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Congratulations, you have managed to stain your counter top.  This can mean only one thing…….you’re living your life to the fullest!  There is an old saying in life……”stains happen”.  Well maybe that’s not quite what they say, but the occasional oopsy does rear its ugly head now and then.  If you find yourself with a stain on your stone surface, follow Pohaku Fabrication’s two step process to stain removal…

Step #1: Identify

Usually if you can put it in your stone, you can take it out.  The first part is to identify the type of stain you have.  If you don’t know what caused it, you might as well have fun and play detective.  Heck, get the kids and make it a game!  Asking the right questions can lead you to discover what happened.  Where is the stain located?  Whats around there?  What color is the stain?  Is there a specific shape or pattern (like a cup)?  Finding out what the stain is, is a crucial part of removing it.  Take a look at our ‘Stain Identification Chart’ for help.  Sometimes simple stains can be removed with a cleaner or other household chemical.  The stain identification chart also tells you how to remove the stain.  For deep set and/or stubborn stains, sometimes a poultice needs to be deployed.  Below is a step-by-step process to making your own poultice for the type of stain you have.

Download Pohaku Fabrication’s Stain Identification Chart

Now you might be asking yourself; “What the heck is a poultice?”  A poultice is a liquid cleaner or chemical mixed together with a white absorbent material.  The paste formed is about the consistency of peanut butter and is spread over the stain about 1/4″ thick.  Once the stain is covered, the poultice area is covered with plastic and left for 24-48 hours, depending on how severe the stain is.  The liquid helps to draw out the stain and the powder absorbs the stain leaving behind a “good as new” counter top!

Here is a quick list of recommended poultice powders:

NOTE:  Do not use whiting or iron-type clays such as fuller’s earth with acid chemicals as the reaction will cancel the effect of the poultice.  In a pinch, you can also use white cotton balls, white paper towels or gauze pads.

After you know what kind of stain you have, take a look at the table below to determine what kind of poultice is best to remove the stain you have.  Contact us if you have any questions regarding maintenance or stain removal.


Oil-Based Stains

Poultice with baking soda and water OR one of the powdered poultice materials and mineral spirits.

Organic Stains

Poultice with one of the powdered poultice materials and 12% hydrogen peroxide solution (hair bleaching strength) OR use acetone instead of the hydrogen peroxide.

Iron Stains

Poultice with diatomaceous earth and a commercially available rust remover.  Rust stains are particularly difficult to remove.  You may need to give us a call to help.

Copper Stains

Poultice with one of the powdered poultice materials and ammonia.  These stains are also very difficult to remove and you may need to call us to give you a hand.

Biological Stains

Poultice with diluted ammonia OR bleach OR hydrogen peroxide.  DO NOT MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH!  THIS CREATES A TOXIC AND LETHAL GAS!

Step #2: RECTIFY!!

Now that you know the stain, got the right poultice mix, its time to apply the hurt to the stain.  Follow these simple steps or check out our video on our How To page to apply the poultice. CAUTION!!  Some chemicals may cause an etching/dulling affect to the stone, this happens mostly on softer stones such as marble, limestone, and semi-precious stone.  If you are unsure what kind of stone you have, check out our Stone Products page, or send us some pictures.

1.  Prepare the poultice to a consistency of peanut butter (if using cotton balls or other non-powder mix, let the chemical soak in then let drain).

2.  Wet the stained area with distilled water.

3.  Apply poultice in 1/4 to 1/2″ thick and cover past the stain at least 1″.

4.  Cover the poultice with plastic (Saran wrap works great!) and tape the edges (blue painters tape is great so it doesn’t leave any sticky residue) to seal the poultice completely in.

5.  Allow to sit for 24-48 hours; this is when the poultice starts to pull the stain.  After the time has pasted, remove the plastic and allow the poultice to dry completely.

6.  After poultice has dried completely, remove the poultice and rinse the area with distilled water and buff dry with a soft cloth.  Use a wood or plastic scraper to help get the poultice off if necessary.

7.  Repeat the poultice application if the stain is ubber stubborn.  BE PATIENT!  It may take as much as five applications to remove difficult stains.

If the surface is etched by the chemical, you can apply polishing powder and buff with burlap or felt buffing pad to restore the surface.  If you are having trouble with this, give us a call and we can set up an appointment to help you out.

Contact Pohaku Fabrication

Have questions or want to get started planning your project?

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