Marble countertops are making a comeback as top interior designers around the world incorporate them into kitchen and bathroom designs (read: Calacatta Viola marble). Now that you’ve purchased a marble slab for your kitchen or bathroom countertop, cleaning and maintaining it doesn’t have to be a chore using this how-to guide.
Clean up spills immediately (blot, don’t wipe). Even the best-sealed marble countertop could stain or etch if spills aren’t caught and cleaned up as soon as it happens.
For daily cleaning, you could either purchase a specially formulated natural stone cleaner from any home improvement store (make sure to read the directions) or make a cleaning solution with items that you already have in your house. You’ll need one tablespoon of mild dish soap that doesn’t contain phosphates or degreasers, ¼ cup of 91% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, and warm water to fill up a spray bottle.
Lightly spray the cleaning solution on your countertop and wipe it off with a hot, wet dishcloth. Wipe the marble countertop dry with a dry and soft absorbent towel.
Stains are sometimes inevitable even if you’re fastidious about cleaning. Do not use abrasive cleaners like Soft Scrub, Ajax, Comet, dry powdered cleansers, Scotch Brite, or scouring pads with aluminum oxide on your marble countertop as these will scratch your stone.
Tough stains might require using a poultice, which is a paste that is applied and left for two to three days to pull the stain from the marble. You could purchase a commercial poultice product from any home improvement store, or make your own using baking soda, water, and/or hydrogen peroxide. A poultice will remove the sealant from your countertop, so make sure to reseal it after removing the stain.
If using a poultice doesn’t work, consider calling your countertop installer to see if they can help.
Regular sealing of your marble countertop will extend its life and maintain its shine and polish over time.
One way to tell if your countertop needs to be resealed is to do a water test. Put a few drops of water on your countertop; if it beads, the seal is still good. If the water gets absorbed into your countertop, it’s time to reapply a sealant. Check with your countertop installer on a good impregnating sealer (food-grade, if it’s used in the kitchen).
With a good understanding of how marble works and armed with the basics of maintenance, you can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature in your own home. That is why natural stones like marble are so unique and one-of-a-kind