Removing White Residue on Natural Stone Surfaces

White residue can ruin the look of your stone worktops. There are a number possible causes and, in order to resolve this problem, you first need to identify the cause. In addition, identifying the cause will also help you prevent such residue from building up in the future.

Soap and cosmetics

If you use a nylon pan scraper or a razor blade to try to gently scrape the residue off the surface, you will soon be able to tell if it is indeed soap, cleaning product or cosmetic residue. If scraping the surface removes the substance easily, you can then place it in the sink and mix it up with water. If you notice that it has an oily feel, then it is most likely lotion, conditioner or something similar. If it is soapy, then it is obviously a build up of soap or a cleaning product.

Hard water

If the scraping test works but it proves more difficult, it is most likely that the white residue is a build up of hard water. This build up occurs over time and, the longer you wait, the more residue will accumulate.

Mineral deposits

Efflorescence occurs when water evaporates from the surface and leaves behind various minerals and salts. It is best to have your stone worktops professionally cleaned from time to time in order to prevent any serious accumulation. In some cases, efflorescence can be caused by a more significant problem beneath the surface of the stone. A stone expert will be able to determine if this is the case or if it is only a surface issue.


There are some solutions you can try yourself if you want to control any build up of white residue without having to call a professional stone cleaner too often. A pH-neutral stone cleaner is excellent for softening soapy residue. You will need to let the solution sit on the affected area for several minutes before washing it away. More stubborn residues will need to be removed professionally since they can worsen with even the slightest rubbing or scrubbing.

Natural stone surfaces can last a lifetime if they are properly cared for. This is why it is so important to take note of the care and cleaning instructions from your stone provider. If you are ever unsure about the best way to restore or repair stone worktops.