How to Remove Red Kumkum Stains from Marble


Manoharini asked: How do I clean red kum kum or sindoor stains off a white marble statue? I have a white marble statue with red powder stains on it. I would like to know what to use to take the stains off and make the statue as white as when it was new. I only have about four hours to work on it as well. I believe this is a vegetable dye powder. Thanks so much.

Kumkum has both social and religious meaning in Hinduism. It’s a vegetable-based powder made from either turmeric or saffron that has been powdered with slaked lime. The result is a vibrant red substance that does little for white marble, which is porous and stains easily. Because marble can easily be damaged by well-intentioned, albeit destructive, home remedies, your best bet is to stick to the methods of cleaning the pros use. Here’s how to proceed.

You Will Need:

  • Stone Soap Ultra (or a similar marble cleaning product)
  • Warm water
  • Clean sponge
  • Soft cloth or second sponge
  • Bucket
  • Clean damp cloth
  • Eye protection
  • Rubber gloves

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves before working with stone cleaners, taking care to heed all safety precautions BEFORE you open the bottle.
  2. In a bucket, dilute the stone cleaner with water to the desired strength. For routine cleaning with Stone Soap Ultra, use 2 oz. of stone cleaner to one gallon of water. Higher concentrations may be used for more stubborn stains, and even full concentration will not damage marble, just make sure to rinse the product immediately after use.
  3. Mix the stone soap and water well.
  4. Apply the cleaning solution to the marble statue with the sponge, scrubbing and wiping gently.
  5. Rinse with clean water, using a soft cloth or clean sponge.
  6. Finish by wiping with a clean, damp cloth.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Read and adhere to all safety instructions for use, disposal, and storage before you begin work with a stone cleaner.
  • Do not allow this product to “soak.” If it does not clean on contact, try making a more concentrated solution.
  • Once the water becomes dirty, mix up a new cleaning solution in a clean bucket. You don’t want to redistribute heavy soil over the marble surface.
  • If Stone Soap Ultra (or a similar marble cleaning product) does not work, it’s time to call in a professional.

Leave a Comment