Marble Cleaning and Maintenance Guide
Marble is a fantastic choice for your home and in addition to being used for floor tiles, fireplace surrounds and backsplashes, you can absolutely use it in your kitchen for countertops and islands as well. If you have any concerns whether marble is the right choice for your kitchen, we wrote an article all about it. Today, we’re going to cover the best methods for cleaning and maintaining your marble countertops while ensuring they will remain in good condition for years to come.
Best Practices for Maintaining Your Marble
Let’s begin with some general rules that should be followed to ensure your marble is kept in ideal condition.
Firstly, make sure that you apply a high-quality sealer to the surface of the stone to help prevent your marble from absorbing liquids and getting etched. There are many varieties of sealer on the market, make sure to go with an Impregnator Sealer, which absorbs into the stone and fills in microscopic holes to repel water and other liquids from seeping into it.
We also recommend that you don’t skimp on cost when it comes to your sealer. After all, you’ve invested a nice chunk of cash into your marble countertops so might as well splurge on an upper end sealer which will cost you somewhere between $80 and $100 a bottle. The price tag is most definitely worth it and is a fraction of the cost of the stone itself.
You’ll need to re-seal your marble around once a year on average, although this can vary depending on the type of marble you have installed. Be sure to consult the stone fabricator who installed your marble to get an accurate guideline.
Secondly, marble is particularly susceptible to citrus, tomato sauce, vinegar and other acidic food substances. For this reason, you should make sure to use coasters, cutting boards and anything else that makes sense to separate acidic liquids from potentially touching the stone. The same goes for oily materials such as cooking oil and dairy products, which can leave quite a deep stain if left unchecked.
If you can minimize the use of acidic and oily substances around your marble in general, it may go a long way to preventing any etches from occurring. Prevention is the best form of medicine but it’s understandable that you will inevitably have to handle red wine, coffee, butter or lemon juice in your own kitchen so just be cautious when you do to avoid unnecessary spills.
It is also recommended to avoid placing magazines, newspapers, or any other printed material on the marble surface as the ink does have the potential to transfer over to the stone, particularly if any water is present.
Lastly, when a spill does occur, clean it up immediately with a cloth dampened by warm water. Instead of using a wiping motion, it is best to dab at the spill to minimize the chances of staining the marble.
How to Clean Your Marble
So aside from following best practices in maintaining your marble’s appearance, what are the best methods for cleaning it?
The main thing to keep in mind is, avoid using abrasive cleaners and most chemical cleaning solutions. A warm cloth and pH-neutral cleaners such as mild soap or dish detergent can do the trick but for tougher tasks, there are several cleaning products made especially for marble available online.
When you can get away with it, avoid cleaning solutions altogether and stick with dry or damp cloths and a counter brush to remove dirt and dust from the surface. This won’t be possible every time but the less you introduce any kind of cleaning solution to the marble, the more pristine it will be over the long run.
When a pesky stain does show up and you want to remove it, there are a variety of poultices that can be applied overnight to help reduce or eliminate it. While there are a variety of recipes available online, most of them involve combining Whiting Powder with either a bleach or a solvent such as ammonia. The poultice is then applied thickly to the stain area, covered in plastic wrap that is taped down and then left for a 24-hour period before being removed with a cloth and warm water. If the stain fades but is still present, a second round of poultice can sometimes eliminate it completely.
Another option is to have a Stone Fabricator resurface your marble. This is only recommended if there is a lot of stains, etches and scratches that have occurred over the years, as it is more helpful to have everything be taken care of at once and is more cost-effective than calling a fabricator every time any sort of damage occurs.
Finally, there is the European style of dealing with etches, scratches and stains, which is to just leave them alone and think of them as byproducts of marble’s natural aging process. Also called a ‘patina’, the alterations that occur in your marble’s surface over the course of time can give it character and do not need to be viewed in a negative light.
If all the above information has you concerned and anxious about installing marble in your home, read this article, which will either allay your fears or convince you that marble is not the right stone for you. Although marble does require a bit of extra upkeep, if you love the look of it and find yourself drawn to marble more than other stone surfaces, why rob yourself of the joy that it can bring you for years to come?
Here at Hari Stones, we are experts in marble and all other kinds of stone slabs and tiles. Contact us or better yet, stop by one of our showrooms to have a look at what’s available and get input from our knowledgeable staff, who can guide you in the right direction and recommend a stone that’s perfect for your unique needs.
Written by Jesse Day, Inside Sales @ Hari Stones Limited