Marble countertops are stately beauty that transforms your most happening space of home-kitchen- into the luxurious space great for entertaining. With entertaining comes food and drinks and sometimes these food and drinks can create a headache for your beautiful natural stone. So, most people are intimidated by the thought of cleaning and caring for this popular porous material that is famous for its susceptibility to etching and staining.
However you don’t have to fear so much. Yes it may need unique maintenance and care but it’s definitely not time-consuming and not difficult. You do need to keep in mind however few of following things in cleaning and care of this beautiful natural stone.
Keep it clean
Wipe away any spills immediately. You have different type of stains and so treat stains accordingly. For organic stains such as coffee, tea, fruit, food, that can cause pinkish brown stain which disappears after the source is removed, clean the stain with 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia. For outdoor marble surface, once the source of stain is removed, sun and rain action will generally bleach out the stains.
Oil based stains such as grease, cooking oil, cosmetic can darken stone and you will need to wash away with chemical to rid of source of stain. You can use soft liquid cleanser, household detergent, ammonia or mineral spirits.
Rust stains must be removed using poultice made of baking soda.
Small amounts of paint stains can be removed with lacquer thinner or scraped off carefully with a razor blade. Commercial smoke removal products are available. Buff with dry #0000 steel wool for removing Water spots and rings. Clean algae, mildew with diluted cleaning solution. Use a 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide and a gallon of water.
Avoid contact with acidic solution
Marble is made of calcium carbonate making it sensitive to acid solution such as lemon juice, tomato sauce, vinegar, coffee, fruit, alcohol, or even toiletry products etc. and easily get etched or stained. Wipe away the spills immediately. If you let it sit, these acids can literally eats away at the surface of the marble, creating a dull spot permanently on the marble surface. Use decorative tray to store and display if you want your toiletry items.
Careful with cleaning supplies
This applies to acidic cleaning supplies as well. DON’T use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaner containing acid on marble, including bleach. The cleaning products from your local stores likely contain chemicals such as acids and alkalis that will damage the surface or wear the sealer down allowing the marble surface to stain or etch.
Warm water and mild soap is all you need to clean the marble surface. Wipe down countertops and other marble surface with non-abrasive sponge and warm, sudsy water. Wipe soapy solution off with a clean wet cloth. Repeat process until all soapy residue is gone. However, with consistent use, you may find dull film over the surface similar to soap scum that you find in the shower or bath tub. The only cleaning agents recommended for marble are hot water and a special formula stone cleaner. The stone can be buffed with a chamois or soft cotton cloth.
Do not use any type of grout cleaners. Grout cleaners typically contain abrasives, even if it’s a “soft” cream or powder this is too abrasive and will cause damage to the surface by scratching and dulling it.
Don’t sit or stand on marble countertops. Marble countertops do not have flexibility like laminate countertops do and do not have plywood backing, having too much weight on one spot can cause the marble to crack.
DO Use Cutting Boards, Coasters and Trivets: to protect the countertop from hot pots, and stains from acidic foods such as wine, fruit juices, citrus and vinegar. Using coasters like you would with a wood surface also helps reduce the amount of cleaning, polishing, and restoration of the marble countertops. Protect your marble from scratching by using potholders underneath pans and dishware. By getting in the habit of protecting your marble from the beginning, wear and tear will be less of a concern.
DO seal it.
Because marble is porous, a sealant is a recommended measure. It creates a barrier that can possibly keep a spill from becoming a stain. Experts recommend re-sealing every 3 to 6 months. Follow all installer instructions for sealing the stone.
DON’T leave marble surfaces wet
Due to its porous nature, marble easily absorbs liquids. If you do not dry the marble surface and let it wet after you clean it, the surface absorb the water, which will create a dull appearance and make it sticky.
Marble surface is sensitive you need a delicate and careful approach to cleaning and maintaining its overall beauty and even hygiene which is eventually elevate your kitchen and home. By following above simple cleaning tips you can keep the pristine look of your marble countertops.