If you have marble countertops in your kitchen, you probably can’t stop being overwhelmed by how beautiful they look from time to time. Choosing them was something you thought through, and you expect them to remain beautiful for a long time. If so, that’s exactly why knowing how to clean marble countertops the right way is important.
As all natural stones, marble is really durable, 2 thousand years old Greek sculpture can testify to that. You can rest assured your marble countertops will outlast you, however, that’s not to say they will not weather. If you don’t care for it properly marble countertops will stain, etch, scratch, dull, stop shining and so on.
In this article you will find out everything you need to know in order to protect your investment and ensure your marble countertops will still be looking great for years.
How to Clean Marble Countertops Daily
Simply taking proper care of your marble countertops on a daily basis after kitchen activities will be enough to keep them shining and undamaged. You will be happy to know that securing that outcome is more about what not to do, then about what to do.
Marble is susceptible to stains like any porous material, even when sealed (which it should be, at all times). So any spills must be avoided and cleaned up immediately.
Marble is also highly sensitive to acids due to its chemical composition. That means, acid spills (citric juices, tomato sauce, ketchup, wine, vinegar) should be avoided at all costs, since even the slightest contact can leave you with an etch mark, basically a dull spot. Now that’s really challenging, since there are more acid things in a kitchen than you can realize at first thought, but not impossible.
Other than that, the only thing you need to do is keep it clean. Although there are some really fancy products for that on the market, all you really need is a mild, non-abrasive, pH neutral (non-acidic) soap and water, most dish detergents fit the description perfectly.
Other than that, you should stay clear of all chemical cleaners not created specifically for marble. And for god’s sake, don’t even think about using vinegar or lemon, remember they are acids.
Scrub the countertop gently with the soapy solution you have just created, then wipe everything off to get rid of excessive moisture.
Do that after using your countertops, or every other day if you don’t use them and that’s all you need to know about how to clean marble countertops.
What absolutely not to do?
Since keeping your marble countertops beautiful is a matter of not damaging them more than cleaning, we will list down things that should be on your no-no list when dealing with them.
- Don’t use the scrubby side of sponges or steel wool (It will scratch)
- Don’t let spills on your surface (It will stain)
- Don’t use harsh cleaners containing ammonia, vinegar, or lemon (It will create etch marks)
- Beware of all acid substances, like citric juices, tomato sauce, ketchup, wine and so on (Etch marks again)
- Avoid most commercial disinfecting cleaners, such as anything with bleach (Etch marks and more etch marks)
- Don’t forget to use cutting boards, coasters and trivets (Scratches, stains and etch marks)
- Don’t sit or stand on your marble countertops (High chance of cracking)
- Don’t use marble countertops as a workbench (Any wrong move and you’ve got a scratch)
What a beautiful list to print and stick to the fridge, ain’t it?
Should I use especially designed marble cleaners?
There’s plenty of great cleaners on the market that’s for sure. Some promise and will in fact deliver better results than common soap.
You don’t need to use those chemicals, but you can do so, and you may find their results interesting. It’s up to you to decide. Just remember to make sure you only try out cleaners that were especially designed for marble.
The Importance of Sealing
Marble countertops should always be sealed
As all natural stones, marble is porous. If those pores are left unsealed they will suck liquids really fast and that’s how stain happens.
Now, even sealed marble countertops should have spills cleaned up immediately because they still stain. Imagine unsealed slabs? That said, your countertop was probably sealed after installation. Now what’s left is for you to do it again when necessary.
The good news is sealing is really simple and you can do it yourself or get stone specialists to do it for you. We have written a step-to-step for sealing granite, and you can use it for marble as well.
We will teach you how to find out when is it the right time for sealing. It’s really easy.
The “Should I Seal My Stone Countertops” 30 Minute Test
Yes, it’s that fast, and it doesn’t get any easier. And before you think about it, sealing a stone that doesn’t require sealing “just to be sure” is not a great idea!
Remember sealants fill and cover pores? If no pores are open, you’re just wasting money and possibly damaging your surface for no good reason. Excessive exposition to sealant might make a granite countertop hazy.
This really simple test will save you from all that. And more, you can do it right now, since you’ve definitively got all the necessary ingredients at home.
Drip a puddle of water and another of cooking oil in your stone top and observe it while keeping track of the time. We should probably mention that it’s safer if you select an area of your countertop that’s normally covered or hidden in order to do it.
- If it darkens in up to 10 minutes, you need urgent sealing.
- If it takes 15 minutes to darken, you should also reseal it, but maybe only one coating of sealant will be enough.
- If it takes 30 minutes to darken, or if it doesn’t darken at all, there’s no need to seal your countertop for now.
It’s as simple as that, now you don’t need to trust anyone’s opinion on the matter. If your countertop is sucking liquids, it’s time to make it water and oil repellent again.
Marble Countertops Restoration
If the worse has happened (stains, scratches and etch marks). Some techniques can be used in order to remove stains, and get rid of scratches and etch marks. And even if everything else fails, your countertops can be hard polished and made look like new again.
Get in touch with stone pros.