Clever Tricks for Removing Stains from Marble Countertops
Marble naysayers always harp on the fact that marble countertops are just too much trouble. They easily stain because they are relatively soft and porous.
First, marble rates anywhere from 3 to 5 on the Mohs scale, so it is not all that soft after all. Soapstone goes as low as one (depending on the talc content), but that is rarely mentioned. Second, marble is porous, but not appreciably more so than other natural stones such as granite or limestone. Finally, keeping marble clean and stain-free requires just a bit of common sense. Seal it, clean up all spilled liquids immediately, and avoid acids.
That said, if disaster strikes and stains take up residence on your marble countertops, it is not the end of the world. Here are some clever tricks to remove them without damaging the surface of the marble countertops.
Trick 1: Rubbing alcohol
A good way to remove permanent ink stains is by using rubbing alcohol. It is an effective stain remover if it is a relatively new mark.
The method is straightforward. Carefully pour a quantity of rubbing alcohol on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Take a soft nylon scrub bad and gently rub at the stain. Blot the liquid with a paper towel and see if it comes off. If that does not work, you probably have to use other methods below.
Trick 2: 12% Hydrogen Peroxide
Most people choose white marble such as Carrara for their kitchen countertops because they are usually the most common and least expensive type of marble yet they are unmistakably marble stone. Unfortunately, light and white marble countertops tend to make the faintest stains stand out, some of which will not come out with soap and water. These include ink, coffee, tea, and mildew stains.
Fortunately, they usually do come out with 12% hydrogen peroxide. This is a high concentration, so use it carefully ad sparingly, and only on light-colored marble. DO NOT USE IT ON DARK MARBLE. Here are some ways to use it.
If you have ink or marker stains, or any stain that appears to be on the surface, you can try pouring a small amount of the hydrogen peroxide directly on it. Leave it on, checking every 10 minutes, until you notice that the stain appears to be melting. Using a paper towel or soft cloth, blot the hydrogen peroxide before wiping it clean with a moistened cloth or sponge. If this does not work, try the poultice method.
A poultice is another word for a paste, and usually a good way to draw out a stain that set in deeply into the stone. You can create a poultice with two or three tablespoons of 12% hydrogen peroxide, add a couple of drops of ammonia, and mixing in regular baking soda a bit at a time until you get a thick consistency, such as that of peanut butter. Make a larger batch if the stain is large or numerous.
Place and spread a ¼-inch thick layer of poultice over and slight beyond the stubborn stain and leave it for at least 24 hours. Cover the area with cling wrap and tape it down (use masking or painter’s tape to avoid leaving a residue) to keep it isolated.
After the poultice has dried completely, remove the plastic wrap and scrape it gently away with a plastic scraper or old credit card. Remove any residue with a damp rag, rinse with clean water, and dry with a soft cloth. Check if the stain is gone. If not, repeat the process until it is.
If you observe some mild etching in the area, you can fill it in with a marble polisher after removing the stain. Buff it gently with a soft cloth, and reseal the area with an impregnating sealer.
Trick 3: Baking soda
If you have dark marble countertops, you cannot use hydrogen peroxide or ammonia as these may discolor the stone. However, baking soda can remove many stains, including oil.
This also involves creating a poultice, but with just baking soda and water. Achieve the same peanut butter consistency with the two ingredients in a small bowl. Place and spread a ¼-inch thick layer of poultice over and slight over the stain and leave it for at minimum of 24 hours. Cover the area with cling wrap and tape it down (use masking or painter’s tape to avoid leaving a residue) to keep it isolated.
Once dried out, remove the plastic wrap and scrape it gently away with a plastic scraper or old credit card. Remove any residue with a damp rag, rinse with clean water, and dry with a soft cloth. Check if the stain is gone. If not, repeat the process until it is.
Trick 4: 0000-grade steel wool
One common type of stain that might not go away with hydrogen peroxide or baking soda is water stains. This is particularly common in areas with hard water, and homeowners fail to dry marble countertops completely after rinsing. Water stains are actually magnesium and calcium deposits, and they can be very difficult to remove once they pile up.
The only way to remove an accumulation of water stains is to buff them out. You can use specially designed steel wool for natural stones, which has a very fine 0000 grade. Using gentle, circular motions, buff the water stain away. Rinse the residue off with clean water and dry completely with a soft rag.
The risk of stains should not discourage you from following your dream to put marble countertops in your kitchen. These tricks can help you manage them quite easily. If you are ready to take the plunge, your next step is to find a reliable countertop specialist to supply, fabricate, and install your marble countertops.
KNC Granite is a local company in Maryland and Virginia with a large collection of marble as well as granite and engineered stones from which to choose. You can check actual marble and granite slabs at our showroom in Lanham, Maryland, as well as representative samples for engineered stone from the top brands in the industry including Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all of which come with manufacturer warranties.
We deal directly with stone manufacturers and fabricators, so we can give you the best prices possible. In fact, we have a best price guarantee.
Additionally, you only pay for what you use, so it does not matter how big or small your project is; you will not be forced to buy a whole slab.
We do not only supply top-quality stones, however. We are experts at fabricating and installing kitchen counters or bathroom vanities. We also specialize in kitchen remodeling and bathroom upgrade projects, delivering on time and on budget.
Give us a call or email us for your free in-home consultation and quote.