Marble and granite counter tops are gorgeous but they are porous and will soak in liquids that can leave stains (even sitting water!). Here are some poultice recipes & diy solutions that can help tackle them, I’ve also tucked in a recipe you can use for everyday cleaning.
Many types of liquids and sauces can leave their mark including fruit juices, wine, coffee, tea, water, vinegar, vegetable and olive oils, ketchup, bbq sauce, grease splatters–etc., it’s important to wipe up spills as they happen.
Baking Soda Poultice:
- First blot the spot to lift as much of the substance as possible.
- Next, spray it with water.
- Now slather it completely with a paste made from baking soda and water (to the consistency of sour cream). Cover with plastic wrap.
- Leave covered for at least 24 hours, the baking soda will dry and pull up much of the stain.
- After 24 hours, remove the poultice and wash area with mild soap and water. Apply a fresh poultice if needed.
Flour & Liquid Soap Poultice:
1 cup unbleached flour
3 TBS liquid dishwashing detergent (no bleach, use a gentle soap like Ivory or Dawn)
- Mix the flour and soap together then add water until you have the consistency of sour cream.
- Cover the spot with the poultice so it’s about 1/4″ inch thick and overlaps it by about 1/4″.
- Cover with plastic wrap for 24 hours.
- Wash off poultice and surrounding area with soap and water. If spot is still there, reapply poultice.
Rubbing Alcohol Spray:
- Pour 1/8 cup of rubbing alcohol into a 16 oz. spray bottle. Add a couple drops of liquid dish detergent then fill the bottle with water. Shake before use. Spray area then wash.
Hydrogen Peroxide Pad:
*Careful with this on dark colored stone, it “may” lighten the color a bit. Test a small area first.
- Fold a wad of cotton gauze to approximately the size of the troublesome spot, saturate it with hydrogen peroxide and squeeze out excess (you want the wad to be wet but not dripping wet).
- Apply the pad to the problem area then cover it with plastic wrap, tape around all edges of the plastic to seal the wad. Put a saucer or some object on top of the pad to add some weight/pressure to the area.
- Leave this on for 24 hours, check then reapply as needed.
Corn Starch Remedy:
- Spray spot lightly with distilled water then sprinkle a thick layer of corn starch over the area. Leave for 24 hours or longer. Wipe up then reapply if needed.
- For grease splatters, sprinkle area immediately with corn starch and allow to sit for about 15 minutes. Wash surface with mild soap and water, the corn starch should lift the grease effortlessly.
- Remember to cover your countertops regularly with a sealant to prevent problems from happening in the first place.
- The quicker you wipe up and blot spills the easier it is to prevent or remove stains.
- Before applying a method of treatment, do a test spot first to make sure the color or finish won’t be affected. These should be safe to use but better safe than sorry.
- Before applying a treatment, examine the stain closely. If the mark is still there but is lighter or reduced, you know the treatment is working. Keep applying until it’s completely gone.
Here’s a recipe for an earth-friendly “green” cleaner suitable for many household surfaces (First published February 16, 2009 and moved here for better organization)…
2 cups water
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tsp pure castile soap (peppermint, etc.)
3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
20 drops tea tree oil
20 drops lavender or lemongrass essential oil.
- Mix all ingredients in a 32-ounce plastic spray bottle.
Can be used on surfaces of acrylic, ceramic tile, wood, marble and granite.
Source: Sophie Uliano, author of Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life
Update: A few comments were lost when I merged the two articles, I went digging through my old backups and found one in particular that I wanted to keep:
GraniteGuy: I’m in the stone industry. There are unfortunately many misconceptions about what can and can’t be used on stone surfaces. This mis-education is usually started by competing products of stone surfaces, and is often propagated unto a broader audiences by DIY programs and blogs like this one.
The only (and I mean ONLY) stones that might be sensitive to acids like vinegar or citrus would be calcium-based stones (limestone, travertine, and many marbles).
For kitchen countertops, granite is the surface leader by a long shot over other types of stone. Few granites contain much (if any) calcium and are NOT affected by vinegar or any normal household acids. For those who are still unsure, they can always test any “alternative” cleaners (or even straight vinegar) in an inconspicuous location before using it everywhere.