Remember that marble is porous and stains easily. Acid will dissolve it. Wipe up all spills immediately, particularly juice or wine. Use coasters under all glasses.

General Cleaning

Keep marble clean. Wipe it with a clean, soft cloth and fresh warm water.

Wash marble twice a year with warm water and a mild detergent. Dissolve soap flakes in water. Dip a cloth in the soapy water and wring it out. Scrub the marble thoroughly. Then use a clean, damp cloth to wipe it and use a dry cloth to buff it up.

Removing Stains

For rust stains, you can remove superficial stains with vigorous scrubbing using a soft cloth and a non-abrasive mild detergent. If this does not remove the stain, try an application of naval jelly or other rust remover following the manufacturer's directions for use.

For other stains, try a commercial marble polish first. If this does not work or is unavailable, then you should try the poultice method.

You need to use the appropriate solvent:

soot stains

baking powder mixed with distilled water

oily stains

white spirit or acetone (some types of nail varnish remover contain acetone)

organic stains eg wine

6% solution of hydrogen peroxide or ammonia

  1. Use a white absorbent material such as untreated flour, white tissue, or white powdered chalk. Mix into it the solvent.
  2. Form a paste with the consistency of thick cream.
  3. Moisten the area of the stain and the area surrounding the stain with the same solvent used to make the paste.
  4. Apply the poultice to the stained area and the area surrounding the stain using a wood or plastic spatula to a thickness of one centimetre.
  5. Tape a plastic covering over the poultice so that it forms an air-tight seal.
  6. Allow the poultice to set for 48 hours.
  7. Remove the plastic and moisten the poultice with cool, clean water.
  8. Carefully remove the poultice with a plastic or wood spatula and rinse the area with water. Dry with a soft cloth.
  9. When the water spotting has disappeared, check to see if the stain has been removed. If it is still visible, apply a second poultice.

When trying to remove stains from marble, be patient. These methods take time and persistence for best results. Some stains will never completely respond to any treatment, and you will have to live with them.


When polishing marble, use a hard, white polish and a soft white cloth. Any colouring in the polish or cloth will stain. Rub the polish hard into the marble. For a matt finish use, a softer polish.