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How To Remove Scuff Marks from Granite and Marble

Scuff marks can easily get on the natural stone surfaces of your home, for example, through shoes scuffs on floor tile, or non-skid bases of appliances on countertops. The materials in natural stone may vary - marble and granite are common choices for the home. This means that the surfaces vary both in their reaction to stains and to methods for stain removal. The solutions here are designed to be as universal as possible, but may contain pointers for different compositions and colors of stone.

Before moving on to the most difficult, ground in stains, it's worth noting that a well-sealed natural stone countertop is likely to be extremely resistant to damage from stains and scuffing. Although natural stone is itself porous, the sealants are often applied after installation and are recommended to be re-applied regularly to help maintain the stain resistance of the surface. A well-applied sealant should itself be resistant to permanent damage from scuffing. Visible scuff marks are likely residue from rubber soles or similar that is sitting on the surface of the sealed natural stone. Use a new clean tennis ball and rub the scuff mark with an erasing motion to dislodge the scuff material. Tennis balls are covered with wool or synthetic felt that should gently abrade and break up the scuff without scratching the sealant. Avoid using non-standard or novelty tennis balls that have unusually dark colors or decoration. Brush away and discard the dislodged scuff residue.

For an unsealed surface, color in the material that caused the scuff may adhere, or the scuff mark may be harder to remove simply because it is a rougher surface. In a small bowl, make a dilute soapy solution with water and a mild neutral pH soap like dove. Dip the nub of soft eraser in the soapy solution and rub on the scuff to break up the material. Avoid using a hardened or older eraser to help prevent further scuffing. With a more porous natural stone surface, over-wetting should be avoided. Sponge the affected area to remove remaining eraser/soap residue. Once the entire area has been cleaned, remove the soap residue with a clean soft sponge, free of soap, wet with water. Use a squeegee to wick away extra moisture and avoid over-wetting and pooling that may damage your countertop and encourage build-up. If you are concerned about hard water marks on marble, try substituting distilled water for your tap water.

For a more aggressive liquid cleaning agent, you can try using a Tide-to-Go pen to precisely address the scuff. Keep in mind that stone materials of unknown origin, materials which have been dyed, materials which have been misrepresented by the vendor, etc. may react unpredictably or unfavorably to stain removal methods. Familiarize yourself with the materials in and near the area you wish to clean to avoid damaging the material. Keep clean dry paper towels or soft rags at hand to promptly wipe up stray cleaner that has landed on an incompatible material. Natural stone countertops are best cared for with mild pH neutral products, and may periodically benefit from being re-sealed so that they can continue to resist stains and other substances that may corrode the counter's surface.

Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area.\

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