How to remove yellow stains from marble

Marble is a beautiful and durable natural stone that has been used in construction and design for centuries. Its elegant appearance and smooth texture make it a popular choice for countertops, floors, and other architectural features. However, over time, marble can develop unsightly yellow stains that can detract from its beauty. These stains are often caused by a buildup of oil, grease, or other organic compounds that become trapped in the porous surface of the stone.

Removing yellow stains from marble can be a challenging task, but with the right cleaning methods and products, it is possible to restore the stone’s original lustre and shine. In this article, we will explore the various causes of yellow staining on marble, provide step-by-step instructions on how to effectively remove these stains, and offer tips for preventing future discolouration.

remove yellow stains from marble

Causes of Yellow Stains on Marble

There are several common causes of yellow stains on marble surfaces:

  1. Oil and Grease: One of the most common causes of yellow staining on marble is the buildup of oil and grease. This can occur from cooking spills, cosmetics, or even the natural oils from human skin. Over time, these substances can become trapped in the porous surface of the marble, leading to a discoloured appearance.
  2. Hard Water: Hard water, which is high in minerals such as calcium and magnesium, can also lead to the formation of yellow stains on marble. As the water evaporates, these minerals can leave behind a yellowish residue on the stone’s surface.
  3. Cleaning Products: Certain cleaning products, particularly those that contain harsh chemicals or abrasives, can also contribute to the development of yellow stains on marble. These products can break down the stone’s sealant and leave behind a discoloured appearance.
  4. Natural Aging: Even with proper care and maintenance, marble can naturally develop a yellowish tint over time due to oxidation and exposure to environmental factors such as sunlight and air pollution.

Removing Yellow Stains from Marble

Removing yellow stains from marble requires a combination of specialized cleaning techniques and products. Here are the steps to effectively remove these stains:

  1. Identify the Cause: The first step in removing yellow stains from marble is to identify the underlying cause. This will help you choose the most appropriate cleaning method and products to address the issue.
  2. Prepare the Surface: Before attempting to remove the stain, it’s important to thoroughly clean the marble surface. Use a mild, pH-neutral cleaner and a soft-bristled brush or sponge to gently scrub the area, removing any surface dirt or debris.
  3. Apply a Poultice: A poultice is a highly effective method for removing yellow stains from marble. A poultice is a paste-like mixture that is applied to the stain and left to sit for several hours or even days, allowing it to draw out the staining substances. To create a poultice, mix a powder-based cleaning product, such as baking soda or a commercial marble poultice, with a small amount of water to form a thick paste. Spread the poultice over the stained area, covering it with a sheet of plastic or aluminium foil to prevent it from drying out. Allow the poultice to sit for the recommended time, usually 12 to 24 hours, before removing it.
  4. Rinse and Dry: Once the poultice has had time to work, carefully remove it from the marble surface. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away any residual poultice and then thoroughly rinse the area with clean water. Pat the surface dry with a clean, soft towel.
  5. Apply a Marble Cleaner: If the yellow stain persists after using the poultice, you may need to use a specialized marble cleaner. These cleaners are designed to penetrate the porous surface of the marble and lift out stubborn stains without damaging the stone. When using a marble cleaner, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Apply the cleaner to the stained area, let it sit for the recommended time, and then rinse thoroughly with water. Dry the surface completely before moving on to the next step.
  6. Seal the Marble: After removing the yellow stain, it’s important to seal the marble surface to prevent future staining. Use a high-quality marble sealant and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help to create a protective barrier on the stone’s surface, making it more resistant to future stains and discolouration.

Tips for Preventing Yellow Stains on Marble

In addition to removing existing yellow stains, it’s also important to take steps to prevent future staining. Here are some tips to help keep your marble looking its best:

  1. Seal the Marble Regularly: As mentioned earlier, applying a high-quality marble sealant regularly (usually every 6-12 months) can help to protect the stone from stains and discolouration.
  2. Clean Spills Immediately: When spills occur on a marble surface, it’s important to clean them up as soon as possible. Blot the spill with a clean, dry cloth and then use a mild, pH-neutral cleaner to remove any remaining residue.
  3. Avoid Harsh Cleaners: Steer clear of harsh, abrasive cleaners and opt for gentle, pH-neutral products specifically designed for use on marble. Harsh chemicals can break down the stone’s sealant and lead to staining over time.
  4. Use Coasters and Place Mats: Placing coasters under drinks and using placemats under items that may contain oil or grease can help prevent stains from developing on your marble surfaces.
  5. Maintain a Regular Cleaning Routine: Regularly cleaning your marble surfaces with a gentle, marble-safe cleaner can help to prevent the buildup of dirt, oil, and other substances that can lead to yellow staining.
  6. Protect from Sunlight: Exposure to direct sunlight can cause the marble to discolour over time. Consider using window treatments or placing your marble surfaces in areas with indirect lighting to help prevent this type of staining.

By following these tips and addressing any yellow stains promptly, you can help to keep your marble looking beautiful and well-maintained for years to come.

Commercial Products for Removing Yellow Stains from Marble

In addition to the DIY methods mentioned above, there are also several commercial products available that can be effective in removing yellow stains from marble. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Marble Poultice Kits: These kits typically include a specialized powder-based cleaning product and instructions for creating a poultice to draw out stubborn stains. One popular option is the Marble Maestro Poultice Kit, which has received positive reviews for its effectiveness in removing a variety of marble stains.
  2. Marble Cleaners: There are several commercial marble cleaners on the market that are designed to penetrate the porous surface of the stone and lift out stains. One highly-rated option is the Granite Gold Marble Cleaner, which is a pH-neutral formula that is safe for use on marble and other natural stone surfaces.
  3. Marble Sealants: Regularly sealing your marble surfaces is an important step in preventing future staining. A high-quality marble sealant, such as the DuPont Marble & Granite Sealer, can help to create a protective barrier that makes the stone more resistant to stains and discoloration.

When using any commercial products for removing yellow stains from marble, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and test the product on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not damage the stone.


Removing yellow stains from marble can be a challenging task, but with the right techniques and products, it is possible to restore the stone’s original luster and shine. By identifying the underlying cause of the staining, using specialized cleaning methods like poultices, and sealing the marble to prevent future discoloration, you can keep your marble surfaces looking their best.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to maintaining the beauty of marble. Regular cleaning, the use of coasters and place mats, and protecting the stone from harsh chemicals and direct sunlight can all help to keep your marble surfaces free from unsightly yellow stains. With the right care and attention, you can enjoy the timeless elegance of marble in your home for many years to come.

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.