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It is always the smallest stains and marks that catch our eye the most. So it is no wonder that ‘marble stain removal’ is one of the most common enquiries that we receive. However, the good news is that no matter what the cause of the stain your marble surface can usually be saved.

Why does marble stain?

When your marble worktop or floor is installed, it will usually be sealed with an impregnating sealant. This will penetrate the capillaries of the stone and protect from within. Impregnators can leave your marble with a natural, or colour-enhanced appearance, but always with the stone surface exposed.

This sealant is designed to stop any spillages onto the stone penetrating the internal structure of the marble and causing damage or a deep-set stain. There is a great video on our YouTube channel which demonstrates the difference between water poured onto a sealed and an unsealed marble surface. This is good news when it comes to marble stain removal as it means that the damage is usually only surface level.

Etch marks

The high levels of calcium carbonate present in marble mean that it is highly sensitive to acidic substances. This is particularly pertinent for marble intended for use in a kitchen. Everyday acid such as lemon juice or vinegar that comes into contact with the stone will cause a chemical reaction. This results in a ‘chemical burn’ known as an etch mark. On a polished marble surface this will usually show up as a dull or white patch on the stone. The best way to avoid this, is prevention and our Athena Aftercare guide is packed full of tips on how to keep your marble in its best condition.

However, accidents do happen. We don’t usually recommend a home remedy for marble stain removal and particularly for etch marks. However, there are some DIY kits available and for a small etch marks, the kits that we would suggest is from Fila. This mimics the professional restoration by using abrasives to gently buff the stone removing the stain and re-polishing the surface.

For darker stone types, you may also consider a periodic application of a water-based colour enhancing sealant. Although this won’t remove the etch mark, it will mask it to an extent. This can be a quick method to cover up the damage until you are ready to invest in professional marble stain removal.

Oil spillages

For oil staining, the marble stain removal process will usually require a poultice to remove any oil that has penetrated into the stone. This can take a number of applications, often leaving the product down for 12 hours at a time. This is a lengthy procedure and will need a number of applications over several days. For this reason, it is something that you may like to try yourself before having the surface of the stone restored and resealed professionally.

The product we recommend is Faber No Oil. This is a ready mixed product, so the tin will need to be thoroughly mixed before using. The thick white paste will then need to be spread liberally on the stained area and cover with cling film. The time taken for the product to work will depend on the nature of the stain and so will need to be check regularly. We would always recommend speaking with a professional before using this product. We are happy to assess the stain and talk you through the process.

Prevention

One of the best things that you can do for your marble floor, worktop, shower enclosure or sink is keep it free from everyday acids and liquids that can cause the damage in the first place. It is essential to use coasters to form a barrier between the stone surface and any potentially damaging liquids. This includes oil, vinegar and perfume. When accidents happen, then it is essential to ensure that you remove this immediately. It is recommended to blot the spillage rather than wiping. The acid etching will be almost instant and so wiping the liquid across the surface will further exacerbate the damage.

We also recommend keeping your marble surface as dry as possible. In a bathroom or kitchen this will require a little time each day to wipe up surface water from shower walls, trays and sinks. This will stop the hard water deposits from building up and etching the stone surface.

Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning your marble, it is essential to only use pH neutral cleaning detergent on and around your stone. Fila Brio is a fantastic ready mixed pH neutral detergent spray. This can be used for all surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom. Fila Refresh is another cleaning option for use on polished worktops. If used frequently it will clean, build up and maintain levels of stain protection as well as enhance the polished finish.

Professional services

Marble stain removal is something that can be complicated and so we would always recommend consulting a professional. The method will depend on the exact marble type and finish of the stone. We can often make an initial assessment and provide a quote for you from photographs. For larger areas can arrange to visit your home too. You can read more about our marble restoration processes here.

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