Marble countertops are an excellent investment—sleek, classy, and long-lasting. If you’ve recently purchased marble for your kitchen or bathrooms, you’ll want to make sure you take good care of it so that you can get the most out of your investment.
According to a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the life expectancy of well-maintained marble could be well over 100 years. However, because marble is more porous than other countertop materials (such as granite), it’s also more susceptible to stains and scratches.
In this article, we’ll tell you exactly how to clean and maintain your marble so that you can enjoy it for many years to come.
Daily Care of Your Marble Countertops
Clean up spills immediately
Foods with acidic properties (such as vinegar, tomatoes, and citrus fruits) will cause etching on marble. Therefore, you should wipe up these spills immediately.
Prevention is better than cure
Since marble is susceptible to scratches and dings—as well as the etching mentioned above—it’s best to use a cutting board when preparing food. That way, neither the food nor your knife will come in direct contact with the marble.
Protect them against heat
Even though marble has a certain tolerance for heat, it is wise not to place hot pots and pans directly on your countertop. Instead, you can use trivets, placemats, and coasters to prevent possible scorching.
Weekly Care of Your Marble Countertops
In addition to keeping your marble countertops free from spills at all times, you should also perform regular, proper cleaning. Below is an easy process you can follow once a week:
Step 1: Vacuum or sweep up loose particles such as rice or hardened breadcrumbs. This will ensure that you don’t scratch the surface when wiping with a cloth.
Step 2: Use a soft, microfiber cloth to remove any dust that remains on the surface.
Step 3: Make a cleaning solution by mixing a pH-neutral cleaner with water in a spray bottle. Mild dish soap will also suffice, as long as it doesn’t contain lemon juice. Spray the surface of the counter and use a soft cloth to scrub and wipe it gently.
Step 4: Rinse the cloth in clean water and wipe away any suds that get left behind. Then, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe away any excess water.
What Not to Do: Never use cleaning products with abrasive or acidic properties. Always read the labels to ensure that they don’t contain ingredients such as ammonia, bleach, vinegar, or lemon juice.
Remove Tough Stains Gently
Life happens, and sometimes you’ll encounter stubborn stains that can’t be removed with a soft cloth and mild cleaning solution. Don’t worry, you can remove such stains by following these easy steps:
Step 1: Make a paste by mixing baking soda with water. The consistency of the paste should be similar to that of sour cream.
Step 2: Use plastic wrap to cover the paste and seal it on the sides with painter’s tape.
Step 3: Leave it to dry for 12 to 24 hours.
Step 4: Once dried, remove the plastic wrap and scrape the paste off carefully.
Step 5: Wipe the area down with a soft, damp cloth.
Step 6: If the stain is not completely removed, repeat steps 1 to 5 until your marble has been restored to its former glory.
What Not to Do: Never use abrasive materials to scrub your marble countertops. Marble scratches very easily, so you could end up ruining your countertops instead of cleaning them.
Seal your Countertops Regularly
Because marble is naturally absorbent, you need to reseal it on a regular basis.
The manufacturer should give you recommended guidelines on how often you should do this. However, there is a small test you can conduct to determine whether your marble needs resealing.
Simply splash some water onto the surface and pay attention to how the liquid reacts once it settles. If the water forms beads, you’re still good to go. If it doesn’t, it’s time to follow these steps to reseal your marble:
Step 1: Follow our basic cleaning tips to ensure that your countertop surface is clean from any impurities.
Step 2: Pour your marble sealer into an open container. Make sure that the opening is large enough for you to dip a paintbrush into.
Step 3: Apply the sealer onto the marble using a foam paintbrush. Ensure that your strokes slightly overlap each other, and cover the entire surface area of the marble. Don’t forget about the edge of the counter, the area around the kitchen sink, as well as the backsplash.
Step 4: Leave the sealer to cure for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Use a clean, soft microfiber cloth to buff away the excess sealant in small, circular motions. Continue doing this until the surface is dry and no stickiness remains.
By properly sealing your marble countertops, you’ll increase their lifespan and ensure that they keep their beautiful finish for longer.
Pro Tip: When sealing your marble countertops, ensure that there’s efficient ventilation in the room. Marble sealants often emit strong fumes that could be overwhelming
Polish Away Mild Scratches
If you do end up with some light scratching of your marble surfaces, you can follow the guidelines below to remove them:
Step 1: Carefully buff out the scratch using very fine sandpaper or steel wool (Grade #000).
Step 2: Rinse down the area with clean water.
Step 3: Dry off excess water with a soft microfiber cloth.
Step 4: Apply a marble polishing powder and follow instructions on the product packaging to restore shine to the marble surface.
If the marble has been etched too deeply, you’ll need to hire a professional to repair your countertops. This could be costly, so it’s essential that you take great care in protecting your marble surfaces to prevent the need for expensive repairs or replacement.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
It’s always good to learn from the mistakes of others—including when it comes to marble. Below is a list of common mistakes you should avoid when caring for your marble surfaces:
- Not keeping an eye on guests: During family gatherings or friendly get-togethers, you may have well-meaning people offering to lighten your load in the kitchen. Many hands make light work, but they can also cause problems if you don’t share helpful hints to protect your marble. Be sure to inform guests that your countertops are sensitive to abrasions and stains. Have cutting boards out for people to use, and keep a soft, damp cloth nearby to clean up spills.
- Using abrasive materials and acidic cleaning products: Fight the urge to deep-clean your marble countertops with abrasive sponges and harsh chemicals. These may end up doing more harm than good. Remember that just because something is good for the toilet or kitchen floors doesn’t mean that it’s good for your countertop.
- Placing containers of liquid on marble surfaces: When substances such as dishwashing liquid leak out of their containers in small amounts, you may not notice it immediately. Remember that even the smallest of spills can damage your marble countertop if left to sit for too long. Store cleaning products and other liquid substances in your kitchen cupboards.
In a Nutshell
Whether you have marble, granite, or quartzite countertops, you need to follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions to take special care of your investment. That way, you’ll ensure that your home’s surfaces maintain their elegant appearance for a lifetime.