Posted on: 6 April 2016
Marble is a beautiful, dignified material to use for grave markers and monuments, but it is susceptible to staining over time. Everything from dirt to mold and mildew can cause significant discoloration and lessen the marble's natural beauty. One of the worst offenders when it comes to staining marble is rust; these stains can be stubborn and hard to remove. However, the good news is with the proper materials and a lot of patience, rust stains can usually be removed from marble grave markers. Below is more information on how you can restore the look and dignity of marble:
What you will need
- Distilled water
- Microfiber towel
- Pure dishwashing soap
- Baking flour
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Plastic cling wrap
- Soft-bristled nylon brush
- Glass mixing bowl
- Duct tape
1. Attempt to remove the stain using the most gentle method possible - Though marble may seem as "hard as a rock," the reality is that marble is a relatively soft material that can be easily damaged by other materials. It is also porous, and it absorbs whatever substances may come into contact with its unfinished surface. That means that not only can undesired agents cause staining, but the substances you use in an effort to clean the marble may also be damaging.
Therefore, it is best to begin your rust stain removal efforts using the gentlest option: plain dishwashing soap and water. Avoid using soap that contains additives such as bleach or oxygenating cleansers, as these agents may dull or etch the marble. To begin, mix one teaspoon of dishwashing soap with a gallon of warm tap water, and then scrub lightly using a soft nylon brush. Do not press too hard while scrubbing and never use a wire brush on marble. Once you finish cleaning with the soap and water mixture, rinse the marble thoroughly using distilled water to avoid leaving water spots.
2. Apply a poultice to the marble - Should the rust stain still remain after cleaning with soap and water, you will need to apply a poultice to the marble to "pull" out the stain. A poultice can be made from several different absorbent materials, but ordinary baking flour and hydrogen peroxide are effective, gentle media.
To make the poultice, combine a small amount of baking flour in a glass bowl with three percent hydrogen peroxide and stir the mixture until it forms a thick paste. A poultice mixed to the correct consistency should be moist to the touch but not exude water or be excessively mushy.
Next, apply a generous amount of the poultice to the rust stains and push it into the marble. To hold the poultice in place and keep it moist, wrap the poultice with at least three layers of plastic cling wrap, then use duct tape to securely hold it in place. Be sure to apply the tape only to the plastic wrap; don't apply tape to the marble itself, as it may leave a residue or stain of its own.
3. Remove the poultice and clean the marble - Allow the poultice to remain undisturbed for at least 48 hours; it will take time for it to absorb the deep-seated rust discoloration. Next, unwrap the plastic wrap and verify the stain has been absorbed. If the rust discoloration remains, repeat the process of mixing and applying a poultice as many times as necessary. However, be sure to rinse the marble each time with distilled water to remove the residue from the poultice. Once you are satisfied the stain has been absorbed, give the marble a final cleansing with soapy water and rinse with distilled water.
For more information and tips on caring for grave markers, also consider talking with companies that supply the markers, such as Elmwood Casket Company.Share