How to Clean Marble Countertops
Marble countertops give your kitchen an elegant look, unlike any other natural stone. Long a symbol of refined taste, marble has a unique pattern and shine, but it is also a more porous stone than other natural surfaces, making it more prone to damage. Spilled liquids or foods and the wrong cleaning products can easily damage marble counters, so they need extra care. Nevertheless, learning how to clean marble countertops is an easy task to keep them looking beautiful for years.
How Often Should I Clean Marble Countertops?
Wipe down marble countertops in the kitchen daily or whenever you prepare meals with mild dish soap and water. Bathroom counters require less frequent cleaning. You can spot clean as needed when spills and scratches occur. Immediately remove spills from wine, coffee, fruit juices, sodas, tomato sauce, toiletries, and cleaning products that can easily dull or etch marble.
Deep Cleaning Products for Marble Surfaces
Regularly deep cleaning marble counters is essential. Among the products to use in addition to mild dish soap and water are:
- Gentle commercial plant-based cleaners like Method or Mrs. Meyers Clean Day
- Commercial marble cleaners
- #0000 steel wool
- Baking soda and water
- 12% hydrogen peroxide
For regular cleaning, use a spray bottle with a mixture of mild soap and water to spray on the surface. Commercial, plant-derived leaners are also okay, but avoid disinfectants as they are often too caustic. Choose cleaners specifically made for marble if you are afraid of harming it.
To make sure your counters shine, thoroughly wipe them with a clean, dry cloth. Repeat as needed, often daily for high-traffic kitchens and about once a week for bathrooms.
Harsh or acidic cleaning products are helpful for cleaning many parts of the kitchen, including ovens, sinks, and microwaves. These cleaners should never be used on marble. Even vinegar, lemon, and other natural cleaning products can cause etching.
A small amount of mild dish soap mixed with water is a safe way to clean marble. Just make sure you don't use dish soap that is abrasive or contains acidic ingredients.
Buff out dull spots, which can also be caused by scratches or nicks, with #0000 steel wool. Deep scratches may need the services of a professional. Always check the manufacturer's guidelines for instructions.
Removing Stains from Marble Countertops
Sometimes, no matter what you do, stains set in on your marble surface. The most important thing to remember is not to resort to standard counter cleaning practices. Check with your manufacturer to see what they recommend for marble countertop cleaning.
Banishing stains from marble can be trickier than routine cleaning. The key is correctly identifying the origin of the stain and then applying the appropriate chemical or poultice (a paste-like cleaning agent). Think of the materials listed below as your stain-fighting arsenal. Note that the sooner you address a stain, the better your chance of getting rid of it. Never mix cleaning agents as the result can be toxic. Before cleaning, always test the cleaning agents in an inconspicuous location to ensure the marble won't sustain damage.
Grease, cooking oil, milk, and makeup will darken marble and must be dealt with chemically. Choose a soft, liquid cleanser with bleach, ammonia, acetone, or mineral spirits and rinse thoroughly.
Coffee, tea, wine, tobacco, paper, and most food stains will disappear via 12% hydrogen peroxide solution and several drops of ammonia. Wipe the stain with a clean cloth and then rinse with a wet one, followed by a dry chamois.
Remove mildew with a solution of three parts bleach with one part water and a dollop of dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle. Mis the surface wipe, and then keep repeating until the stain disappears. Rinse with clean water and dry.
Remove ink from dark marble by dipping a cotton swab and acetone and applying directly to the surface. For lighter stone, use a 20% hydrogen peroxide solution. Wipe with water immediately.
Set-in stains require a poultice. Place up to a half cup of flour in a bowl and use acetone for dark stone and hydrogen peroxide for light stone, adding it one teaspoon at a time to form a paste. Apply the paste to the area and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow the poultice to dry for 24 hours. Once dry, remove it and check the stain. If needed, repeat the process. Once the ink is gone, apply neutral pH soap to a damp sponge. Clean the area and remove residue with another clean sponge.
How to Clean and Polish Marble Countertops
Occasionally, you'll want to renew the shine on your marble surfaces. The first step involves removing all dirt and crumbs, using a commercial marble cleaner or another mild cleaner of your choosing, and removing stains in the manner described above. If your marble countertop has minor etching, you can buff them out with polishing powder and a damp cloth. Follow with another clean, damp cloth to remove the powder resident, and then wipe the marble dry to reveal its new-found shine.
Another traditional polish method is to use baking soda on marble countertops. Mix three tablespoons of baking soda with one quart of water. Apply it to the marble and let air dry for several hours. Wash off with warm water and then wipe crushed chalk on the countertop. Rinse again and dry with a chamois cloth.
Sealing Marble Countertops
Homeowners who want to do the job themselves can purchase a ready-made polishing and sealing kit with polishing compound, all the necessary materials, and specific instructions. Note that marble requires more frequent sealing than granite or quartz. An older marble countertop may require professional polishing to restore its luster. You can also ask the experts at Bullseye the Granite Guy about our resealing services.
For more information on cleaning marble countertops, ask the experts at Bullseye the Granite Guy. We proudly serve Duncan, Crofton, Nanaimo, Parksville, and Victoria.