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Cleaning Marble: How to Remove Stains from Marble

Read on to discover our top tips for removing stains from marble including hard water stains.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

how to clean marble

Marble is a relative of limestone, which means it is soft, porous, and particularly sensitive to the acid found in citrus fruits, wine and some general cleaning products. It is important to remove marble stains as soon as possible. This is because spillages can cause corrosion, as well as stains from the pigments in common foodstuffs such as coffee and curry powder.

Read on to discover our top tips on how to remove stain from marble including those left behind by hard water, with a simply guide to using specialist products or everyday products found in your home.

If you’ve spent time removing marble stains you don’t want your hard work scuppered by water spots left by natural drying. Instead dry them with a soft microfibre cloth.

Removing marble stains: important tips to do it safely

As well as sharing steps to help you understand how to remove stains from marble surfaces in your home, there are some important tips to ensure you do so safely and without damaging the marble.

  • Only use pH-neutral cleaning products as acidic agents could scratch the surface or lead to discolouration.

  • Be careful to follow the safety instructions on the label of any products you are using.

  • Make sure you test the products and cleaning methods you wish to use on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure there are no adverse reactions.

  • If discolouration or corrosion occurs, cease using the product immediately and seek advice from a professional.

  • To keep surfaces clean without having to spend an inordinate amount of time removing marble stains, the key is not allowing dirt to build up over time. Instead maintain a regular cleaning routine.

A five-step guide for how to remove hard water stains from marble

One of the most annoying stains that you may come across on any marble surface are those left behind by hard water. With these five easy steps you can be sure that removing marble stains will be easy

  1. Create a homemade solution of three parts water and one-part white vinegar in a spray bottle.

  2. Add a teaspoon of washing-up liquid.

  3. Replace the lid and shake well to combine the ingredients.

  4. Spray directly onto the marks left behind by hard water. The vinegar will break down the calcium in the stains, and the washing-up liquid will help you to clean with a streak-free finish.

  5. Scrub the marks. Continue to spray and scrub until the stain is gone.

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For the best results keep a bottle of your homemade cleaner to hand and use the solution to maintain the marble surface regularly.

How to remove stains from marble using specialist products

There are plenty of specialist products available for cleaning those precious marble surfaces, but there are some important things to remember when using them:

  • For best results, make sure you use specialist marble cleaning products that tick the following boxes:

  1. Streak-free

  2. Grease and water spot resistant

  3. Rinse-free (this will save you a lot of time and effort!)

  • Always test new products or cleaning methods on a small, inconspicuous area before application.

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using and applying any products to your marble.

How to remove water stains from marble using products found in your home

Did you know that there are many products around your home which can be used as the perfect homemade marble cleaner and make removing stains from marble a quick and easy task? Just remember to read the manufacturer’s instructions first, and always test any product in a small area first.

  • Try a homemade baking soda paste.

  1. Create a paste using baking soda and water.

  2. After blotting the stain to lift what you can, spray it with water and rub your homemade paste over the top.

  3. Cover the area in plastic wrap and leave for around 24 hours.

  4. This should lift the stain and all you need to do is use soap and water to clean the surface down after.

  • Rubbing alcohol could be the solution you need.

  1. Using a 16 oz. spray bottle, pour in 1/8 cup of rubbing alcohol.

  2. Add a few drops of washing up liquid and fill the rest with water.

  3. Shake the mixture well to combine the ingredients.

  4. Spray your cleaner onto the stains on your marble.

  5. Use a clean cloth to wipe the stain away.

  • You may be surprised to discover that corn starch isn’t just for cooking! Cornstarch is particularly good for lifting grease and other stains from marble (and other surfaces too!)

  1. Spray the stain with distilled water.

  2. Sprinkle a generous layer of cornstarch over the area.

  3. Leave it for 24 hours (or longer if you prefer).

  4. Clean as normal.

Removing marble stains with chalk

Cleaning marble counters or table tops is relatively straightforward with white chalk:

  1. Snap three sticks of white chalk

  2. Grind into a fine powder using a pestle and mortar

  3. Lightly dampen a cotton cloth and gently buff the marble in a smooth circular motion

Top tips for regular cleaning after removing marble stains

Now you know how to remove stains from marble there are six easy steps for you to follow to ensure that you keep on top of the cleaning and reduce your workload in the future.

  1. Add a mild, bleach-free detergent or floor cleaner to a bucket of water.

  2. Follow the instructions on the label and be sure to test on small area first to check there is no adverse reaction.

  3. Sponge the floor.

  4. Gently rub any soiled areas with a bristled brush.

  5. Finally, rinse with clean water.

  6. Dry with a soft microfibre cloth.

Should you use a sealant after removing stains from marble surfaces?

Finishing marble with a professional sealant protects your cherished surface counter, table top, or floor from stains and other damage. Although new surfaces will usually come with the appropriate sealer, old surfaces may be in need of a touch up; check the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance.

Caution: If the counter is used for food preparation, be sure to check that the product has been safely approved for this purpose.

Now you have some easy to follow steps you can make sure you keep your marble counters, floors and surfaces in the best condition. With our guide for how to remove hard water stains from marble as well as top tips for caring for your marble after removing stains, you have everything you need!    

  • Clean marble regularly to make it a hassle-free process.

  • Be selective when choosing marble cleaning products for floors.

  • White chalk can be useful for cleaning marble table tops.

  • Remember to test any new cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on removing stains from marble

How do you remove bleach stains from marble?

If you're wondering how to remove bleach stains from marble, you've come to the right place. You should never use bleach on marble surfaces, as it actually etches (or corrodes) the surface, which is what causes the color staining. If you've used it already, or spilt some, you will need an etch remover or a marble polishing product. This will help you to remove the etching and restore the color and shine to your marble. If the staining is over a large area and deep into the marble, you may need to hire a marble maintenance professional to resurface the marble – especially if it is the floor which is affected.

How do remove cement stains from a marble floor?

Here are some simple steps for how to remove cement stains from marble floor. First, soak a clean, soft cloth in diluted white vinegar, and place the cloth over the stained area. Leave the cloth on the stain for a minimum of 1 hour to allow the vinegar to break down the cement. If you notice the cloth drying out, soak it in vinegar again and replace it over the stain. Next, use a scrubbing pad to scrub the stain away. If a scrubbing pad doesn't do the trick, a scraper could help you. Repeat these steps until the entire stain is fully removed.

How do you remove soap stains from marble?

Want to learn how to remove soap stains from marble? We've got you covered. You will need a marble soap scum remover and microfiber cloth. Rub the soap scum remover over the surface of the stain until it is full removed. Use a damp cloth to ‘rinse’ the cleaner off the surface of your marble. Take care not to use ammonia or strong bathroom cleaners that are not designed for marble as they could cause corrosion and damage to your marble surface.

How do you remove yellow stains from marble?

The steps to remove yellow stains from marble are easy. Make sure you have heavy-duty alkaline stone cleaner and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you're after a more natural, homemade solution then add 3 tbsp baking soda to 1L water. Spread the mixture over the yellowed marble and leave it to soak for 2-3 hours. Use a damp cloth to ‘rinse’ the surface and reveal good-as-new marble free from yellow stains.

Originally published