How to Clean Soap Stains From Granite

When granite gets stained (and it often does), the stain has to be pulled out from the porous surface. With soap stains, it can be nearly impossible. However, there’s hope, as others have found ways to remove these stubborn stains. Here are some methods that have been successful. 

Using Neutral pH Cleaning Products 

You Will Need: 

  • Washing soda
  • Water
  • Non-alkali all purpose cleaner (ex: Simple Green Stone Cleaner)
  • Soft cloths
  • Soft bristled brush 

Steps to Remove the Soap Stains: 

  1. Mix water with a small amount of either non-alkali cleaner or washing soda. Non-alkali cleaners are simply neutral cleaners that will not damage the stone’s surface. Avoid any acidic cleaners as they can etch  and dull the surface.
  2. Scrub the soap stain with the mixture. A soft bristled brush will help to work it into the grooves.
  3. Rinse well with clean water.
  4. Dry with a soft cloth and allow the area to air dry completely. 

Removing Stains with Rubbing Alcohol 

You Will Need: 

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Soft cloths 

Steps to Remove the Soap Stains: 

  1. Moisten a soft cloth with a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
  2. Rub the cloth over the stained area using small, circular motions.
  3. Add more alcohol as needed, and continue rubbing until the stain is removed.
  4. Once clean, dry with a clean cloth. 

Using Ammonia to Remove Stains 

You Will Need: 

  • Clear, household ammonia
  • Water
  • Clean cloths
  • Soft bristled brush 

Steps to Remove the Soap Stains: 

  1. Though ammonia has the power to cut through soap scum, it should be used sparingly. Ammonia does not have a neutral pH, and can dull the surface with frequent use. Using colored ammonias can discolor the surface.
  2. Mix one gallon of water with ½ cup clear ammonia.
  3. Moisten a soft cloth with the mixture and scrub the soap stains away.
  4. Rinse well with clean water.
  5. Dry with a soft cloth. 

Additional Tips and Advice 

  • If the granite surface has not been sealed, consider doing so. This will lessen the chances of stains and other liquids penetrating into the porous stone and leaving marks that can be difficult, if not impossible, to remove.
  • Regular cleanings will help remove any residue before it has a chance to soak into the stone. This will reduce the chance of staining as well.
  • There are commercial stone cleaners that are designed to remove soap stains. One you may want to consider is MB-3 Soap Film Remover.

Comments

  1. Kim says:

    Due to its pH and the fat content, liquid soap, when left in contact with granite counter tops, can corrode and stain. If the area is stained, an application of baking soda or flour can draw the staining out. Just leave it in contact for a minimum of 24 hours, cover the area in plastic wrap and wipe clean with plain water the following day. Be sure to dry the area completely.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Use natural granite cleaner. I always use natural cleaner or biodegradable soap with hot water to clean the granite. Then I use a natural cleaner intended specifically for granite. A few sprays and then a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth and the streaks are gone! I can’t comment on how it works, but it does!

  3. Jen says:

    I use Pledge with my microfiber cloth and it removes any water marks or streaks.

  4. Judy says:

    I have a light tan granite countertop and someone let the liquid hand soap drip down and sit on the counter top. Now is is stained and nothing seems to remove it. Any suggestions?

  5. Marcy says:

    Sounds too simple, but…

    Just soak a sponge with water (don’t ring out) and leave sponge on the soap stain until the water evaporates. When the granite dries from where the sponge was the stain will be gone. Don’t know why it worked, but it soaked the hand soap over-spill right out of my granite counters.

  6. Carol says:

    Do you wet the baking soda or flour? My old soap stain is not out after 48 hours.

  7. Paul says:

    I tried your solution of using the wet sponge and it was a miracle. The stain just disappeared. Thank you so very much.

  8. Marcy says:

    To remove a soap stain from granite, try soaking a sponge with water (don’t wring out) and leave the wet sponge on the soap stain until the water evaporates. When the granite dries from where the sponge was, the soap stain will be gone. Let us know if it works!

  9. Rhonda says:

    Thank you for your idea about putting a wet sponge on the soap stain and letting it dry. I bought a sponge that was extra thick and cut a hole in the center of it so I could slip it over the soap dispenser. I put it in place sopping wet and even placed something on the sponge to weigh it down to ensure every piece of the sponge made contact with the granite. I left it there to dry…several days. In fact, I did it twice. But, the soap stain is still there. Upon careful scrutiny, I noticed that the stain appears to be a little lighter, but the greasy soap ring still is about 1/4 inch out and all the way around the soap dispenser. Sadly, this did not work. Any other ideas?

  10. Rhonda says:

    Hey, my assessment might be a bit too hasty. I have tried using a wet sponge around my soap dispenser that’s built into my granite counter. At first, I didn’t think it worked, but I’ve done it three or four times and it seems to get lighter and lighter. I have nothing to lose. I’m going to keep trying it to see if I can get it completely cleaned. Thanks for the idea… but, if anyone has other ideas (like the baking soda), maybe I’ll try those between the wet sponge attempts.

  11. Lynn says:

    Wow! It works!

    After using recommended solutions (baking soda paste, applying rubbing alcohol with a Q-tip), I decided to give the wet sponge idea a whirl. I’m delighted to say, the soap ring has disappeared. Thanks so much!

  12. S. Walton says:

    The Magic of the Sponge!!

    I had a soap ring on my new granite vanity. I did some research and found this site. I tried the sponge and IT WORKS!!! I am so happy that the sponge took the soap ring completely out. No chemicals; just the wet sponge on the granite and wait. It took four days for the sponge to dry, but once it did, the ring was gone. Thanks so much Marcy for the suggestion. It works like magic.

  13. JR says:

    Amazing sponge!!!

    Tried the alcohol…FAIL.

    Used the sponge method and it worked great.

  14. Bob says:

    I used the dripping wet sponge on two granite countertop liquid soap stains. The stains were caused by liquid soap dispensers sitting directly on granite. Wet sponges were left on the stains until dry, with no lifting of sponges to check progress. Stains are gone! Amazingly simple. Thank you!
    (This process just might be diluting the soap in the porous granite, hence essentially removing the stain.)

  15. Ed says:

    Sponge method works for me. Done it three times on a stubborn soap stain around the dispenser.
    Lighter and lighter each time I do it. Almost all gone!!! Thanks.

  16. Michael says:

    I left a dish brush on the counter that was filled with Gain liquid soap. It leaked out over night all over my light colored granite. It was a mess, and I was really upset that our installers didn’t seal the granite. I used about a half cup of CVS white baby powder and plain water mixture (made thick like peanut butter). Using masking tape, I taped down plastic wrap over the stain. The tape was firm and closed off all air from getting into the stained stone area. I read that you should leave it on for 48 hours, but I couldn’t wait, so I looked after 14 hours. The stain looked like it was still there. When I arrived home from work that night, the stone had dried out and the stain was gone. I am having my installers put “life time” sealer on it tomorrow. It costs $5.00 per square foot, but it is worth it.

  17. Dena says:

    Sponge worked great! Pulled the stain right out! Thanks!

  18. Carol says:

    Marcy,
    The stain is lighter, but the granite is still dark in areas that weren’t dark before because the water soaked into the granite. It has been three days since I removed the sponge. How long before the granite completely dries out? I am hoping that the granite is still wet and that is why those areas are dark.

  19. Kevin S says:

    Add me to the list of people who have had success with the sponge trick. We had not one, but two stains from soap dispensers on our brand new granite, days before it was to be sealed. Fortunately, the sponge trick worked like a charm – stains be gone!

  20. Bob says:

    Has anyone tried a paper towel (absorbent) or wash cloth and used heat from either a hot hair dryer or iron (on low heat setting)? Drawing the fatty soap toward the surface and then having it dry out might work well. Careful not to heat too high or long as you don’t want to bake the stain in.

  21. Bob says:

    I used the sponge and wet method. After 24 hours, it worked well. No stain left. So I did not try the heat method.

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