Marble is a natural stone beloved by many as a symbol of refined taste and splendour. Its homogeneity and softness make it easy to carve, and its unique properties permit light to penetrate its surface. This is what creates its characteristically “live” appearance which makes it a preferred stone among architects and sculptors.
Along with one-of-a-kind patterns making it a favourite for countertops, its grandeur is what makes it a frequent choice among homeowners for kitchens and bathrooms.
However, many avoid it as they believe it takes too much care to clean and maintain.
Let’s outline the best ways to keep your marble countertops spotless and shiny, whether in your bathroom or kitchen.
How to Polish a Solid Marble Countertop
Here’s the best way to clean your custom marble countertop and ensure it stays beautiful.
Clean the Surface Regularly
With proper maintenance, you can prolong marble’s beauty and ensure it looks great for many years.
First, get a soft and clean microfibre cloth, as they effectively get rid of dirt. Keep warm water and a few drops of mild detergent ready. You can, alternatively, use a cleaning agent but make sure there are no harmful chemicals that might ruin the material.
Since marble is delicate, steer clear of abrasive cleaners. Keep in mind that even soap and washing powder can leave behind residue. If you use any of these, make it a point to rinse the area properly and always wipe with a soft and clean towel.
Some things you should be careful about when cleaning marble countertops:
- Vinegar can dull its shine.
- Steer clear of bleaching agents and other alkaline products as they can degrade marble sealant.
- Harsh brushes and abrasive cleaning agents can etch the surface. Remember, even the smallest scratches can be visible and diminish the stone’s natural shine and overall beauty.
- When using any detergent or soap, use plenty of warm water to ensure that it’s rinsed out properly and that absolutely no residue is left behind.
- Only use cleaning agents that are made for marble and pH neutral so the stone isn’t harmed. For best results, use hydrogen peroxide for light-coloured marble and acetone for dark ones; never vice versa.
Remove Spills Instantly
When you have a marble countertop, develop the habit of cleaning up spills as soon as they occur as marble is porous so liquids can penetrate its surface. This can leave unsightly stains that are extremely difficult to get rid of completely.
Drinks such as fruit juice, wine, coffee, oil and sauces should be blotted up as soon as they’re noticed. That said don’t wipe up stains with a coarse material as you’ll scratch the finish.
Additionally, make it a habit to always use coasters, especially when placing glasses or items with sharp edges on the surface. Use trays to store cosmetics, bottles or cleaning agents. Don’t use metal containers on they can leave behind rust.
Clean Up Stains
Failing to clean up a spill on a marble countertop can leave behind stains. When dealing with organic stains, clean the surface with a solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide mixed with a few drops of ammonia.
If you’re dealing with an oil-based stain, such as from a vinaigrette, use a gentle marble cleaner. Your best bet is to use a cleaner that combines acetone, mineral spirits and household detergent.
Always Use Trivets and Cutting Boards
Using a marble countertop in your kitchen can be troublesome as it’s virtually impossible to prevent etching.
To minimize this, use cutting boards to chop vegetables and avert scratches. This will also prevent direct contact with fruit and vegetable juices that can cause etching.
Place heated pots and pans on high-quality trivets and hot pads to prevent scorching. This makes cleaning the surface easy and avoids the need for expensive polishing agents and restoration.
Polish the Marble
If the shine on your marble countertop has dulled, polish it. First, get rid of any dirt, dust, grease or grime with a suitable natural stone cleaner. Make sure the surface is completely dry before you attempt to polish it.
If you’re planning to polish the countertop yourself, purchase a readymade re-polishing and sealing kit. This comes with a specific polishing compound and other necessary materials, including instructions you should follow for the best results.
You will additionally need equipment. Consider investing in a variable speed grinding machine suitable for domestic use. Alternatively, purchase very fine-grained sandpaper to even out light scratches. When dealing with shallow scratches, you should be able to wet sand the surface to clean it and remove scratches. Once you’re happy with the results, rinse the countertop and let it dry. Finally, buff the surface with a suitable product to restore your countertop’s original gleam.
Add a Finishing Touch with a Sealer
No matter which method you choose, it’s vital to seal your marble countertop the day after polishing it to preserve the surface and prevent damage. It also protects it against mould and staining while resisting moisture.
Make sure you’ve chosen a suitable product from the different types of marble and that it’s safe for food preparation. Use a soft-bristled brush or soft rag to apply the sealant evenly over the surface. Once dry, your marble countertop will be shiny as ever and ready to use.
It’s not that difficult to clean and maintain marble countertops if you know what to do and what to steer clear of. By using the following tips and taking sufficient care, you can keep your countertop spotless and maintain its beauty and durability for years.