How to clean a marble sink

Written by tanya lee
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How to clean a marble sink
A marble sink can be an elegant addition to any powder room. (basin sink image by Liz Van Steenburgh from

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

Skill level:

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Things you 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
  • Cling film

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    Removing Soap Scum

  1. 1

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

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

    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

  1. 1

    Wet the stained area with distilled water.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

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

  4. 4

    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 cling film to let some air in.

  5. 5

    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.

Tips and warnings

  • 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.

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