If you’re considering remodeling your kitchen or bathroom or having a new home built from the ground up, marble is a popular choice for natural stone countertops. The timeless and elegant look of marble, with its natural veins and variances, truly can’t be beaten.
While marble countertops are an excellent choice for any architecture style and decor scheme, they do require some additional upkeep and care. Marble is a softer and more porous stone than granite, and as such, it’s more susceptible to being stained, etched, or otherwise damaged, particularly by acidic foods and substances.
The great news is that with a bit of preventive care and regular maintenance, you can enjoy pristine marble countertops in your home for years to come — even if you have a large family and constantly use your kitchen.
Daily Meals and Marble
Even a small spill or splash from an acidic food can damage marble countertops, causing staining or etching that leaves behind a scar. Many common foods and drinks are acidic, including citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, vinegar, hot sauce, coffee, wine, and even milk.
To prevent these substances from making contact with your marble countertops, use a large wooden or silicone cutting board when you prepare food. Similarly, if you have an eat-in bar in your kitchen or otherwise serve food at the countertop, placemats and coasters should be used under plates and cups. When spills or splatters do occur, wipe them up immediately with a soft cloth. It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of wiping down the entire counter surface after preparing or eating every meal.
Cleaning Marble Countertops
Despite the extra care you must take with marble countertops, especially when it comes to food, cleaning marble is surprisingly simple. The biggest concern is using non-abrasive products that won’t damage the surface. It’s important to use cleaners specifically designated for use on marble. Conventional cleaning products often contain ingredients like vinegar, lemon, bleach, or ammonia that are highly abrasive to marble and can easily east at or dull your countertops. Along those same lines, use a soft cloth such as microfiber towel, to clean marble instead of a sponge or even washcloth that could scratch the surface.
When dusting marble countertops, use just a clean, dry microfiber cloth. For heavier-duty cleaning, use a marble-safe, pH-neutral cleaner in a spray bottle and a clean, damp cloth. Wholesale Granite Direct is happy to recommend some specific cleaners, or you can make your own simple cleaning solution with mild dish soap and water. Whatever cleaner you choose, spray the counter directly, wipe it with the damp cloth, rinse the cloth clean, then wipe again until suds are gone.
Show any family members who share in the cleaning duties exactly which products they should use (and not use), as well as any babysitters, professional housecleaners, or anyone who may even occasionally clean the counters. The importance of using only cleaners specifically designated as safe for marble truly cannot be overstated.
Marble countertops should be sealed routinely with a spray sealant. Sealing marble is one of the simplest actions you can take to prevent your countertops from getting damaged and extending their lifespan. Most manufacturers recommend sealing every three to six months, but some advise that it be done monthly. A good rule of thumb is to have your counters sealed if water does not bead up when it hits the surface. Wholesale Granite Direct’s natural stone experts can make a frequency recommendation based on the type of marble you have.
How to Care for Damaged Marble
No matter how conscientious you are about cleaning and caring for your marble countertops, accidents do happen, and you will likely encounter unavoidable stains or scratches at some point.
Marble countertop stains should be handled based on what caused the stain. A vinegar stain and a red wine spill will not be treated in the same manner. However, homemade baking soda paste is highly effective on many different stains. To make your own, add a small amount of water to baking soda, and then mix them to create a paste. Spread the paste directly onto the stain and let it sit for 12 to 24 hours, then wipe it off and proceed to clean the countertop with your marble-safe cleaner.
Marble polishing powder is made specifically to minimize scratches on countertops. Following the directions on the container,apply the powder, then use a cloth to rub it into the damaged spot, buffing it until the scratch isn’t visible and the area regains its sheen.
Wholesale Granite Direct in Arlington, TX, has a tremendous selection of natural stone and specializes in fabrication and installation. Stop by our showroom, check out our virtual Granite Visualizer for design inspiration, or contact us online today!