6 Easy Steps To Marble Stain Removal

Marble Stain Removal

If spills on your beautiful marble surface have turned into permanent stains and your typical marble cleaner will not remove them; Don't worry. This article will tell you everything you need to know to remove those tough marble stains!

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Types of Marble Stains

Before we get started, it is best to understand what type of stain you have on your marble. This will determine how to tackle the stain. The Marble Institute describes the 7 most typical marble stains as follows:

marble rust stain removal

Rust Stains

They typically come in the shape of the metallic object that left the stain and are typically in the color of copper to brown. Examples are nails, metal cans, and metal decorations can leave a rust stain on your marble.

Oil Based Stains

These stains are typically light brown to yellow in color. Examples are lipstick, butter, hand lotions, milk, and peanut butter to name a few. 

Marble Stain Removal

Organic Stains

These stains are typically noticed once the item that makes the stain is removed, and typically darken the stone to a light pinkish-brown to dark brown color. For example, you could leave your leaking coffee on the marble countertop and once you pick the cup up you have your infamous coffee ring. Other Examples of organic stains occur from leaves, bird dropping, or flowers.

clean marble countertops

Ink Stains

Ink stains are very common. They show up a lot of times in the color of the ink pen, highlighter, or wine that left them behind. They are typically water or alcohol based, and when the water or alcohol evaporates the pigments or colors left in the liquids remain as a stain.

marble water stain removal

Water Stains

Water spots are very common on kitchen marble countertops when you leave your drinks on the marble or from hard water build up around your sinks or marble showers.

Marble Wine Spill

Mold Stains

We see these stains a lot in wet areas or on bathroom marble countertops or bathroom tile floors.

wine spilling on marble

Etch Marks

Etch marks occur when your marble encounters an acidic substance. So things like lemon juice, wine, some household bathroom cleaners, fruits, and many other household items chemically react with the marble surface and actually dissolves part of the top surface of the marble. 

paint stain marble

Paint Stains

Typically the color of the paint that left the stain. Occur mostly in small spots, but occasionally have large spills that can be difficult to remove. 

Method Of Stain Removal 

Each one of these above stains have a unique method of removal.  Most of them can be removed with a marble poultice. This is a material made from a porous solid and a solvent (some sort of liquid) to form a paste type material that has the consistence of cake icing or peanut butter. The below table will show you what you need to remove your unique marble stain.  There are also sections below that are dedicated to each type of stain. 

Type of Stain

Method Of Removal

Comments

Rust Stain

Marble Poultice

See Rust Stains Section Below

Oil Based Stain

Marble Poultice

Solvent of Mineral spirits or Acentone

Organic Stain

Marble Poultice

Solvent of 6 % Hydrogen Peroxide

Ink Stain

Marble Poultice

Solvent 12 % hydrogen peroxide or ammonia

Water Stains

Steel Wool 

Mold Stains

Marble Mold Remover/Bleach

See Mold Stains Section Below

Etch Marks

Special Method

See our article of Etch Removal

Paint Stains

Razor Blade and Paint Striper

See Paint Stain Section Below

The above table details what you will need to remove each type of stain. Below are some more specifics on the method of removal for each stain. 

Rust Stains

Rust stains are probably the most difficult of marble stains to remove. However, in some cases rust stains can be removed with a marble poultice. The most effective solvent for rust stains are a liquid commercial rust remover. Be sure to buy a rust remover that is non-acidic, this is critical because an acidic rust remover will make the problem worse. To make the poultice view the poultice section below. 

​If this method does not work we recommend contacting your local marble professional. 

Oil Based Stains

Oil Based Stains can be removed with a marble poultice made with acetone or mineral spirits. The process may need to be repeated, but no special considerations are needed for stain removal via marble poultice for oil based stains.  See below for Marble Poultice process. 

Organic Stains

Organic Stains can be removed with a Marble Poultice made with a solvent of 6 % hydrogen peroxide. The process may need to be repeated, but no special considerations are needed for stain removal via marble poultice for organic stains. See below for Marble Poultice process.

Ink Stains

Ink Stains can be removed with a Marble Poultice made with a solvent of 6 % hydrogen peroxide or ammonia. The process may need to be repeated, but no special considerations are needed for stain removal via marble poultice for Ink stains. See below for Marble Poultice process.

Water Stains

Can usually be removed with a marble cleaner and a soft towel. If this does not work then use a fine steel wool grade #0000. Dry the surface around the water stain, then rub in a circular pattern over the stain until the stain buffs out of the marble. 

In most cases this should be sufficient to remove the water stains, however, if this does not work then we recommended trying a marble cleaner specifically designed to remove hard water stains and soap scum

​Mold Stains 

We recommended using a marble cleaner specifically designed to tackle Mold and Mildew Stains. This is the easiest and safest way to tackle the problem!

For more information about removing mold and mildew stains check out our article on mold stain removal.  It details the process of the video below!

The use of bleach is the another great method of removing mold stains from marble. We see mold the most in grout or in corners of marble showers. A lot of times the mold is still there, and is a living organism. The bleach works great because it kills the mold, and also helps to remove the mold stain that is left behind once the mold is gone. 

​Mix one quart of bleach with one gallon of water. Clean the surface with water, then put the bleach/water mixture into a spray bottle. Spray the mold stain and be sure to completely cover the stain with the bleach solution. Let the bleach sit for 5-10 minutes and then rub with white towel. Once the stain is removed, rinse the entire area with clean water and then dry the surface. 


Pro Tip:


Be sure to spray the Marble Mold Remover or bleach solution in a small inconspicuous area on the marble surface prior to treating the mold. After 5-10 minutes, check and ensure that the bleach does not have a negative effect on your marble.

If your marble is a dark surface, bleach may not be your best option. It may be best to purchase a marble cleaner specifically designed for marble mold and mildew remover. If you do not want to purchase the cleaner, try using hydrogen peroxide it may get the job done!


Etch Marks

We have a special article on marble etch mark removal. Check it out here.  It details the process of the below video!

Paint Stains

Small deposits of acrylic paint can be removed with a lacquer thinner, and scrapped off with a razor blade.

Be very careful with the razor blade, and should be used as a last resort. The razor blade can severely scratch the marble surface if to much pressure is applied. 

For large paint spills with recommend contacting your local marble care professional.​

​Make and Apply the Marble Poultice

For the stains listed above that required a marble poultice, the below steps will detail how to make the poultice. As shown above, each stain has a special solvent to remove their respective stain. The poultice making process is the same for each stain, you just need to use the recommended solvent for your marble stain. 

Supplies for Marble Poultice

Baking Soda or White Flour

Mineral Water

Liquid Solvent

Glass/Cermaic Bowl

Plastic/Wooden Spatula

Plastic Wrap

Masking Tape

Wooden Spoon

Below is a video thanks to the Marble Institute of America. This is a great video to demonstrate the marble poultice process and its application. The steps for the process of making the poultice and applying it are detailed in the below video. This method is also recommended by the US government' s GSA.

​Steps To Make and Apply Marble Poultice
1

Make the Poultice

Add one cup of the recommended solvent into the mixing bowl (you may require more than a cup if your stain is large, this mixture is scalable)

Mix the baking soda in the bowl with the solvent (Tip: about 1 pound of solid absorbent material is needed for every square foot of stain)

When finished the Marble Poultice should be the consistency of peanut butter or cake icing. 

2

Clean The Stained Area

Wipe the stain clean of any loose girt or dirt. Then wet the surface with the mineral water. Be sure the stain is covered in a small amount of water. The water will allow for the poultice to penetrate the pours of marble and remove the stain!

3

Apply The Poultice

Apply the poultice to the entire stain and add an extra inch of poultice around the stain. It should be about ¼ to ½ inches tall off the surface of the marble.

4

Check and Prep The Poultice

Check to ensure there are no air pockets left in the poultice, and then completely cover the poultice with plastic wrap and secure with the masking tape.

5

Wait

Let the poultice completely harden and dry. This should take approximately 48 hours.

6

Remove the Poultice

Remove the masking tape and plastic wrap. Then dampen the poultice by adding about ¼ of a cup of water over the poultice. Remove the poultice with a plastic or wooden spatula. Then clean the surface with warm water and dry completely.

During this process the poultice will penetrate the pours in your marble where the stain lies and actually pull the stain out of the marble. In most cases the marble poultice is a very effective stain removal tactic against marble stains.  

However, if this does not work the first time, then you should repeat the process one more time. Sometimes repetition can solve your problem. ​

If a second try does not completely remove your marble stain it may be time to consult your local marble care professional. 

Please comment below if you have any questions about our 6 Steps To Marble Stain Removal. 

If this how to guide was helpful, please share so others can benefit from it as well!​

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