Permanent Marker Stains On Marble

QUESTION:

My bathroom white marble countertop has smudges of permanent marker on it.

My granddaughter wrote on paper with a magic marker using the marble countertop as her hard surface.

The permanent marker "bled through" the paper onto the countertop.

Would a poultice work for removing this ink stain?

Also, what do I 'buff' the marble with to get out water stains from soap bottles?

ANSWER:

There are a couple of methods for removing permanent marker stains (or smudges) from marble countertops or tile.

Depending on the quantity and saturation of the marker ink on the surface (i.e. a light line vs. a large thoroughly colored area)...and whether or not it has seeped into the stone below the surface... one of the following two methods will work for cleaning marble stains from any type of permanent marker: Magic marker, Sharpie pen, ball-point ink pen, Marks-a-lot and even wax pencils.

Also, the color doesn't matter whether it a red, blue or black marker, etc.

How To Remove Permanent Marker Marble Stains

First option: Try soaking the mark with acetone (sometimes rubbing alcohol works better) and then scrub with a non-abrasive nylon pad or brush. The acetone will not harm the stone at all, so no need to worry about that.

In many cases acetone will do the trick to remove ink stains on stone particularly if it is a "light" mark and has not absorbed into the stone.

If acetone (or rubbing alcohol) and scrubbing doesn't remove it, then try the....

Second option: Make a poultice using hydrogen peroxide (preferably 12% variety) as the key ingredient.

For instructions on making a poultice AND for solutions to removing all types of marble stains see the Removing Granite & Marble Stains e-book.


Unfortunately, different stains require different "key" ingredients to remove, but the e-book explains it all in detail.

A few helpful tips:

  • If you have dark marble or stone it's better to make the poultice with acetone (not hydrogen peroxide), but you may have to use the HP if acetone is not effective.

  • Hydrogen peroxide is acidic and may etch (a chemical burn that leaves whitish dull spots... the "water stains" you noted) marble, travertine and limestone surfaces (but not granite). However, this may be the only way to remove the permanent marker stains... and etching can be rather easily repaired. (see below)

  • You may have to apply the poultice several times to get an ink stain out, so be patient and keep at it.

  • These methods for removing a permanent marker stain work on any type of finish (or stone for that matter): honed marble, polished marble countertops, tumbled marble tile, travertine tile, granite, etc.

If etching occurs use the ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing Paste on polished marble tile and slabs (and polished travertine tile or limestone).

For honed or tumbled marble, travertine or limestone a different method is required (no product available to apply). You must essentially sand the surface to repair the etching. The procedure is fully explained in the Removing Etch Marks e-book.

Hopefully you won't etch the surface removing the permanent marker stains on your marble, but at least you'll know how to handle it. And knowledge is really the key when cleaning marble. It isn't difficult... just different.

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