marble countertops

How to Remove Stains from Marble Countertops

marble countertops marbleMarble countertops showing a bit of wear-and-tear? Nix surface marks like stains, water spots, and glass rings with this handy marble stain removal guide.

Step 1: Identifying Blemishes

Before you can begin removing marks, you first have to figure out what they are:

  • Stains
    With stains, the discoloring agent has actually been absorbed by the stone, and removing it hinges on identification.
  • Etches
    Etches are a bit worse than stains, and actually result from damage to the stone’s surface. These typically includes blemishes that look like water spots or rings, but are actually caused by a chemically-active liquid etching the stone. Light etching on polished surfaces is removable with polishing creams. However deeper etchings, particularly on matte surfaces, may require professional attention.


Step 2: Removing Stains from Marble

  • Choose the Right Cleaner for Your Stain(s).
    • Acetone
      For butter, animal fat, and grease-laden cooking stains.
    • Bleach
      For mold or mildew.
    • Hydrogen Peroxide
      For coffee, tea, gravy, mustard, ink, dyes, dirt, and other organic/inorganic stains.
    • ‘Iron Out’
      For metal stains.
  • Choose an Absorbent Medium
    • Talc or Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
      Either baby powder or DE for pool filters/agricultural are very absorbent.
    • Paper Towels
      Purchase a good, absorbent brand to ensure stains are drawn out.
  • Commence with Cleaning
    • For Talc/DE
      Mix your cleaner with the powder to form a paste slightly thinner than peanut butter. (Note: For ‘Iron Out’ – dilute according to instructions first!) Apply the poultice 1/4″ thick extending beyond stain borders. Cover with plastic wrap, taping edges with masking tape. Let sit 24 hours, then remove the wrap. Let the poultice dry thoroughly (as long as it takes) to reabsorb the staining agent. Scrape off gently with plastic spatula, then wipe clean.
    • Cleaning with Paper Towels
      Fold towels several times to a size slightly wider than the stain (8-10 folds). Soak with cleaner until wet, not dripping. Apply to stain using gloves, lightly tapping down to ensure contact. Cover with plastic wrap, following remaining directions as above.


Step 3: Eliminating Etchings

Contact your manufacturer for approved marble polishing products such as MB Stone Care. Test a small, inconspicuous spot for compatibility. Donning gloves, apply polishing powder to the etching with a clean cloth, pressing firmly but carefully. Rinse clean with water and wipe dry, applying polish as desired for shine and protection.


Step 4: Preventing Future Blemishes

Prevent the need for frequent deep cleanings with proper marble care:

  • Wipe up spills immediately.
  • Always use a cutting board.
  • Be mindful of acidic foods.
  • Leave coasters in plain-sight.


Ensure you marble remains a masterpiece for years to come by investing only in premium countertop materials. Shop the best selection at your area Granite Imports today.