Dinner Party Dilemma: What to do about a set-in wine stain?

Dinner Party Dilemma: What to do about a set-in wine stain?

May 08, 2014

Q: We had a dinner party the other night. Despite the fact that we thought we cleaned up well before turning in for the night, we found a forgotten red wine glass sitting on our white marble bar top. Not only that, but it was apparently one of our sloppy friends. There had obviously been a puddle of wine under the glass because we now have a lovely (insert sarcasm font) purple circle where the glass once stood. What now? Are we doomed to a lifetime of covering up that stain with seemingly misplaced décor items? Help!

A: It figures. No matter how careful you are with light colored home décor, from marble countertops to light beige carpet, there is bound to be a spill! It happens.

Food, drink, and other liquids that are high in acid (such as wine, orange juice, coffee, and tomato sauce) are not a marble countertop’s best friend. But they’re a reality in our kitchen, and at our parties. These substances are known to stain or “etch” most marble. Since marble is a porous material, any kind of liquid that touches the surface may leave a mark. The longer a spill is on the marble, the more time it has to soak it up into the stone and the harder it will be to remove the stain. And a liquid like wine…well, once wine has stained a marble, it may be pretty hard to remove.

Marble Countertops by LDa Architecture

If you have white marble countertops like this Hyannisport home by LDa Architecture & Interiors, wine spills may be a scary scenario for you. Check out our advice below. Photo via Houzz.

You likely know that step 1 in cleaning up a spill on marble is to blot the excess with a clean, dry cloth. Obviously, in your case it’s too late for that. There’s likely nothing there to blot. With a spill that has set overnight, your first attempt to minimize it should be with your fabricator-approved stone cleaner. If you happen to be “out” of it, use a dot of mild dishwashing liquid. If that does little on your wine ring, try this…

Take a very soft and absorbent white cloth and soak it in some hydrogen peroxide. Place the cloth on top of the stain and press. You may even want to try placing some plastic wrap over the cloth and place a heavy item, such as a book, on top of the cloth. The plastic wrap will prevent the peroxide from coming through to the book as well as help to keep the peroxide from evaporating too quickly. Let it sit this way for several hours, or even overnight. With any luck, the hydrogen peroxide may help bleach out the stain.

If that doesn’t work, you may need to try a poultice. Follow the instructions we previously outlined on our blog.

Hopefully these tips help minimize the appearance of the stain. Keep in mind that the best defense from stains is a good sealer. When it comes to your marble countertops, we recommend that you use a good sealer recommended by your stone professional. The sealer won’t completely prevent stains, but it can go a long way in buying you time to wipe up the spill.

If all else fails, or if you have questions, just give us a call at 877-39-STONE. We’ll walk you through all of the above, and do our best to help bring your marble countertop back to its former glory. But, bear in mind that a “lived with” look is part of what makes marble so appealing. Cherish your wine stain as a symbol of fun times with your friends, even the ones a touch on the sloppy side.


Show Comments