How to Restore Stained and Dull Kitchen Countertops


A countertop is not only an investment purchase but also the bedrock of your kitchen. In most homes, it is quite usual to find people assembling around a countertop as they chitchat and snack away.

It is therefore important to maintain your kitchen countertop looking clean and shiny. A kitchen countertop that is an eye sore is not only an embarrassment but can discourage the socializing that takes place in the kitchen.

General Maintenance of Kitchen Countertops

On a day-to-day basis, countertops come into contact with various things that expose them to dirt, dust, and even different stains. Failure to clean the countertops properly can turn them dull over time.

The first step to restoring a dull, stained countertop is by thoroughly cleaning the surface and polishing it.

Start by familiarizing yourself with tips on how to clean and maintain your countertops which will reduce the risk of your countertops developing stains over time.

Different types of countertops have different cleaning methods as well as different brightening techniques.

It is recommended that where possible, use natural cleaning products to clean and restore your countertops.

Using the appropriate cleaning technique for your specific material of countertop automatically restores your dull or stained countertops.

For the old countertops, it is also possible to restore their shine to enhance your kitchen appearance.

This article features how to fix some of the countertop materials that have lost their appeal.

Concrete countertops

Concrete is one of the most durable and easily customizable countertops materials.

Besides durability, concrete countertops have the benefit of being customizable.

The secret to concrete maintenance is the sealant.

A concrete sealant ought to be acid, scratch, and heat resistant. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how often to reseal your countertop.

Stain removal

Chlorine bleach is effective in the removal of stains from foods like mustard and coffee.

Pour some bleach on a soft cloth or a cotton ball and spread it on the affected area. Use a heavy dish to hold it down for about 5 min and rinse off with clean water.

For oil stains, use a solvent that can absorb the oil. Create a thick paste of baking soda and acetone, apply on the stain and hold it down with a plastic wrap for 24 hours. Remove the wrap and allow it dry before wiping it off.

For strong acid stains that have etched the surface, you have to grind or buff the damage then reseal the surface. This process requires a professional.

How to brighten your countertop

  • After getting rid of all the stains, wet the surface and apply some polish.
  • Wax the surface to give it a glossy look.


Granite is among the most desirable stones due to a wide range of formations and colors.

Naturally, granite is anti-bacterial, hence with the correct sealing, it is easy to maintain.

Stain removal

For tough stains, you can use a commercial stone poultice. You can also choose to make your own cleaner using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and form a thick paste.

Spread the mixture on the stain, approximately a quarter-inch thick, and use a plastic wrap to cover. Let the mixture sit for 24 hours to take effect.

Afterwards, remove the wrap and let the mixture dry totally before you can wipe it off. Repeat the procedure until the stain is no longer visible.

Reseal the area after cleaning to avoid further staining.

Maintain the shine

Easy Fix

A dull countertop may result from the accumulation of a soap film. The use of dish soaps or commercial cleaners can create a film that dulls the surface.

In this case, the solution is simple! Purchase a soap film remover to restore the dull countertop.

Moreover, water with high mineral content can also dull your countertop. A soap film remover or a mineral deposit remover can do the trick.

Average fix

Another factor that can contribute to a dull countertop is a mild etching from acids or grease stains. In this case, a polishing powder is your ultimate solution.

Mix the polishing powder with water to form a paste. Apply the paste on the affected areas with a soft cloth.

For stubborn areas, leave it overnight. The polishing powder is mildly abrasive; use it with caution following the instructions.

Major fix

If after trying everything, the countertop remains dull, it is time for a mega fixing. The only option left is refinishing the granite.

No amount of cleaning, buffing, and polishing can restore a damaged finishing. Refinishing should be by a professional.

Laminate countertop

Laminate countertops are popular because of their affordability and durability.

However, it is not as strong as the other stone countertops. With time, laminate countertops show scratches and become dull.

There are several ways you can revive a laminate countertop thus give it a new lease of life.

Stain removal

Make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply it to the affected area and leave it for a few hours.

Do not scrub as baking soda is abrasive and can cause scratches on the countertop. Wipe off the paste with a clean cloth after.

Also, you can use solvents like paint thinner, alcohol, or nail polish removers for tougher stains. Most of these solvents are flammable; hence apply in small quantities using a soft cloth or a cotton ball.

Test the solvent on a small portion to ensure it is safe for use. Polish the surface after to protect the surface.

How to restore your laminate countertop

  1. To remove stains from the small scratches, use a wet cloth with vinegar.
  2. Use a wet cloth added some dishwashing liquid to get rid of soil residue from the surface.
  3. Thoroughly dry the countertop with a clean cloth.
  4. Use polish made for acrylic or fiberglass surfaces and applied on a clean, dry cloth. Rub on the areas affected with stains, discolorations, and scratches.
  5. Leave the countertop to dry completely.
  6. Using another clean, dry cloth, buff the countertop to shine.

Marble countertops

Marble is a classy, elegant countertop favorable to chefs for its cool temperature that’s ideal for making pastry.

However, on the negative side, marble is very porous; it easily stains and scratches.

Sealing the surface can protect it from stains, but as for acidic foods, it will etch the marble.

Removing stains

Remove all food crumbs and wipe off spills with a mild cleanser. Dampen the surface with a wet sponge.

Use a commercial cleaner or an approved marble cleaner and wipe it off with a rag.

Alternatively, make your cleaner with a bit of ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda to create a thick paste.

Use a brush to spread it on the affected area and leave it for 12 -24 hours covered in plastic wrap. Leave it to dry and wipe it off afterward.

Shining your marble 

For the etched surface, wipe with a damp cloth and apply a marble polish powder. Buff the powder on the surface with a wet cloth.

Get rid of the residue and wipe the marble to dryness to restore its shine. You can seal the marble to prevent future staining and boost its shiny appearance.


Installing new kitchen or bathroom countertops will significantly enhance your room’s look. This will help increase your home’s value; however, they need a level of maintenance to remain sparkling and prevent stains.

You can remove most of the stains that popularly take place on these countertops with one of the techniques mentioned above to restore their shine.

However, if you come across a stain that’s hard to get rid of, get in touch with a stone care professional for expert stain removal.

Rather than installing new countertops, think about resurfacing your countertop.

Refinishing will provide the countertops, whether in kitchen or bathroom, new life at an affordable cost or replacing.