Remove Olive Oil Stain from Granite

In order to remove olive oil stain from granite, you need to apply the correct cleaning materials. Since granite is more porous than other stones used in home furnishings, oil can easily penetrate it. Not only does it stain easily, granite is also a bit difficult to clean. 

remove olive oil stain from granite

Luckily, there are a few techniques you can try. It’s not impossible to remove olive oil stains. Depending on the severity and age of the stain, eliminating it might be as simple as creating a homemade poultice.

For cooking oil stains, such as olive oil, dishwashing liquid is your best bet.

Understanding Granite

Like other stones used in construction, granite is made of interlocking mineral crystals with numerous pores between them. When anything is spilled on granite, it soaks into unprotected stone within minutes. Even when the liquid evaporates, a mark remains, and you’re stuck with the stain. If you don’t clean up spilled olive oil quickly, there will be a stain.

How do you remove the stain?

Begin with these steps:

  1. Prepare the granite surface for the poultice; clean the stained area using hot water and a mild soap. If the stain is relatively fresh, this alone might be enough to get rid of it. If it persists, move onto step two.
  2. Create the poultice. Mix the dishwashing liquid and water with an absorbent such as flour or paper towel. The poultice should have paste-like consistency of peanut butter. Test the poultice on a small, inconspicuous spot on the granite structure to make sure that it doesn’t cause discoloring or any other problem.
  3. With a plastic putty knife, spread a thin layer of the paste over the stained area (approximately a quarter-inch thick).  Don’t just spread the mix on the stain itself, spread it on the surrounding granite as well. While the poultice is still wet, cover the entire area with a sheet of saran wrap. It will help slow the drying process of the active chemical. Fasten the plastic wrap with blue painter’s tape. Every side of the poultice should be taped down. Regular masking tape will be too strong and sticky.
  4. Poke a few small holes in the plastic cover to allow air circulation around the poultice. This will help the stain dry.
  5. Leave the area covered for several hours. The amount of time you should leave the poultice on depends on the age of the olive oil stain. If the stain is less than 24 hours old, a single application of about 10 hours might be all it takes to disappear. For most stains, it’s best to wait at least 24 hours to be safe. For older stains that have been around for a long time, it could take several applications of poultices for a period of two or three weeks.
  6. When it’s time to remove, apply cold water to the poultice. Use a spatula (wooden or plastic) to lift it off the surface – tape and plastic and all. If you have to scrape any of it off, do so as carefully as possible. Wipe away all of the excess moisture. Give the granite some time to dry. If the stain is still there, repeat the process. It may take multiple applications to remove the olive oil stain.
  7. When the stain is finally gone, gently clean and rinse the granite and dry it with a blow dryer or clean cloth.
  8. You’ll want to seal the stone with a sealer (silicone impregnator), which can be purchased through a tile shop or department store.

If there is a ring around the area you just cleaned, it’s just a residual moisture that should evaporate in a couple of weeks.

Check with a tile shop or granite fabricator to see if they are selling a poultice paste; you don’t have to make it yourself. It’s usually available in a 1-lb tub.

Additional Tips for Cleaning Granite

Never, ever wipe a granite surface. If any food or liquid is ever spilled, clean it up by blotting it with a paper towel as quickly as possible. Wiping will only spread the spill and increase the risk of staining.

As mentioned above, dishwashing liquid is best for cooking oil stains. For other types of granite stains, acetone, bleach, or mineral spirits would be ideal. NEVER mix any of these products together.

If there is too much residue leftover from the poultice mix, you can clean it off with MB-3 soap film remover. All you have to do is dilute the MB-3 with water and gently wash away the residue. It will also help to restore the shine to a granite surface.

To prevent stains in the future, use a good granite sealer on a regular basis. A sealer will penetrate the microscopic openings near the surface and provide a barrier against liquid spills. To get the best protection possible, apply a sealer at least once every few months. Ideally, choose a sealer that contains no ammonia or phosphates.