3 Things That Leave White Residue on Stone Countertops

If you have natural stone countertops in your bathroom, kitchen, or other space, you may notice a buildup of white residue near faucets or around products you leave on the counter.

This white residue can be caused by several culprits but usually comes from everyday cleaning products, soaps, hard water, and efflorescence.

When you’d like to get to the bottom of what is causing this residue and ways to have it properly removed, we encourage you to read on.

Everyday Cleaning Products

One of the biggest causes of white residue is from cosmetics, soaps and cleaning products that leak or drip onto your stone countertops.

When you examine this residue and notice it can be easily scraped away, it is usually from one of these culprits.

Use a nylon pan scraper or a razor blade to carefully scrape this dried residue. The shavings will either be soapy when water is introduced or smeary or oily if it is conditioner, lotions, or hair treatments.

Hard Water Build Up

Hard water is the natural result of minerals like calcium and magnesium accumulating during the water cycle, and it can happen with well water and city water. The more calcium and magnesium dissolved in the water, the harder the water becomes.

When this hard water overflows and lands on countertops, it can lead to a white residue being left on the natural stone around your faucets.

To tell if it is hard water that is causing your residue issues, you can run a similar test as the one touched on above. If the residue around the faucet can be scraped away rather easily, then you are most likely dealing with hard water.


When moisture evaporates from stone, it leaves behind salts and minerals. This is known as efflorescence and will need to be periodically cleaned from countertops and other spaces in your home that have natural stone.

If you want to remove residue yourself, spray the stone with a pH-neutral, stone-safe cleaner and allow ample dwell time to soften the residue. Then using gentle pressure and a pad, clean the stone. If you see a difference, then you should be able to rinse and repeat this cleaning process until all the residue is removed.

Unfortunately, white residue left from efflorescence can also lead to bigger problems underneath stone that will need to be fixed by a professional.

No matter what may be causing the white residue on your countertops, our team at Stone Makeover will be happy to assist with its cleanup should you be having issues removing it on your own.

We will be happy to use our expertise on the natural stone countertops in your home to have them free of residue and looking like new. We invite you to give our friendly stone maintenance team a call today at (800) 661-7866 to get started!

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