Restoring Old Dirty Marble Countertop

QUESTION:

I have a marble countertop that has been stored for years in a shed.


How do I clean it and disinfect it and make it shine?

ANSWER:

Well, it all depends on how dirty and damaged it may be, but you may be able to tackle this yourself.

--Is it just surface grime or is it stained deeply?

--Is it shiny at all or uniformly dull or splothcy?

If it's in bad shape, then professional restoration may be your best bet to get satisfactory results and really make the marble look as good as it can.

But if it was in decent condition before being stored, then you may get good results on your own.

Try This:

Use a strong cleaner that is also safe for marble like INTENSIVE Tile & Grout Cleaner.

Spray this all over and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Scrub it with a soft-bristle brush. Rinse.

Repeat until clean. If this doesn't get all the dirt and spots off, then you have embedded stains, which requires a multi-step method to remove.

For cleaning stains you'll find complete step-by-step instructions in the Removing Granite & Marble Stains Manual.

Regarding the shine:

It's possible the marble was never polished to begin with. If so, then you won't be able to make it shiny. You'll need to hire a marble pro to re-finish and polish the marble with special abrasives.

This is a high-skill job. Not a DIY job and there isn't any chemical to apply to make honed marble shiny as if polished.

However, if the marble was polished at one time, but is just a bit dull now and/or has light spots called "etch marks" then you'll have a great chance at restoring the shine using a good marble polishing compound like Etching Restoration / Marble Polishing product.

You don't want to use this paste until after you have thoroughly cleaned the marble and removed all stains.

Also, you'll find the Cleaning Marble Secrets Guide very helpful.

It contains everything you should know about marble... how to protect, clean, maintain, repair and restore, etc. It provides step-by-step solutions to all maintenance issues (including the 'Removing Stains' above, so you don't need both).

Much more comprehensive and detailed than I can be here with product recommendations, etc.

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Restoring and Cleaning Marble Table

by Mike
(Stancil)

georgia marble polished table

georgia marble polished table

QUESTION:

How do I restore a Georgia marble table top that has white with pink and brown veins?

ANSWER:

Thanks for the picture. That helps, however, without seeing it in person it is difficult to say exactly what will need to be done, but...

It looks like you may have some stains.

Unfortunately, marble stains can't simply be "cleaned" off.

Removing the stains will depend on what stained the marble table top. Of course, you may not have that info, so you'll have to experiment a bit. Not to worry...

You'll find complete step-by-step instructions in the Removing Marble Stains Manual (link above).

It seems like the marble polish (the finish itself) is in decent shape, although removing stains can sometimes cause unavoidable etching that may require a good marble polishing compound like the ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing product recommended in the previous question.

So, first... Remove whatever stains are present.

Then, assess the polish. If you do have some dullness or some marble etching, then use the paste to restore the shine.

Now if the surface is in much worse shape than appears in the photo or if the stains are very old and/or deep you may need to hire a pro to grind down and re-surface the marble, but I think that's unlikely in this case.

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Restoring Old Marble Floor Tiles

QUESTION:

I have received some marble floor tiles from an old bank.

How can they be restored to use on a bathroom countertop?


ANSWER:

The method or methods required to restore and/or clean marble depend on what the problem is.


  • Are the tiles just really dirty?

  • Are they stained?

  • Are they dull?

  • All the above?


It may also depend on the type of finish on the marble floor tiles... tumbled, honed, polished.

Given that it's was a bank, I'm guessing they are polished (shiny). So....

For surface grime use INTENSIVE Natural Stone Tile Cleaner (link above). Spray on, let sit 5-10 minutes and scrub with a soft-bristle brush.

For stains (which will basically be any spot from something absorbed into the marble and not removed by the INTENSIVE)follow the step-by-step instructions in the Removing Stains Manual (link above).

For dull spots use ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing product (link also above) AFTER you have removed all grime and stains and only if the tiles are polished.

Marble cleaning isn't necessarily hard or complicated, but there isn't a magic cleaner that will fix all problems.

So, you'll need to inspect the tiles and determine which problem(s) you have and perform the appropriate procedures.

You'll have to at least use the INTENSIVE, but you may not have to remove stains or restore dull spots.

Hope this helps!

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Restoring Dingy Carrara Marble Slab

by Kirsonis
(Brooklyn NY)

QUESTION:

I'm thinking of using a used carrera marble slab for a kitchen peninsula countertop.

The cabinets are white and I fear that it will look bad.

Is there any way to sand and get rid of the discolorations and then hone or polish?

We are pretty handy and stone is still outside so we dont care about mess.

ANSWER:

Yes, Carrara marble can always be restored by grinding down the surface removing the stained and damged marble and then honing or polishing.

Grinding and re-surfacing marble is not really a job for a handyman though.

It isn't as easy as sanding down a piece of wood, etc. It requires quite a bit of experience and skill to do an acceptable job especially if you want a shiny polish.

Plus you need some stone specific abrasives, tools, etc. and know how to use them effectively.

Even pros can sometimes make a mistake and have to start over or re-do a step or two.

Now, if the grime and any stains are near the surface so you don't have much marble to remove and you are okay with a very rough honed surface, then you may be able to do the job yourself sanding with metal sandpaper and/or acid washing the surface using vinegar.

The primary issue to consider with marble kitchen countertops is that they will easily etch (get dull and discolored) upon contact with acidic foods and drinks.

Now, if you "revitalize" the surface with a vinegar acid wash, then the etch marks that occur from spills of acidic foods won't be as visible and you may just continue acid washing the surface with vinegar periodically to maintain the surface in that rough honed condition.

But understand this is not the typical or recommended way to maintain marble countertops.

If you don't mind a rough "work bench" look, then okay...

But if you are looking to maintain the best surface finish (whether honed or polished), then you would avoid exposure to acidic foods/drinks and never use harsh or acidic cleaners like vinegar.

It's simply impossible to stop marble etching on kitchen countertops and etch marks still show on honed surfaces.

Sealing will not prevent marble etching. This is the main reason marble is typically not recommended for a kitchen countertop... it just presents more maintenance issues than granite.

Carrara marble on a kitchen island is usually not as risky, unless that is the surface that get used the most.

If you decide to give it a go, you'll find the Cleaning Marble Secrets Guide (link above) very helpful.

This guide covers everything you need to know for protecting marble, cleaning marble, marble repair and DIY solutions for stains, etching, scratches, burns, etc.

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Restoring Unmaintained Marble

by aadil
(southampton)

QUESTION:

I haven't cleaned my marble floor tile since I had it installed (verde green colour) which has been nearly 3 years now and it looks completely ridiculous.

It looks very dull in the areas that have been walked on and it now has come to the stage where attention is definitely necessary.

Can I get some professional advice please? Thank you!!!!!!

ANSWER:

Your marble floor tiles may be to the point where you have to hire a marble maintenance professional to resurface.

I take it the marble originally had a shiny or "polished" finish?

Foot traffic will wear away that polished layer and require periodic re-finishing.

Now, very mild wear can be improved and you may possibly restore the original shine (depending on how severe the wear is and how large an area) using Marble Polishing Etch Remover.

You may just consider having the marble honed so you no longer have to worry about the shine being constantly worn away.

A honed surface won't show wear from foot traffic nearly as bad as a polished marble.

If you have stains, you'll find all info for removal in the Removing Stains or the Cleaning Marble Secrets e-books mentioned above.

And you should be using only products safe for cleaning marble.

But often professional marble maintenance is the answer in this situation.... especially if the damaged / worn area is larger than just a few tiles.

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Restoring Old Stained Marble Patio

by John Turner
(Memphis, TN)

QUESTION:

I have a marble patio built in 1950. The marble is discolored and stained. How do I restore?

ANSWER:

Honestly John, this job sounds like it will require a marble restoration professional to grind down and resurface the marble.

Of course, without seeing it I can't say for sure, but based on your description, I'd say it's likely.

Stains develop when a substance is absorbed into the marble. Stains can be removed with a pretty simple process, but if the stains are old and deep, large and/or you have a lot of them, you probably won't get satisfactory results trying to do-it-yourself.

The discoloration of the marble patio is probably from years of ground in dirt, maybe some moss, etc. Again difficult and time consuming to clean and you still may not get great results.

A pro will simply grind away the stained and discolored layer until you have clean, raw marble of uniform color.

Depending on the size of the patio, it could be somewhat expensive, but you should get excellent results.

Or try this...

Now if the space is fairly small (say 8x8 or smaller) and you are up for a project that may yield uncertain and possibly not perfect results, then there's a couple things you could do for cleaning marble in bad shape...

First, soak and scrub the marble patio with TILE & GROUT Cleaner. Follow directions for application, rinse and spray off with a hose. Repeat this routine until you stop getting improvement.

If you are lucky, this process may clean off a lot of the dirt and improve the stain and discoloration.

You'll likely still have stains. You'll need a different process to remove stains and it depends on what stained the marble, how deep it is, so it may involve a bit of experimentation.

You'll find complete step-by-step instructions for how to do this in the Removing Stains Manual.

You never know. It may not be as bad as you (or I) think and you have good success with the DIY techniques. If they don't get the results you want, then you're not much worse off and can call a pro at that point.

But if the patio is large, then just hire a marble restoration pro.

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Removing Mold on Marble Table

by Alison

QUESTION:

Light cream marble table top looks to have mold in patches over it, can this be cleaned and how?

ANSWER:

Most likely you'll have success removing mold from the marble table top. It just depends if it is on the surface or has created a marble stain.

First, you'll want to remove all surface mold by cleaning marble with this Mold and Mildew Remover, which is safe for use on marble (most common cleaners are not).

Spray on, let sit for 6-8 minutes and then scrub with a soft-bristle brush or pad. That may be all you need to do.

If stains remain, then the mold has absorbed into the marble and regular surface marble cleaning methods won't be enough.

To remove marble stains follow the step-by-step instructions in the Removing Marble & Granite Stains e-book.

Stains in marble are not often permanent, so the e-book methods will get out the mold stain unless it is too old and deep. You may have to repeat the method a number of times, but it almost always does the trick.

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Restoring Old Marble Vanity Chemical Damage

by Mary
(Sandusky ohio)

QUESTION:

Marble vanity top white with gray marble has dirty look, stains and etching.

In some areas is stained orange. It is rough to the touch. Probably 100 years old.

ANSWER:

Well, there's no telling how deep the stains and etching are so it sounds like it's probably a restoration job for a marble repair professional.

If you're up for a project, there are some things you can do that may yield satisfactory results.

You'll find complete instructions on how to remove all types of stains, restore marble etching, remove grime and a bunch of other DIY info about cleaning marble and marble maintenance in the Cleaning Marble Secrets Guide.

You never know... you may get lucky and clean it up easy. Certainly cheaper than hiring a professional.

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Marble Vanity Restoration
by: Anonymous

I repair/restore marble in this condition all the time. There is no simple fix. The work MUST be done by a qualified professional. It sound like it it an old carrara vanity with rust stains and etch accumulation. The vanity needs to be honed to remove imperfections and poulticed to remove staining. If you have any questions please check out my website and I will be happy to answer any questions or concerns. Thank You

Stuart Smith

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