Skip to Content

Can You Remove Stains from Marble (How To)?

Cleaning the marble tile

Marble can be used in many different parts of a building or home, and can be installed either indoors or outdoors. Like all surfaces, various things can get spilled on them and leave a stain. Today, I will explain how to remove stains from marble.

As a general rule, it’s possible to remove stains from marble. Use a mild detergent such as dish soap and water first. It can take multiple passes to remove it. If the stain remains, use a paste made from baking soda and water. Never use acidic cleaning products like tile or bathroom cleaners.

Some stains such as juice, and milk can leave etch marks that are visible after the stain has been removed. Below, I will explain how etch marks are fixed, and certain types of stains that can’t be removed by cleaning.

Can You Remove Stains from Marble (How To)?

Light colored marble is very common and even light colored stains can be visible. Marble is also a special material so care needs to be taken when removing stains. Here’s exactly how to remove virtually all stains from marble.

Overall, you can remove stains from marble. Use dish soap and water and wipe it with a non-abrasive cloth like a dish towel. Certain types of stains of organic stains such as wine, or coffee can be cleaned using a 12% hydrogen peroxide, and a few drops of ammonia.

It can take multiple times cleaning the stain to completely remove it. Also, if the stain is organic, or oil based and is on a part of marble that is outside and gets direct sunlight, the stain will go away on its own.

The main things not to use are strong and acid based cleaners like bathroom cleaners. Only stick to the recommended liquids explained above.

Removing etch marks in marble after cleaning the stain

After cleaning the stain, there can be etching. This is where the stains have eaten into marble and leaves visible marks.

Etching is removed using marble polish powder.

How to Remove Stains from Marble

Cleaning the marble tile

All surfaces in a building such as floors, countertops, and walls can get stains. Marble is a unique material that requires care so as not to damage it when removing stains. Here’s how to remove stains from marble.

As a general rule, use half a teaspoon of ammonia, mixed with 12% hydrogen peroxide for organic stains, like food, coffee, and wine. Wipe the area using a soft cloth like a dishcloth. For oil-based stains use mineral spirits, acetone, dish soap, or ammonia. But, don’t mix them together.

Ink stains from pens, felt tip pens, and highlighters can be removed depending on the color of the marble. For dark colored marble use acetone, or lacquer thinner. For light colored marble use hydrogen peroxide or bleach.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/15/2022.

For wet paint, wipe off as much of it as you can while it’s still wet. Once it has dried, for a small amount scrape it off gently using a razor blade. And/or use lacquer thinner.

This works for small areas of dried paint. If you have a large area of dried paint use a chemical paint stripper.

White powder residue called efflorescence

White powder residue that looks like salt can form on marble surfaces. It typically occurs with newer marble and is perfectly normal. It’s caused by chemical reactions in the marble, and will stop happening over time.

It’s caused by water content stored in the marble. Marble naturally dries out over time, after being quarried. Efflorescence deposits on the surface marble will stop forming once the marble is sufficiently dried.

In the meantime, use a dry mop, broom, or vacuum to remove it. Don’t clean it off using water, such as a damp dish cloth, or a wet mop. It will cause the efflorescence to form for longer.

How to remove fire and smoke damage stains on marble

Fire and smoke damage stains can take quite a lot of cleaning to remove. Fire and smoke stains are organic so 12% hydrogen peroxide, with half a teaspoon of ammonia will work.

There are also commercial smoke removal products which are worth a try if the smoke stains are particularly difficult to remove. For all other types of stains refer to the headings below for the specific type of stain you have.

Can You Remove Rust Stains from Marble?

Confused woman standing

Rust stains can occur if pieces of metal are left to sit on marble. Over time they can rust, and react with the marble where the stain won’t come off with a simple wipe of a cloth. Here’s the long and short of whether it’s possible to remove rust stains from marble.

As a general rule, rust stains can be removed from marble. But, in some cases they can be permanent. Rust stains are removed using a poultice, which is a special mixture of different products such as talc, and powdered chalk. How to use a poultice is explained below.

A poultice is made into a paste and left to sit on the surface of absorbent materials such as marble to remove stains. It’s recommended to be used to remove rust from marble and other natural stones.

There are many different poultice products on the market. If a poultice does not remove the rust stain, the rust stain is permanent. In that case the marble surface will need to be resurfaced to remove the rust stain.

Can You Remove Yellow Stains from Marble?

Cleaning the marble tile

Yellow stains can get on marble, and are most visible on light colored marble. Sometimes, the source of the stain can be a mystery. Here’s whether yellow stains can be removed from marble.

In general, yellow stains can be removed from marble. For yellow stains that are from organic material such as food, use 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia. For yellow ink stains use bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. For oil based stains use dish soap, or ammonia.

The method to remove the stain is to apply the cleaning liquid you’re using, as explained above. And then wipe it using a soft cloth, such as a dish cloth.

Don’t use anything that will scratch the surface such as steel wool, or a very hard bristled plastic brush. Repeat a few times until the stain is completely removed.

Can You Remove Hard Water Stains from Marble?

Confused woman standing

Hard water leaves calcium or metal deposits that are very hard and can’t be wiped off. They can blend in with the look of marble, but will stick out, and ruin the look of a marble surface. Here’s a summary of whether it’s possible to remove hard water stains from marble.

In general, you can remove hard water stains from marble. Vinegar is well known to be very effective at removing hard water stains. But, acids such as vinegar should never be used on marble. You should use 0000 spec steel wool to buff the hard water marks off.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/15/2022.

Acids like vinegar will remove hard water deposits on marble, but they will leave etch marks. These will require marble polishing powder to remove. Therefore, it’s easier and saves time to use 0000 spec steel wool instead.

Can You Remove Wine Stains from Marble?

Confused man standing

A few drops of wine, a ring shaped wine stain from the bottom of a wine glass, or a full on spill stands out on light colored marble. It will soak in and won’t wipe off easily using a damp cloth. So, can you remove wine stains from marble?

As a general rule, you can remove wine stains from marble. Wine stains on outdoor marble will go away over time due to sunlight, and rain. But, wine stains on indoor marble can be removed using 12% hydroxide, and a few drops of ammonia.

Apply the mixture of 12% hydrogen peroxide, and ammonia to the stain using a soft cloth. Then wipe the stain using a soft cloth. It can take a few doing this method a few times until the stain is completely removed.

Can You Remove Oil Stains from Marble?

Confused man standing

Oils like olive oil, cooking oil, or machine oil are water resistant and once they get on marble it can seem impossible to remove. This is whether it’s possible to remove oil stains from marble.

Overall, oil stains can be removed from marble. Use the following but don’t mix them together, a soft liquid cleanser like dish soap, ammonia, mineral spirits, or acetone. It can require cleaning your marble a few times to completely remove the oil stain.

Pick one of these liquids and apply it to the stain using a cloth. Let it sit for a few seconds to work. Then wipe the area using a cloth.

As you wipe the area the oil will get absorbed into the cloth. So, use a different part of the cloth each time you wipe it to remove more and more of the oil each time. Repeat as required to completely remove all of the oil.

Can You Remove Acid Stains from Marble?

Confused woman standing

Acid can get on marble from a range of different sources. There are natural acids in fruit, wine, coffee, and vinegar, as well as chemical acids in things like car batteries. Once acid gets in contact with marble and causes a stain, here’s whether you can remove it.

As a general rule, acid stains can be removed from marble. Use 12% hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of ammonia added to it. After you’ve removed the stain, in some cases acid can leave etch marks. These need to be removed using marble polishing powder.

The mixture of 12% hydrogen peroxide and ammonia can be made in a disposable cup, or similar. Dab a soft cloth like a dish cloth into it and wipe it onto the stain. Let it sit for about 10 seconds and then rub the area using a cloth to lift out the stain.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/15/2022.

Repeat until the stain is no longer visible. Don’t use anything harsh to scrub it such as a hard plastic brush, or steel wool.

Can You Remove Urine Stains from Marble?

Confused woman standing

Pets and children can accidentally urinate on marble, which leaves a yellow stain. Marble has unique properties, so here’s a summary of whether urine stains can be removed from marble.

Overall, urine stains can be removed from marble. Outdoor urine stains will naturally go away over time due to sunlight and rain. But, for indoor urine stains, or if you want to remove a urine stain on marble immediately use 12% hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of ammonia.

This mixture can be made in a bowl or similar. Make a small amount, enough to wipe on to the stain 5 to 10 times using a cloth. Apply it to the stain using a soft cloth, like a dish towel.

Let it soak in and break down the stain for about 10 to 30 seconds. After that, wipe the area using a dry soft clean cloth.

The stain will get taken up in the cloth, so use different parts of the cloth, and a new cloth as required. Apply the hydrogen peroxide mixture multiple times until the stain is completely gone.

Can You Remove Brown Stains from Marble?

Confused woman standing

Marble comes in both light colors like white, and light pink. But, can also be black in color with colored veins of other minerals. Marble can accumulate brown stains for a range of reasons, here’s whether they can be removed.

Overall, brown stains can be removed from marble. However, brown rust stains can not be removed in all cases. For organic brown stains use a few drops of ammonia mixed with 12% hydrogen peroxide. For oil based brown stains use dish soap, or ammonia.

Exactly what caused the brown stain will determine what liquid to apply to the stain. Each liquid you try should be applied to the area using a soft cloth. Then wiped using a soft dry cloth.

Do this multiple times to see if the stain is getting less visible. First try the hydrogen peroxide mixture. After that completely dry the area and use a small amount of mild dish soap.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/15/2022.

If the stain isn’t coming off at all it can be a rust stain. Rust stains come out with the use of what is called poultice. Refer to the heading further up in this article that explains how to remove rust stains from marble for how to use a poultice.

Can You Remove Coffee/Tea Stains from Marble?

Confused man standing

It’s only a matter of time before a marble countertop or floor gets a coffee or tea stain. Light colored marble shows coffee and tea stains very clearly. So, here’s if a coffee or tea stain can be removed from marble.

It’s possible to remove coffee and tea stains from marble. If the stain is on outdoor marble that gets sunlight the stain will go away on its own. For indoor marble use 12% hydrogen peroxide with about ½ a teaspoon of ammonia.

Make sure the area is dry to allow the best amount of surface areas for the hydrogen peroxide mixture. Make the mixture in a small bowl, or similar, and then dab it on using a dry dish cloth. Let the hydrogen peroxide work for about 30 seconds.

Then wipe the area to remove the stain and hydrogen peroxide and ammonia mixture. Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent.

So, it will reduce the visibility of coffee and tea stains. It also will loosen the stain making it easy to remove with a cloth.

Can You Remove Vinegar Stains from Marble?

Confused woman standing

Vinegar can be used accidentally to clean marble, or have been spilled on to it. Vinegar and anything that is acidic reacts badly with marble and can leave a stain. This is a summary of whether it’s possible to remove vinegar stains from marble.

In general, vinegar stains can be removed from marble. But, etching can remain and needs to be fixed. First, remove the stain using half a teaspoon of ammonia, and 12% hydrogen peroxide. If there are etching marks, use marble polishing powder to remove them.

Mix up the hydrogen peroxide and ammonia mixture in a bowl and wipe it on to the vinegar stain using a soft cloth. Give the hydrogen peroxide and ammonia time to break down the stain, about 30 seconds or more. Then wipe up the stain using a cloth.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/15/2022.

As a general rule, it’s possible to remove most stains from marble. Some stains also etch marble when they come in contact with it. Etch marks need to be removed using marble polishing powder.