How to Clean a Marble Sink

Marble sinks come in a wide selection of styles, shapes and colors.

Removing Soap Scum

A marble sink can be an elegant addition to any powder room.A marble sink can be an elegant addition to any powder room.
They add an unmistakable note of elegance and sophistication to your home. But marble is a porous stone, which means it picks up dirt and stains easily, making it difficult to keep your sink sparkling. To clean a marble sink, you must choose cleaning agents with care because the porosity of marble makes it especially susceptible to damage. Always avoid any cleaner that is even slightly abrasive or that contain acid. Both abrasiveness and acidity are common in commercial kitchen and bathroom cleaners.

Pour 1/4 cup of liquid detergent onto a soft sponge or cloth.

Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of baking soda on top of the detergent.

Rub the sponge or cloth all over the sink, rinse with warm water, and dry the sink with a towel. The soap scum will be gone.

Removing Stains

Wet the stained area with distilled water.

Make a poultice by cutting some paper towels small enough to cover at least 1/2 inch around the stain. Make a 6- or 8-layer stack. Dampen enough clay (attapulgite or kaolin, for example), chalk, diatomaceous earth, talc, or methyl cellulose to make a paste about the consistency of peanut butter. Make enough of the paste to cover the top paper towel on your little stack; the paste should be 1/4-inch thick.

Apply the poultice to the stained area (paste side down) and cover it with plastic wrap. Tape the edges of the plastic wrap to the sink all around to hold the poultice in place and keep it wet long enough to work.

Leave the poultice on until it dries out. As the poultice dries, it pulls the stain out of the marble. If the drying process takes more than two days, poke small holes in the plastic wrap to let some air in.

Remove the poultice and rinse the area with distilled water. Dry with a soft cloth or towel. Repeat steps 1-4 if necessary until the stain is gone.

Things You Will Need

  • Mild liquid detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Measuring spoon
  • Soft sponge or cloth
  • Towel
  • Distilled water
  • Paper towels
  • Clay (attapulgite or kaolin, for example), chalk, diatomaceous earth, talc or methyl cellulose
  • Tape
  • Plastic wrap

Tips

  • To check whether or not a cleaner is abrasive, put a little on your finger and rub your fingers together. If you feel grit or a burning sensation, then the cleaner is abrasive and should not be used on a marble sink.
  • Use a few precautions to keep your marble sink from being stained or etched. Rinse and dry the sink with a towel when you are finished using it to prevent water spots. Orange juice, soft drinks, lemon juice, vinegar, and other common foodstuffs are sufficiently acidic to damage a marble sink. Be cautious when these come in contact with your marble sink. Thoroughly rinse the sink, and dry with a towel.

About the Author

Tanya Lee is a professional writer with more than 30 years experience. She has published extensively in the field of education and as a journalist, the latter in such publications as "High Country News" and "News from Indian Country." Lee holds a M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.