Marble as a building material has been respected as a symbol of elegance and beauty for centuries. When used as a countertop, it can easily become the centerpiece of a stunning kitchen. The variety of colors and intricate veins make this material a popular choice that homeowners can be proud of, but to maintain a shiny and clean marble surface, steps must be taken to care for it. Although marble shares some similarities to granite and other stone materials, there are important differences that require specific maintenance for marble.
Preparing a marble surface to be cleaned and polished is an important step that can prevent scratching and discoloration. Generally, simply using a soft cloth and distilled water will be enough to clean most spots. If a deeper cleaning is required, though, a ph-neutral dish-soap or clear ammonia mixed with water can be used. In addition, you can use acetone on dark marbles and hydrogen peroxide on lighter marbles to remove stubborn spots. The Marble Institute of America provides a helpful and detailed guide on removing a number of stains from marble, ranging from organic materials to ink.
Protecting your marble from potential damage is just as important as regularly polishing it. Cleaning away food, spills, and other messes from your marble counters as soon as possible is important to prevent stains. In a similar way, never let water dry on the counter, as marble is very prone to water spots. Use coasters under glasses and don’t place any hot dishes onto your counters. You can also prevent rust stains by using stone or ceramic containers rather than metal ones.
Once it’s time to polish marble counters, there any many available materials and methods to choose from. The most basic way is to use a chamois cloth on a damp marble surface, leaving a shine behind as it dries. Other options include commercial polishes and a combination of baking soda and chalk. You can also always consult a professional, including asking the contractor who installed your counters if you have any maintenance questions. If there are any scratches on your counters, a professional can also give you an assessment on whether it can be repaired.
Sealing stone countertops is important, and marble is no exception. Although sealers will not make your marble waterproof or impervious to damage, it will resist stains and extend the life of your countertops. With diligent sealing and maintenance, your counters can remain shining and moisture resistant for many years. Depending on the sealer used, counters may require resealing once a year, or you may be able to wait longer intervals. If you choose to select your own product, ensure that it is safe for food preparation.
These steps may seem tedious or exhausting, but this relatively simple maintenance will keep your countertops in good condition for years to come. Not only will it save you money in replacing them, it will keep your kitchen looking its best.