Marble Repair for Burns & Cigarette Stains


My mom used my curling iron hair styling tool that left a surface burn on my countertop.

It's a cream-colored marble vanity top with swirls in it.

The marble is not melted through or an indentation or anything, but I really need to remove the stain.

Do you have any ideas to remove the burn stain?


Most often curling iron burns occur on "cultured" marble vs. real marble vanity tops. I'll give advice for both.

Cultured marble vanities are made to look like marble and will often have a built-in sink. If you look in the cabinets at the underside, it will simply be gray in color.

Once cultured marble is burned, it really can't be repaired well. It's basically a plastic mold with a colored pattern and protective gel coat applied.

Burns ruin the gel coat. It may be possible to sand the area down and re-apply the gel coat, but you'd most likely still have a blemish.

DIY methods are a bit sketchy and you can easily just make it worse. Learn more about "cultured" marble burn repair.

If you do have a real marble vanity top, then removing burn marks is really a job for a professional to restore it to the previous condition.

But here's some DIY solutions you can try...

First you should try using this Bathroom MOLD & MILDEW Remover and soft brush.

Why a mold & mildew remover? Well, this product contains just a bit of bleach. Now, bleach can damage (etch) marble and should not be "generally" used for marble repair or cleaning, however, this product has just the right concentration to effectively remove discoloration without causing further damage to the marble countertop.

You could experiment mixing a bleach and water solution yourself, but this is not recommended only because it almost always results in further damage since it is difficult to get the concentration right.

So, the mold remover should help lighten the color some and may remove it totally. This is the safest method.

If you do experiment with your own bleach solution, expect
that you will etch (make it dull) your marble.

If not etched too severely, you can then use the ETCH REMOVER / Marble polishing paste to re-polish the etched area and bring back the shine (not for use on a honed finish though, since you don't want it shiny).

However, if the marble becomes rough to the touch, then you'll likely need a pro to re-polish. The paste is designed to restore mild to moderate etching. Once it's too rough, different methods are necessary.

A second option is to use the Etch Remover paste directly. The paste uses special abrasives to re-polish marble, which could be enough to remove the discolored areas AND polish marble at the same time.

A third, more aggressive option (if you can't remove the burn discoloration chemically) is to sand the burn with 400 grit or 240 grit metal sand-paper. This should remove all the burned and discolored marble, but it will leave an obvious dull spot and possible depression.

On honed marble the repair won't be as noticeable and you can even smooth it out with 800 grit paper and 0000 grade (super-fine) steel wool.

Sanding "polished" marble will totally ruin the surface shine, of course. Using the Etch Remover product will bring some shine back in this case.

So... if all you want is to remove the brown/orange burn color, but don't care if the marble looks dull and/or scratched after, then the DIY steps above will do it.

I don't recommend this as the best option. A marble repair pro will provide superior results.

But maybe you get lucky with the DIY techniques explained above, cause little damage and can then re-polish with the Etch Remover paste.

Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure which method or combination of methods will work best in your case. You just have to try and see what happens.

Fortunately, stone can almost always be restored. So, if you utilize these DIY techniques and still can't restore all the damage... or even if you cause more damage... a stone professional will be able to fix it.

Comments for Marble Repair for Burns & Cigarette Stains

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I did it!!!
by: John

We had some burn marks on faux marble left by a straightening iron. I used glass cooktop cleaner with a dish rag. This liquid mild abrasive did not need a moist rag. I used a little at a time, and it worked wonderfully without scratching the counter top at all. One of the burn marks was more pronounced, so I used a mild scouring pad with the glass cooktop cleaner, taking my time and being patient. It all came off, and the counter top actually looks better than before, because it actually worked out all the mild scratches that you have in a faux marble over the years. This really did the trick, with nothing further needed!!!

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Removing Marble Vanity Cigarette Burn


I have a off white marble vanity top that got burned by a cigarette.

How can I remove the burn?


The burned marble will need to be sanded and removed.

This process will remove the "polished" marble in the area leaving a dull spot with a slight depression. You may or may not be able to fully restore the shine on the burned area.

To do the job properly you'll need to hire a marble restoration professional.

For effective, but not perfect results... perform the procedure for removing scratches and burns in the Cleaning Marble Secrets Guide.

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by: beth


cigerette burns
by: Anonymous

what if it is not marble For example a lowes contertop?

ANSWER: Lowe's sells many types of countertop surfaces. Maintenance and repair depend on the material, not where you bought it.

removing cigarette burns from cultured countertop
by: GT

After perusing several possibilities re+ these cig burns, I tried spot-sanding using some 1500C wet sandpaper with a touch of plain water--worked great, to my amazement, and left only minimal dulling. Not even noticeable though, unless you know its there. Total removal of yellow-ish brown stains! Sweet!
=pats self on back=

Hey GT,

Alright! Good job. Glad you had success removing the burn.


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Clean Cigarette Nicotine Marble Stains


how do you get cigarette nicotine stains off marble countertops?


If you are talking about cigarette burns, then consulting a marble restoration professional is your best bet.

You'll find DIY solutions in the Cleaning Marble Secrets Guide (see link previous question above) for removing burns and stains.

These solutions will remove the burn and improve the look, but will not restore it to "new" condition unless a mild burn on honed or tumbled marble.

If somehow you have an actual stain (substance absorbed into marble) from cigarettes (wet cigarettes left on counter...???), then you'll need to follow the steps in Removing Stains Manual or in the "Cleaning Marble Secrets" guide.

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Marble Vanity Top Cigarette Stains

by tshombe
(columbia tn usa)


We just moved into a house and the marble bathroom vanity has cigarette stains.

What do I do to remove the stains?


Marble burns or stains from cigarettes can be tricky depending on the type of surface finish on the marble and the degree of damage.

Your best bet may be to hire a marble cleaning and restoration tech to re-surface the marble.

In fact, that may be your only option. Homeowners can successfully manage many marble repair issues, but when the marble is too damaged the only option is to hire a pro.

Of course, professional help is expensive, so... you may want to follow the instruction provided in the Cleaning Marble Secrets e-book (link above on this page), which details how to handle burns, stains, etching, protecting and all other aspects of cleaning marble and marble maintenance.

For starters... make sure it's "real" marble and not "cultured" marble... two completely different surfaces with different maintenance needs. Burns are much more common on cultured marble.

Cultured marble will have a drip line where the gel coatings were applied and the underside will be a flat gray or beige vs. marble which will show the same pattern underneath as on top.

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Marble Vanity Top Burn

by Kim
(Kent, Ohio)


I have two small yellow strips on my counter where my flat iron got hot and marked the counter.

Is there any way to remove the burns from the flat iron?


I get this question quite a bit and find that a large percentage of the burns are on "cultured" marble and not a real marble countertop.

If it's a cultured marble countertop, then there isn't a lot you can do about it yourself.

Cultured marble is a made from marble dust into molds. Often the sink and countertop are a continuous piece. The underside is just plain gray.

Then a protective coating is applied to the surface. It "looks" a little like marble, but it is basically plastic.

Once the surface of a cultured marble countertop is stained or scratched it's basically toast. Attempts at DIY repair often just make it worse.

A cultured marble repair technician may be able to fix it, but it would probably be cheaper/easier just to replace it.

A real marble vanity top can be burned, but it's way more difficult.

If it is actual "marble", you'll have to follow the instructions available in our "How to" repair guides. Either the Cleaning Marble Secrets e-book (comprehensive info for all marble cleaning issues) or the Removing Marble Stains e-book (covers only stains and burns).

See links above and below on this page for each e-book.

It is possible that you'll need professional restoration, but that gets expensive. The guides provide effective DIY solutions that you'll want to try first.

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Marble Bathroom Countertop Burns


I would like to remove burn spots in my marble bathroom countertop.

I have tried bleach and this did not work... please help.


Burns are physical damage to the marble countertop itself and not a stain that has absorbed into the pores.

However, bleach can sometimes be helpful to remove discoloring from burn marks.

But... bleach will also corrode (etch) marble. This marble etching destroys the surface finish leaving dull and whitish-colored spots or areas.

So... bleach should never be used for regular marble cleaning. It should only be used in special cases since it is too harsh a chemical.

Really, the best thing to do is to call a marble repair professional, especially if you have multiple burns.

You may have to re-finish the surface to completely remove them and that's not something you can do yourself.

If you are willing to possibly have less-than-perfect results, you can proceed with the methods outlined in the Removing Granite & Marble Stains ebook (links above & below).

The crux of the matter is that the burned/damaged marble must be removed and the damaged area restored so it matches the rest of the marble countertop.

Removing the burned marble may cause additional damage to the marble. Or not "damage" as much as changing the surface appearance.

Removing the burned marble will change the look and feel of the surface. You then need to use restoration techiques to return the surface to its original look and feel.

Many things about cleaning marble are easy and in many circumstances do-it-yourselfers can get satisfactory results by following the ebook techniques, but if damage is extensive or severe most often your only option is to call in a pro.

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Cigarette Smoke and Marble Maintenance

by Chris
(Philadelphia, PA)


If someone has a marble kitchen countertop and smokes, will the cigarette smoke stain it?

If so, how does one clean the stain, if possible to clean it at all? I love carrara marble.

(I'm not talking about cigarette burns......just plain smoking in the home)


Possible... but, not very likely.

Theoretically, the smoke could settle on the marble countertops and build up over time and yellow the marble just like it does on walls, furniture, etc.

Possibly such a film could even absorb into the pores below the surface causing some staining.

But, this would require fairly heavy smoking and very poor hygiene. Since the marble is in the kitchen, I'm sure you must wipe them down fairly regularly.

Any smoke residue on the tops will get cleaned off with regular cleaning.

Again, if there's a massive concentrated amount of smoking and no cleaning, then I suppose the smoke could get into the marble causing a stain that could not be wiped off with normal cleaning, but I'd say the chance of that is slim to none.

If the countertop surface is discolored from grime or smoke build-up, I'd clean using the Deep Clean Stripper-Degreaser product.

If you have a true stain, (substance absorbed into marble below the surface... cannot be cleaned with surface cleaners) then you'll need to follow the steps in the Removing Stains Manual.

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