5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Marble Countertop Clean and Gorgeous
Are you considering a marble countertop for your home but are worried about how much upkeep it requires? You may have read somewhere on the internet that it’s challenging to clean and maintain, but it’s actually pretty easy with the right know-how.
In this post, we’ll dispel some of the myths about marble care and show you how easy it is to keep it looking new and beautiful. So if you’re thinking about giving your kitchen an upscale look it deserves, don’t hesitate to get that gorgeous marble you’ve been dreaming about. You won’t regret it!
Here’s our list of a few simple tips to ensure your marble countertop is in tip-top shape:
1. Seal Your Marble Countertop Regularly.
For all their inherent beauty, marble countertops have one notable drawback: it needs to be sealed once or twice yearly.
Natural marble is porous. Hence, you have to seal it to protect it from staining. Otherwise, water and other liquids can quickly soak into its surface when left untreated. It can be vulnerable to discoloration from red wine, juices, and even coffee.
Sealing protects your stone, but it also makes cleaning a lot easier. Once sealed, you can easily wipe off spills and drips as liquids bead upon your counter’s contact. This makes cleaning a lot more manageable, especially after meal preps and dishwashing.
However, even when your marble is sealed, it may still be susceptible to staining. The solution does not make marble completely hydrophobic, contrary to our customers’ expectations. Stone sealers only delay the time for liquids to get into your marble’s surface. Thus, you still have to wipe off stains immediately.
More importantly, you also need to be mindful of the things you put on your counter all the time.
Curious to know how much will your counter cost?
2. Keep It Away from Acidic Substances.
Calcium carbonate—it’s what makes marble beautiful, but it’s what also makes this particular stone “soft.”
When you expose this mineral composition to acidic substances, the result is a corrosive reaction on your marble countertop’s surface. This interaction causes the surface to wear away, leaving a raw, unfinished surface on the stone. This is called “etching.”
An etch mark isn’t a stain. It’s a rough, dull spot on your marble’s surface. Like a scar on your stone, an etch mark is a corrosion on your counter when acidic substances, such as orange juice, tomato sauce, or red wine, react with marble.
On the other hand, a stain is a discoloration in marble once a liquid seeps into your stone.
How to Prevent Marble Etching?
The best (and only) way to prevent etching is to keep it away from acidic substances. Avoid placing containers of citrus juice, wine, coffee, yogurt, soda, and vinegar directly. Don’t cry over spilled milk, either. Clean it up immediately so it won’t etch your marble.
Sealing helps—but it’s not a guarantee. It only protects your stone from staining, but not etching. Nevertheless, it reduces your marble’s porosity, so you can quickly wipe up that splash of lemon on your countertop.
As with granite, cleaning up spills and drips is essential. Doing so helps prevent stains and etches from ruining your marble’s beauty. Liquids can leave a permanent mark on your marble countertop when left for a prolonged period.
Also, never let food and drinks come in direct contact with your marble’s surface. Always use coasters and trays under every glass, bottle, and can. During meal preparation, always use a cutting board.
Prevention, after all, is still better than cure.
How to Repair an Etched Marble?
Etching, unfortunately, is irreversible.
It is, after all, a result of a chemical reaction. Indeed you’ll find several products online that promise to restore your marble’s old finish. The outcome, however, will never be as good as new. The only way for you to bring back your marble’s beauty is to sand down the entire slab and repolish the whole surface.
If you find etch marks an eyesore, we recommend using other countertop materials, like engineered quartz that resists acid.
Honestly, as stone professionals, we find etch marks beautiful. They paint a picture of your daily life in the kitchen. From every ring mark to every glass drip, they remind us of a story behind it. Etch marks are a subtle layer of our memories floating over marble’s contrasting veins. You just need to look at them from a different perspective.
3. Always Clean with Care.
As with other countertop materials, gentle is best.
Since marble reacts to abrasive substances, avoid household cleaners with bleach, citrus, or vinegar.
Refrain from using mild soap to clean your counter. Again, soapy water can build up on your countertop. Even if you flush it thoroughly, it eventually wears out your stone’s shine.
Likewise, a specially formulated stone cleaner is your best friend for maintaining your marble countertop. It provides the cleaning you need for your kitchen, but it also ensures that the sealer on your counter remains there.
4. Don't Sit or Stand on Your Marble Countertop.
A wise man once said: countertops are for plates and glasses, not feet and asses.
Compared to its counterparts, marble is a softer countertop material. It can break or chip easily under the pressure of a heavy object or a sudden force.
Hence, as with granite or quartz, you should neither sit nor stand on your marble countertop.
And although you may have a 3/4″ marine plywood underneath to support it, you shouldn’t risk it. Your plywood is flexible, but your stone isn’t. Thus, it can break along the cutouts for your cooktop or sink. Or it can develop cracks within its natural stress lines.
Again, if you need to fix a flickering light bulb, just pull out a chair or use a step ladder. Avoid leaning or dropping anything on your counter, as well.
Lastly, if you have other workers in the area, please instruct them not to use your marble countertop as a workbench.
5. Remove Stubborn Stains from Your Marble
Sometimes, however, a stain becomes unavoidable, and all that’s left to do is find ways to remove it. Here are some you can try, should an unfortunate stain tarnish your counter:
Option 1: Use a pH-neutral Stone Cleaning Product
Look for a pH-neutral stone cleaner especially made for marble. Ensure that the product is streak-free, rinse-free, and oil- and water-resistant.
Before you apply, carefully follow the instructions on its label. Test the product first on a small, inconspicuous area of the marble to ensure that it won’t cause any corrosion.
Option 3: Get Help from the Pros
As always, though, a professional stone fabricator knows how to best solve any stain problem on your marble. If you want to be on the safe side, don’t hesitate to call your countertop supplier and ask for assistance.
Although marble countertops are beautiful and luxurious, they require extra care and maintenance compared to other materials. You must know how to properly clean and care for it to ensure it retains its beauty and shine for decades.
And don’t forget to pick up a bottle of Proseal Stone Sealer while you’re at it—it’s an excellent product to protect your marble countertop and floor from staining and etching.
Where to Buy Stone Care Products in the Philippines?
Visit your nearest slab yard today and check out our gallery of granite, marble, and quartz slabs for kitchen countertops and bathroom vanity tops.
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