Granite countertops can add a upscale aesthetic element to any kitchen. While granite resists heat and does not burn, a hot pan or pot may leave a mark on its surface. Burn marks will not go away on their own and need to be treated in order to get your countertop looking as good as new. You can treat burn marks with mild soap and water or by creating a homemade granite-safe poultice using just a few basic ingredients.
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Clean the Countertop
Sometimes, the burn mark is a superficial sooty or food-based stain that can be easily cleaned off with soap and water as soon as the granite cools. To start, wipe down the countertop with a squirt of mild dish soap on a damp soft cloth or sponge. Next, rinse the cloth or sponge and wipe the area again; then pat it dry with a soft cloth. If the mark disappears, your work is complete and your countertop should look back to normal. Otherwise, you may need to make a simple poultice to treat the spot, which will take a little bit longer than the soap and water method, but is an easy and effective way to remove burn stains.
Make a Stain Poultice
Not all burn marks are created equal and some will be tougher to remove from granite surfaces than others. If the burn mark came from a cigarette, incense or any substance that may have left a bit of a burnt residue embedded in an unsealed area of the granite, use a poultice to lift the stain away. You can make a poultice at home to exfoliate the burn away.
Step 1: Measure your flour
Pour enough flour in the a bowl to completely cover the burned area. Use slightly more than you think you may need.
Step 2: Add peroxide to form a paste
Add some hydrogen peroxide to your bowl of flour, stirring it with a plastic scraper. Keep combining everything together until the mixture has the thick consistency of a creamy peanut butter.
Step 3: Treat the burn with your paste
Spread the paste over the burn mark with the plastic scraper. Take care to spread the paste 1/4 inch or so beyond the discolored area to ensure that the entire burn will be lifted.
Step 4: Set the treatment
Cover the paste with plastic wrap, then poke a few holes in the wrap near the paste. Use a toothpick, kebab skewer or a pronged kitchen utensil to poke the holes.
Step 5: Let everything sit
Tape the edges of the plastic wrap down with painter's tape. Let the paste sit and treat the burn mark, then remove the plastic wrap and tape after 24 hours or once the paste dries.
Step 6: Remove the paste
Scrape off the paste residue with the plastic scraper, then wipe the area clean with a damp cloth or sponge.
Note: Test the poultice in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not discolor the countertop. Allow the poultice to sit for at least an hour, then wipe it away.
Using Granite Sealer
If the granite looks dull or seems to absorb every liquid spilled upon it, a sealer helps restore its finish and protect the stone. Read the sealer label thoroughly — some products require ventilation during the application and curing process.
Spray a granite sealer over a clean granite countertop, allowing it to soak in for 10 minutes or as long as the sealer packaging indicates. Buff the area with a soft white cloth, then allow the sealer to cure for six hours or longer before setting items upon the countertop.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.