How to Remove Oil Stains from Marble April 18 2016, 0 Comments

Back in the days of old, you could identify where a piece of marble came from by its color. Marble quarries were few and far between, and marble extraction techniques were incredibly labor intensive. Once a marble block or slab was released from the quarry wall, getting it up and out was a Herculean task, involving ropes, pulleys, wooden beams, rollers, winches and levers.

It's easy to see why this beautiful stone was so highly valued, and considered for use only among the elite, commissioning elaborately detailed statues, or erecting palaces complete with marble walls and flooring.

Today marble is found and quarried in most countries around the world, though Italy, Spain, China and India represent the majority. Due to its increased availability and advances in extraction techniques, it is much more affordable, though it still invokes a sense of luxury and sophistication in any home. Popular applications include countertops, floors, walls, windowsills and fireplace hearths or surrounds, making it a suitable addition to any room in the home.

The key to retaining the inherent warmth and beauty of this natural stone is through the proper cleaning and maintenance techniques, in addition to having a few tricks up your sleeve in the event of an emergency. Knowing how to remove oil stains from marble for example, can save you time and money, and all it takes is a simple poultice.

Identify the Stain
The treatment to remove oil stains from marble is unique; ensure that what you have is a stain, rather than another type of damage using the following criteria:

Stained Marble
The staining agent is obvious or easy to recognize. After the staining agent has been removed, there is no residual damage or discoloration.

Damaged Marble
Marble is considered damaged when there is a change to its chemical makeup. Professional restoration or repair is needed.

A poultice can't remove discoloration or damage caused by corrosive materials. Discoloration caused by damage to the surface rather than liquid absorption.

Remove Oil Stains From Marble in 5 Easy Steps
Once you've identified the oil stain you'll need to prepare a poultice. The two components of this mixture are: a chemical agent to remove the stain, ideally MK Intensive Cleaner at a ratio of 4:1 water to cleaner, and an absorbent, chalky material such as:

  • Powdered chalk
  • Whiting
  • Talc
  • White molding plaster
  1. Make a paste roughly the same consistency as peanut butter, by combining sufficient quantities of the chemical agent and the absorbent material. 
  2. Using a spatula, apply the mixture to the affected area, layering until it is between one quarter and one half inch thick, and extending beyond the stain by about one half of an inch. 
  3. Place a layer of plastic wrap over the work area, taping down the edges to create a seal, and leave it to set for 24 to 48 hours. 
  4. Left to do its job, the chemical agent in the poultice will draw out the oil from the marble, towards the absorbing agent, and the mixture will begin to dry out. 

Once it has dried, remove the poultice with a rubber spatula, wiping up any remaining residue using a soft cloth and multi-surface cleaner. Note that it may take more than one application to remove oil stains from marble, and some may never disappear completely.

For comprehensive information on the cleaning and maintenance of the marble surfaces in your home, be sure to download our FREE marble care guide below!

 The Ultimate Homeowners Guide to Marble Maintenance