Marble countertops can be an elegant and beautiful addition to a kitchen or bathroom. Although marble is stone, it can be stained and etched if not cared for and cleaned properly. Here are some tips to help you clean your marble countertops effectively and efficiently.
1) An ounce of prevention
The first thing you can do to help keep your marble counters clean is to prevent stains in the first place. You can do this by ensuring you seal your countertops upon installation and reseal it regularly—once a year should prevent stains. Make sure that you wipe up food and liquid spills quickly, and do not allow them to sit on the counter. Also use coasters under all drinks and pot holders under hot cookware.
2) Use soft cloths
When you clean your marble countertop, ensure that you use a sponge or very soft cloth. Cotton based fabric or chamois work really well to clean. Using these types of cloths will ensure that you do not scratch the surface of your marble countertop.
3) Avoid abrasive or supermarket cleaners
Most supermarket cleaners contain extremely harsh chemicals that will wear down the sealant on the countertop and cause etching. The same goes for abrasive cleaners; avoid them if you want to keep that shine and avoid scratches on your countertop.
4) Avoid the use of any vinegar or citrus-based cleaning products
Vinegar and citrus products contain acids that can ruin your marble countertop. To avoid a dull looking surface on your countertops, be aware when you buy cleaners and do not use vinegar or citrus products on your countertops.
5) A mild soap is best
The best way to clean your marble countertop is to use a mild soap with lukewarm water to clean off any food or liquid. As long as this is done fairly quickly after it occurs it should clean up spills effectively without any damage to the countertop.
6) You don’t need to use harsh polishes
You are preparing food on your countertops, so of course you don’t want to use polishes with chemicals you can’t pronounce. If you want to polish your countertops, you can make a baking soda polish that is easy to mix and safe for your family. Mix 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 quart of water; rub it onto your countertops, let it dry for a few hours, and then buff the surface with another clean cloth. This will restore the shine to your marble countertops.
7) How to deal with coffee or juice stains
If you spill coffee or juice on your countertop, it is important that (like other spills) you attend to it right away. Wipe the stained area with dish detergent and warm water. Both of these liquids are acidic and can leave marks on your marble.
8) What to do with really stubborn stains
If you find that you get a grease or oil stain on your marble countertop, you can use cornstarch to help remove that stain. Simply put dry cornstarch over the stain and leave it for a couple of hours then wipe it off and your counter should be like new. Another stain that is very hard to remove is nail polish. Use paper towel to remove as much of the excess nail polish as possible. Be careful not to spread any more polish any further on the counter top! If you combine some dish soap with some warm water and wipe it up with a clean cloth, it may be enough to remove the stain—if it is caught right away. Continue the process until the nail polish has been completely removed from the marble. Using diluted acetone or hydrogen peroxide can also be effective, but the area may need to be buffed to restore shine afterwards.
Marble countertops can look great when installed in your home. But they do require regular care and maintenance. The takeaway of maintaining your marble is to make sure you are proactive about cleaning up any food or liquid spills, and don’t use anything that will be abrasive or acidic on your counters. To keep the countertop looking its best, make sure you follow these guidelines. Your countertop will look amazing for years to come.
This article was written by Jenny Sawyer, who believes that marble countertops are a great choice for your kitchen.