Picture the situation: while making a favorite summer meal (maybe boiling noodles for pasta salad, or grilling something on a stovetop pan on a rainy day), you set a hot pot or pan on your counter or in your sink before it can burn your hands. Your dinner is just fine—but when you lift up the pan later, you find a dark burn that marks where it sat.

Oh no! Your first reaction might be panic—countertops (especially natural stone ones, like granite countertops) are a major expense in your kitchen or bathroom, where burns might be caused by curling irons or other hair care tools. But the options don’t have to be living with the burn that can make your kitchen look less-than-its-best or replacing a section of countertop. Here, we’ll break down some steps you can take to get rid of the burn mark—and how we can help if it’s staying stubbornly in place.

Why did my countertop burn?

Anyone who has ever touched a hot surface by accident knows that burns can be very painful. Heat is very powerful and while countertops are built to withstand a lot of wear and tear, they aren’t failsafe—even a hard surface might burn or get a mark when in contact with a hot surface. The same goes for porcelain sinks, tile, or counters—while they can withstand a lot, a burn might mar the surface.

Natural stone counters, like granite or marble, are unlikely to get burns—these stones are formed by heat in nature and can withstand high temperatures. But the surface might become marked by a hot pan or utensil—the seal might not be able to withstand temperatures like a stone countertop or sink and the shock of a hot pan on the cold surface could cause small cracks to form, so it’s a good idea to protect the surface.

Man-made materials, like laminate or Corian, are more likely to burn—the same goes for Corian sinks. These materials are softer, made of plastic materials, which can burn and melt at much lower temperatures than stone—and might leave you with dark marks or burns more easily than you would with a natural surface. With counters that have been around for over fifty years—you might also run into old damaged spots.

How to prevent the marks in the future? Set hot dishes on top of the stove or heat resistant surface, like a trivet or metal rack and in the bathroom, don’t set a curling iron directly on the counter. This will prevent the burn happening in the first place and spare you the stress of having to deal with it later on.


Where should I start when trying to remove the burn?

First, consider what type of countertop you have. It can be very difficult to remove burns from laminate counters as a DIY project—this material can actually be melted by hot pans. Whether you have laminate, wood, or stone counters, you can start by gently cleaning the area with a few drops of dish soap and some water.

For a surface like granite, your first plan of attack might be to put baby oil onto the surface. Allow this to sit for about twenty-four hours, and then wipe away. This will likely be too gentle for a man-made surface like laminate, though—for that, and if baby oil doesn’t work on your granite, you might try a mild abrasive cleaner.

Imagine it like this—while something like sandpaper is very bumpy and abrasive, lots of products are made up of much smaller bumps that can work gently at the surface without making big scratches. Use a gently abrasive mix of baking soda and water, or some toothpaste, and leave the mixture on the burn for about half an hour. After that, rub with a cloth, adding more cleanser as needed.

That didn’t work. What else can I try?

For materials like laminate, a tougher abrasive cleaner—like Barkeeper’s Friend or Soft Scrub—can be your next plan of attack. Use the powder according to package directions to remove most of the discoloration.

But this will probably be too abrasive for your granite or stone counter—instead, for those materials, soak some paper towels in peroxide and let them sit on the burned area. A mix of peroxide and flour might also work to lift the stain.

The burn mark is still there. Now I need professional help!

If the mark on your counter or in your sink isn’t dissolving, it’s time to call in a professional. Burns, chips, or other damage to countertops can weaken the protective seal subjecting it to being weak and more easily damaged from future wear. It can also drag down the look and feel of your kitchen, making it look dirty no matter how clean it really is; looking tired and old no matter how much the rest of it might reflect modern summer kitchen trends!

Refinishing might be the solution to help your counters or sink looking great again. During this process, the surface of the counter or sink is gently sanded down, the damage repaired, and a new protective coating applied. Countertops made of Corian were designed for this purpose, but you can have many materials refinished—including marble, granite, and solid-surface. You get a smooth, professional-looking countertop with no damage—and if you want to change the color of your surface, there are options to do that, too.

How can The Tub Pros help me if I live in the Memphis mid south area?

The Tub Pros is the Mid-South’s premier surface refinishing and countertop company—we can help with burns and other damage (like chips, cracks, or rust) through countertop, tile, tub, or bathroom or kitchen sink reglazing. When you’re looking for kitchen remodel ideas or a bathroom remodel, Memphis is the place to be—we’re here to help you get your counters, tub, and sink looking great again without breaking the bank.

If you’re ready to get started, we’re here to get your project going. Give us a call at (901) 871-8827 or use our online form to get in touch, and get your home looking and functioning its best again!  

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