Stone, Marble & Granite Stain Removal

How To Remove Surface Stains

Rules of thumb for Stone, Marble & Granite Stain Removal:

  1. Identify the stain before trying to remove it.

  2. Act quickly! The longer it sits, the harder it is to get out.

  3. Use a soft WHITE cloth or paper towel.

  4. Blot don't rub.

  5. Don't EVER use more chemicals than you need.

Stone, Granite & Marble Stains

You can usually avoid stains on your stone by blotting up any spills immediately, thoroughly rinsing with a mild soap and water solution, and then drying the area.

In real life, this doesn't always happen. Maybe you didn't notice your best friend spilled her red wine on your beautiful stone bar until you got up the next morning. Or, your husband serves you breakfast in bed and the butter melts all over the countertop before you have a chance to get to it.

Whatever the reason, most surface stains can be removed by you with the help of an appropriate cleaning product or household chemical. Deeply embedded, stubborn, and/or metal stains usually require the help of a stone care specialist.

Your first step in stone, marble and granite stain removal is to identify the stain. Not sure what caused the stain? Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Where's the stain?

  • What color is it?

  • What is the shape or pattern?

  • What goes on in the area around the stain?

Once you have identified your stain, look below for
your stone, marble and granite stain removal solution.

MOISTURE (NOT a stain)
Cause: Moisture is absorbed by the stone. Example: Condensation from a glass.
Color: Darkens the stone.
Solution: Let it evaporate on its own. THEN, seal your stone with a quality sealer.

Cause: Soap Build Up
Solution: 1 Gallon of water to 1/2 Cup of ammonia
CAUTION: Frequent or overuse of ammonia can DULL the surface. Colored ammonia cleaners might CHANGE THE COLOR of your stone by absorbing in.
Safer Solution: A soap scum & film remover made for stone.

Solution: Use a mild bleach solution and then flush with clear water.
Safer Solution: A mold & mildew remover rated SAFE for stone.

Cause: Grease, Tar, Cooking Oil, Cosmetics
Color: Darkens the stone.
Solution: Buy an oil stain remover poultice for stone, granite & marble stain removal.

Cause: Coffee, Tea, Fruit, Tobacco, Paper, Food, Urine, Leaves, Bark, Bird Droppings
Color: Pinkish-brown

  • Indoors- Clean the stain with 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia.
  • Outdoors- Remove the source of the stain. Normal sun and rain action will usually bleach out the stain.

Cause: Iron, Rust, Copper, Bronze
Color: Iron or rust stains - Usually orange to brown and follow the shape of the staining object. (bolts, screws, flower pots, cans, metal furniture)

Color: Copper or bronze stains - Usually green or muddy brown and are from the action of moisture on nearby or embedded bronze, copper, or brass items.
Solution: Poultice. Call a stone care professional.

Cause: Algae, Mildew, Lichens, Moss, Fungi
Solution: A gallon of water and mix with ONE of the following:

  • 1/2 Cup Ammonia
  • 1/2 Cup Bleach
  • 1/2 Cup Hydrogen Peroxide

Safer Solution: A mold & mildew remover rated SAFE for stone.


Cause: Magic Marker, Pen, Ink

  • Light colored stones- Bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Dark colored stones- Lacquer thinner or acetone


  • Dry, small amount, or drips- Scrape carefully with a razor blade on edge.
  • Heavy amount- Use a heavy liquid paint stripper. Follow the manufacturer's directions carefully and then flush the area thoroughly with clean water.

CAUTION: Paint Stripper can etch the surface of your stone AND repolishing may be necessary. If you are uncomfortable with the possibility of etching your stone's surface, call a stone care professional.

NOTE: Latex and acrylic paints usually won't cause staining. Oil based paints, linseed oil, putty, caulks, and sealants may cause oily stains. For stone and granite stain removal of oil based paints & products buy an oil stain remover poultice.

Cause: Surface accumulation of hard water.
Solution: Buff with dry 0000 steel wool. Or use a soap scum & film remover that's safe for stone.

Cause: Smoke or fire stained fireplaces and older stones
Solution: A thorough cleaning to restore the original appearance.

These steps are usually effective for stone & granite stain removal. If you do not feel comfortable or your stain appears too difficult to treat yourself, call a stone care professional.


You'll find More hints & tips on:

Care For Granite Granite Stains & Granite Stain Removal Granite & Marble Stain Removal Black Granite Stains

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