Help! There’s Rust in My Marble Shower!

There is nothing more beautiful than a natural stone shower. Though this natural stone looks great in bathrooms, its porous nature can allow moisture to erode the stone easily. Etches and stains, including rust, are more likely to appear on softer stones, such as marble. Softer stones must be sealed more frequently to repel moisture. In “Help! There’s Rust in My Marble Shower” we’ll discuss why this occurs and what remedies exist (where possible!). 

Why does this occur?

Marble is a soft, porous stone which can easily allow rust stains, especially white or light-coloured marbles.  Depending on the minerals in your water, rust may be more likely to appear surrounding your faucet, drain, and other areas of the stone where water can collect. A solid and thick seal can lessen the likelihood that moisture can creep into the stone’s surface and allow rust to develop. However, most rust stains in marble are caused by iron deposits which are naturally occurring in the stone. These cannot be easily removed by a poultice or other methods, unfortunately.

Poultice Removal Process

A number of stains may be able to be removed by poultices, although rust stains are very difficult to remove, and interior rust stains from iron cannot be removed. 

Before replacing the marble, consider trying a poultice solution. There are a number of poultice stain removers and DIY solutions available online. Regardless of the poultice remover chosen, the first step is to prepare the area by cleaning and drying the surface. Then, mix the stain remover per the manufacturer’s instructions. Cover the poultice with plastic wrap with taped edges to keep in moisture. 

Leave the poultice on the area for at least 24-48 hours, until completely dried. When the poultice dries, it is no longer removing the stain from the surface. Scrape away the poultice with a plastic scraper, and clean the area of any remaining poultice. Replace with another coating of poultice and repeat the process if the stain is still present. If the stain does not absorb in the poultice, you will likely need to replace the marble shower.

For more in-depth instructions and pictures on how to use poultice, check out our blog on How to Remove a Stain From Marble Surface Using a Poultice.

As mentioned, marble holds iron deposits in the stone and more often than not these cannot be removed by poultices and removers. Light-colored marble, such as Carrera, may show rust and need to be replaced.

DIY or Professional?

Though there are a number of rust-removing poultices and cleaners on the market, the majority of rust stains on marble are not removable. If, after trying to remove the stain, you find that the stain is caused by interior rust, you will need to have a professional replace the marble. It is not possible to remove rust stains inside of the stone. 

Monitoring the seal on your marble can help defend against rust and other stains from the outside, but interior rust stains naturally inside the stone may require replacement of the surface entirely. Contact a professional to inspect and replace the shower if rust appears.

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The Marble Clinic

Natural Stone Professionals; specializing in the restoration, repair and maintenance of marble, granite, terrazzo & more.


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