How To Clean & Remove Stains From Marble & Granite

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.

WipingMany 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)
Water

  • 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.

Tips:

  • 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.

Directions:

  • 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.

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Comments

    • Pamella Kaoud
    Reply

    Hi I have white marble counter in my bathroom. Its stained around the sink!! Help me!! I’ve tried everything I can think of to clean it!! I’m thinking it’s c from water being left there after using the sink! It’s getting bigger!! Do you have a miracle solution??!?!!!

    • Kelly Thaís
    Reply

    I had a pineapple on my granite countertop and it stained. What should I use?

    • Seema
    Reply

    Hi, We have granite counter tops in bathrooms. We were told it is sealed when we purchased it. It is only 5 months old and we have seen stains mainly around the sink where water sprays and under the soap bottle, probably stain from water and oil in the soap. How do I get rid of those stains. Any advice?

    • Leslie
    Reply

    we were away and had left bananas on the counter top. When we returned they had gone bad and liquefied? Will this stain the quartz?

    • Catherine
    Reply

    Does anyone know of a granite sealer that is non toxic? It is time to seal my granite and want to use something non toxic. If anyone has a solution please let me know.
    Thanks!

    • Dalia
    Reply

    my soap dispenser on my granite countertop leaked unbeknown to me until a day later and i can’t get the soap out. I tried peroxide and baking soda paste but the soap is still there. It’s better, but you can still see the soap under the surface. I am devastated and was wondering if a professional refinishing could fix this. I removed the soap dispenser and have tried every concoction..It has got a little better but want it all gone..

    • Lisa Pope
    Reply

    Immediately wiping off the stains is one of the best solution as it takes few minutes to get deeper. Also solvents like hydrogen peroxide, pure acetone, dilute bleach are best for cleaning. Often cleaning of stones keep them shining and clean. One advice is never mix ammonia with bleach as it acts as toxic for natural stones. Use soft cotton cloth for wiping. Visit stonetopgranite.com for care and maintenance of natural stones.

      • Jamie Harris
      Reply

      I have outdoor patio and stairwell made of dark granite imported from China . After installing the steps about three months ago they have a lot of calcium water stains and also cement stains . Tried using solvent brick cleaner but didn’t have much effect . Does anyone know the best way to remove these kind of stains ?

      • Peggy
      Reply

      Mixing base (ammonia) or acid (vinegar) with bleach is extremely toxic to you, too. NEVER do this. It generates chlorine gas, which can kill you by causing chemical pneumonia.

    • Marion
    Reply

    My child threw up all over my marble bathroom floor. I’ve washed it several times and the stain is still there. It’s clean but I can see the stain in the sunlight. How do I remove the stain?

    • Sara
    Reply

    I have a pinkish-red stain from a sliced strawberry that was left on the granite countertop too long. Any suggestions on what might get this stain out? Thanks.

    • Jean Myers
    Reply

    I bought two black marble sinks for my en suite. With the benefit of hindsight I realise they were not sealed & now have nasty scum like marks. Can you advise how I can get rid of this, then I can obviously get them properly sealed

    • Alfonse
    Reply

    I have large gray stains that were caused by a baking soda/water poultice. They were spread out from the very spots where I put the poultice. (Maybe I did it wrong.) How do I fix these?

      • P
      Reply

      Did you ever find out how to remove those gray stains? I have exactly the same issue because of the baking soda poultice. Help!

      • Anastasia Spiro
      Reply

      I used peroxide method top of page it worked for that and unknown red/ brown stain it worked for both

    • Jojo
    Reply

    My child spill orange juice in our marble floor it stains its very visible please help

    • Debi
    Reply

    I have granite countertops that are about 6 years old. it is a grey.. ( I can tell you that because when I move things on counter top to clean you can see it is a lot darker. The counter is almost black I did use the sealing solution, I was given the time of installation
    twice a year as instructed… is there anything I can do to bring it back to life????

      • Rossel
      Reply

      I have a big problem about our marble floor! Hope can send a picture here! Have a big spot stain ,i desperately wonder how to remove it . I realized that night i saw a foamy thing turned into powdery in the floor so i wiped it out then the next day it turned out to be big stain spot like the shiny thing is gone and when I touched it , it’s kinda rough already.
      Thanks !

    • karen
    Reply

    My husband used The Works on our 3 yr old bathroom granite countertop. He said it had a glass ring stain. It removed the polished surface. Any suggestions as to how to bring back the shine?
    Thanks!

    • a girl
    Reply

    I accidentally spilled eosion which is like food coloring but stays on your counter in my bathroom, Isn’t coming off and mom is mad. How do I take it off

    • brad dowsett
    Reply

    My wife put the cooker grills out ant put them in a solution inside a bag,when she lifted up the bag there was a white stain on our black/speckled worktop. The bag had not leaked but there is a stain , any ideas or solutions to use on it.ý
    .

    • Tina
    Reply

    Had a party on Sat night and one guest brought chili. I have new fantasy brown countertops, so i checked, and cleaned the area several times throughout the event. I missed a couple spots and it left an ugly pale orange stain. I found this site almost immediately and so applied the hyrdogen perozide

    • The house husband
    Reply

    Wow! This baking soda tip works great on Lego! My younger son was devastated after getting Lilly pollen on his new spaceship Lego set, thanks to this forum for saveing my life lol xoxo 😉

    • jill
    Reply

    i have growing brown stain on sealed granite with no known cause. not oil; heat nor water.
    stone co applied ten applications of paste sealed with seran and left over days. slightly improved but won’t go away and seems to be spreading. trying bleach which might be helping. any ideas will be welcomed. please!!!

    • Mr. Mason
    Reply

    Like yellow stain which soaked inside the marble top for wash basin. Please give me suggestion which cleaner to be used to remove the stain

    • Bridget
    Reply

    I made a paste of baking soda a water to lift a stain from my granite. Now I have a bigger stain. Does the granite just need more time to dry? It has been 4 hours and I can’t see a difference.

      • Susan
      Reply

      I think you’re supposed to leave it on for 24 hours covered in saran wrap.

    • Ann
    Reply

    Bought a house with granite countertops in the kitchen. There is a big bleach stain on it. I’m not sure how to fix without further damaging.

    • manal el sayed
    Reply

    Hi
    I used ammonia based product on my black granite counter. Now i see blueish color. Is this possible? How to fix this issue?

    • Elaine
    Reply

    I mixed white vinegar with baking soda…there may have been a tiny bit of hydrogen peroxide in the mixture as well (I used the baking soda I brush my teeth with, and I dip a toothbrush with Hydrogen peroxide in it so some of the HP might have gotten in the baking soda – if you want to whiten your teeth and have relatively strong enamel, this works great). Anyhow, the combo worked FABULOUS on the marble counter top, when I was sure nothing was going to work (tried some other things). Hurray!

    • Linda Feenstra
    Reply

    I have a Marble table that has spots all over it. looks like water stains. can this be removed. Any advise? Table has never been sealed. Thanks

    • Susan
    Reply

    I spilled coke on granite floor. It sat there for a few hours. Now I have a baking soda paste on it. Is that a good idea? Any others?

    • Dave
    Reply

    Had a bottle of body soap spilled on a shelf in a marble shower, now I have a stain from the shelf to the shower floor. What is the best way to remove it? Any help please?

    • Anastasia Spiro
    Reply

    new granite oudoor step has a redish brown stain 3 circle have tried baking soda and water poultice salt and white vinegar poultice, straight bleach and comet, what next?

    • Melleny
    Reply

    I had soaked black beans in a bowl on the counter and some of the black water from the beans leaked on to the counter leaving dark rings where the bowl was standing. It was standing for half hour max and stained it immediately. I tried a combination of things but nothing seems to get it off. Any recommendations?

    I’m not sure what kind of counter it is ( granite, quartz, or marble )

    • Robin
    Reply

    I have a white marble sink counter top, just laying a curling iron on it with a stand turned it pinkish color. I used baking soda and peroxide. Scrubbed it and soak it. Any suggestions?

    • Pat
    Reply

    I have some light hard water and rust stains on my cultured marble, one-piece bathroom vanity tops (with sinks). There also are light grayish stains around the drains. Other than the stains, the cultured marble is in very good condition and the original gel coat still is relatively shiny.
    I have seen two approaches mentioned on line to remove stains from cultured marble: ABRASIVE or CHEMICAL. The ABRASIVE METHOD involves either lightly sanding the surface with progressively finer wet sandpaper or rubbing it with automotive rubbing compound paste. The CHEMICAL METHOD involves applying vinegar, lemon juice, something called Kwik Bowl (haven’t been able to find this), or other chemicals to the surface.
    After cleaning the stains, people advise polishing the surface with Gel Gloss or no-buff car wax. Others suggest applying a polyurethane gel to the surface to replace the original gel coat that was removed or partially removed with the cleaning. (I have not been able to find this polyurethane gel or the Kwik Bowl product. Has anyone seen these products?) Does anyone know what process would be best?
    I understand that, unlike marble, cultured marble (resin with marble dust and pigments) is nonporous, so a lot of the things that work for removing stains out of marble will not work for cultured marble and may actually damage it or the outer gel coat. Thank you for any help you can provide.

    • satindar
    Reply

    Need some advise please

    We have jsut installed some light grey granite pavers in the backyard and the pavers have yellow stains around the edges. Can these be removed?

    thanks

    • Gerard
    Reply

    I’m trying to “clean my back yard” which is very small – about 3m66cm×1m55cm which is made up of enamel & apart from a fairly small part of concrete whose colour was originally orange but now is either brown or green.
    In other words it hasn’t been cleaned in “donkeys” years. Can someone please help?

    • Elena
    Reply

    I have tried to remove a red chile stain from the
    granite. Have applied several cleaning methods but nothing has removed the stain. Can someone please help?

    • Amy
    Reply

    Help. I tried the baking soda and water paste 24 under plastic wrap on my white marble and the stain spread- it looks like the water part of the paste just soaked through? Should I try it again? I worry about making it worse. It’s a brand new vanity that I didn’t even know I needed to seal. I am so sad!

    • Kay
    Reply

    My son put a pumpkin on my white marble fireplace surround. It has left a white stain where the pumpkin was as it left juice under the pumpkin. Can anyone help ?

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