom granite countertop left from self tanner and freaked because I live in an apartment. Luckily, I found that soaking a cotton ball with warm water and leaving it on the spot over night removed the stain! Just something to try since you don’t keep bleach in the house for obvious reasons.

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Great tip Susan! Thanks so much for sharing. We’ll have to try that idea next time (if we’re unlucky enough to have a next time…)


  6. Derek says

    What’s wrong with bleach? I use it to disinfect my kitchen sinks and clean wood cutting boards and water bottles among other things. Just fill the sink or bottle with water, add a little bleach, and let sit for thirty minutes or so. Then rinse out three times and your sink or bottle is as good as new. I couldn’t live without bleach.

    • California Mama Bear says

      I agree, Derek; there is nothing wrong with bleach if used carefully, properly & treated with all due respect! But then I grew up when baby cribs all had lead paint & most everything else did too, and we drank straight from a garden hose, etc. . . . and here I am today still going strong and a grandmother of four. I purposely keep several extra bottles of bleach on hand and rarely use rubber gloves and have never opened a window just because I was pouring some bleach on something. In case of disaster, unscented regular bleach can help disinfect water and save lives ( ) – it is a powerful disinfectant and germicide; it’s great for cleansing cutting boards, sink drains, toilet bowls and killing mold or mildew on shower curtains, grout & caulking, in showers and elsewhere – like lawn & patio furniture or thermoses & ice chests. I even removed the rock pebbles from our fish tank, put them in a bucket of water with a strong bleach solution to soak, rinsed them really well, and returned them to the fish tank with no ill-effects on our fish. See more at

  7. Megan says

    Thanks. Boy am I glad I found this link. My 5 yo mixed cheeto dust and water to leave two bright orange rings on our cashmere white granite counter tops. The bleach worked like a charm. Great blog!

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