How To Remove Stains From Marble Surfaces

updated Feb 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Whether you’re working to get stains out of an old, neglected marble mantlepiece, or rust stains out of a newer marble shower, the method remains the same.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Marble is a porous material — as is our skin, and like our skin when we have a wound, making a poultice to draw the stain out of your marble works in just the same way making a poultice to draw out infection in a wound would. The recipe may vary depending on the stain, but the poultice method is consistent.

Even though I wasn’t positive exactly what type of stain I was working with, I had a hunch it was rust. Rust stains on marble tend to be yellow or light brown in color, and the stains on my mantlepiece had a definite yellow/brown cast.

Old rust stains can be particularly difficult to remove, so if you attempt to remove them a few times and nothing seems to be happening, you might have to call in a professional. I have no idea how old the stains were that I was working with, but they came out after about three days and I was over the over the moon. Here’s hoping yours are just as compliant!

*As always, test a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure the cleaning method does not adversely affect the surface.

What You Need


  • Paper towels
  • Small bowl
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tape
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Ammonia


(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

1. Make a poultice by tearing up small pieces of paper towel and placing them in a bowl. Add in a few drops of ammonia, and just enough hydrogen peroxide to saturate the pieces of paper towel.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

2. Place the pieces of wet towel over the stains on your marble. They should be fairly saturated and will stick to the marble with ease. Cover the area with a piece of plastic wrap and secure in place with tape. You can cut a few vents in the plastic, or just leave a few ends loose so air can flow through.

3. Let the poultice sit for 2-3 days or until completely dry. I peeked under one bit of towel after 24 hours because I was quite skeptical this method would actually work —and it wasn’t working yet. Be patient! Let the poultice sit and do its thing, you will see results!

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

4. After the bits of towel are dry, remove them and wash with warm water.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

I saw significant results when using hydrogen peroxide and ammonia, however, I was very sparing with the amount of space I actually covered with the poultice which yielded a few blotchy areas. I plan to use this method a second time and fill in the other areas that were not properly covered the first time around.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Good luck!

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