Marble Stain Removal
Once you have determined whether you are in fact faced with a marble stain, rather than etched marble (click here for to learn the difference) you will need to place a poultice compound to remove the marble stain.
Poultice is a very absorbent medium with a wet clay-like consistency. The material attempts to remove stains from marble surfaces by re-absorbing the penetrant liquid from inside the stone. The entire process takes 48 hours, and even longer for stains deep within the stone.
The Marble Clinic’s poultice stain remover works on a variety of stain classifications:
- Organic stains (coffee, tea, dark sodas and other drinks, gravy, ketchup, etc)
- Inorganic stains (ink, colour dyes, mud, etc.
- Oily stains (vegetable oil, motor oil, butter, margarine, etc)
- Metal stains* (rust, copper, etc)
*Rust is very common in white marble such as Bianca Carrera due to its high iron content. When this tile is used in the shower it often accumulates moisture and rusts from the back of the tile to the surface. Often rust won’t come out in this scenario because it has just penetrated the entire depth of the stone.
For this demonstration, we have chosen to stain a tan coloured travertine tile.
The tile has not been sealed and therefore will absorb our split coffee in a short time frame.
Step 1: Mix the Poultice
First, you must fully mix the poultice until any stagnant liquid has been absorbed by the medium. I personally just like to shake the container and give the substance a quick mix with my fingers.
Step 2: Spread the Poultice to Remove the Stain
Spread the poultice over the stain covering the edges by 1/2″ and try to leave it 1/4″ thick throughout. Be generous with it, the deeper the marble is stained, the more poultice that will be required to remove the stain from your marble surface. There is a trade-off here. More poultice will have a better shot are removing the marble stain, but it will also take longer to dry.
Step 3: Cover the Marble Stain
After applying the poultice to the stained marble surface, cover the area with plastic and tape down the edges. Once all the edges are taped down you must wait for at least 24 hours. This gives the poultice time to penetrate the surface and attack the marble stain from deep within the stone. If the marble stain is very dark and you apply a hefty amount of the poultice medium, I would recommend leaving this stage for 48 hours.
Step 4: Let the Poultice Dry
After the initial drying period, you must lift one corner of the plastic wrap to allow for the medium to dry. As it dries it re-absorbs the stain from the stone pulls it back to the top. Leave this to dry for an additional 24 hours. Do not interrupt the drying process – this is when the magic happens!
Step 5: Remove and Clean
Once the poultice has thoroughly dried, remove the plastic and clean away the leftover material. We recommend cleaning the area with The Marble Clinic’s R311 Spray Cleaner. Buff the surface with some paper towel.
If the stain is gone then your work is done! If you can still see some dark areas do not fret. Go back to the beginning and attempt the entire process again – some oil stains can take 3 or 4 applications to remove fully. If there is no improvement in the appearance of the stain it is possible you have made in error in judging the problem, or perhaps the stain is just too deep for do-it-yourself applications. If after 4 applications there is still staining present, it is time to call the professionals!
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