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Removing Stains from Marble

The timeless elegance of marble is a wonderful addition to your home, but maintaining marble is often a tough job, because not only is it a porous stone that absorbs all manner of liquids, it is also extremely sensitive and stains as easily as a delicate fabric. Your marble kitchen countertop, for instance, will stain repeatedly because of numerous acidic spillages like fruit juice, sauces, and vinegar. Even water leaves it mark on marble, as anyone who has left a glass standing on a marble surface for any length of time will confirm.

When removing stains from marble, always remember that you must use neutral cleaning agents rather than those with bleaching properties. Marble surfaces are easily damaged from careless cleaning methods like using an extra-hard brush and abrasive cleaners. Also, as with all stains, remember that the best way to prevent stains from forming on marble is to clean up spills immediately. After all, a stitch in time saves nine. Some householders protect marble surfaces with varieties of sealants, in which case the latter should be reapplied regularly to keep the marble protected.

  • Acidic stains. Always, always, blot stains rather than wiping them, because wiping will cause stains to spread further. For most vinegar and fruit juice stains, you can make a paste using baking soda and water and apply it to the affected area. Once the paste has dried and hardened, gently mop it with a wet, soft towel and pat the affected area dry with another towel.
  • Food stains. For hardened food stains, use hair-color grade hydrogen peroxide, but do not leave it on for too long. Once the stain has disappeared, make sure you wipe the area clean with a damp cloth and then buff it dry.
  • Grease and oil stains. Use a paper towel to mop up the excess from any spill that occurs. Once you have done so, lightly dust the stained area with an absorbent like cornstarch. Leave it standing for an hour or two. Next, wipe the stain gently with a soft, damp cloth and towel the area dry.
  • Nail polish stains. Dilute some hand dishwashing liquid in about a half liter of lukewarm water and gently dab at the stain with a clean white cloth. Do not let the dishwashing liquid stand; wipe off the soapy residue with another clean damp cloth and wipe the area dry. Repeat the process as many times as it takes to remove the stain entirely.

A number of pH sealers are available on the market to ensure the protection of marble surfaces. However, these sealers must be reapplied depending on what kind of use the marble surface is put to. For marble floors, for example, you may need to reapply the sealer every six months, as for kitchen counters, while marble frames and furniture may endure a year without a reapplication of the sealer. The porous nature of marble makes sealers essential.

Do not walk on your marble floors before you have wiped your shoes thoroughly to rid the soles of all excess dirt and grime. Always place doormats at the doorways for this purpose. Also, never use acidic substances like vinegar and non-alkaline cleaners to remove stains from any marble surface. If you think the stain is proving too much for you, don't try homemade remedies that you aren't sure will work. Professional help is always at hand, and reputable cleaners will always make sure your marble is well protected.

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Comments for this tip:

J J    08 Jul 2013, 15:40
I don't know a lot about marble, but may I suggest baking-soda paste? Baking soda is a mild abrasive that doesn't scratch.
yolunda    05 Jul 2013, 13:40
I have a beautiful one of a kind Elephant Table, that has a marble top. Ten years ago one of my darling relatives spilled koolaid drink or pop on my table. Minutes passed before anyone touched it. So it left a serious stain that you can only see in the light, at a certain angle. But I would love to treat the stain if I can. What is anyone honest opinion?

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