Step 1: Preparing the poultice

Photo: Kolin Smith
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Fred Hueston mixes flour and hydrogen peroxide to create a poultice that's about the consistency of creamy peanut butter. Peroxide works best for food stains, but in the case of cooking-oil stains, Hueston uses dishwashing liquid, which breaks up the oil. For biological stains — mold, mildew, fungus — he uses household bleach. (The chlorine doesn't bleach the stone, only the stain.) Rust disappears with sodium hydrosulfate, available in over-the-counter rust removers. "I've seen stains go from light yellow to deep purple with the wrong chemical," says Hueston. He always tests the poultice on an inconspicuous spot on the countertop before applying it to the stain.
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    Tools List

    • putty knife
      Putty knife
    • polishing tool
      Polishing tool

    Shopping List

    1. HYDROGEN PEROXIDE
    to mix with flour for food stain poultice

    2. DISHWASHING LIQUID
    to mix with flour for oil stain poultice

    3. HOUSEHOLD BLEACH
    to mix with flour for biological stains, like mold or mildew

    4. SODIUM HYDROSULFATE
    to mix with flour for rust stain poultice

    5. PLASTIC WRAP
    to cover poultice as it "wicks" out the stain

    6. BLUE PAINTER'S TAPE
    to secure plastic wrap

    7. MARBLE POLISHING POWDER
    to refinish the surface

    8. POLYESTER POLISHING PAD

    9. SEALANT