These days if you plan to purchase a new home or one that has an upgraded kitchen, then you almost have to learn how to clean marble properly.
Pros and Cons of Marble
You don't have to take a tour of new homes to know that marble is a preferred building material for kitchen countertops and other major household items. The stone is attractive, durable and exudes a timeless elegance. It is generally used in upscale furniture, flooring and decorative pieces, and can be stained to match just about any décor. However, beyond its versatility and beauty, marble is made to last. Once you install marble in your home or work space, you can expect it to sustain itself for decades to come.
The one disadvantage of having marble installed in your home is that you need to be vigilant in maintaining it. Since marble is porous, it absorbs liquid and is extremely sensitive to stains. From water to juice, salad dressing to sauces, marble will soak up liquid like a sponge. However, you never want to rub a stain on marble. Rather, blot at the offending area with a soft cloth and use a sealant to protect the marble from future stains.
How to Clean Marble
It is very important to learn how to clean marble, especially if you plan to invest in it as a building material. Marble is not cheap, so knowing how to maintain its integrity will help you preserve your investment.
Regular cleaning is a must with marble surfaces. You can wash marble daily with warm water and then dry with a clean cloth. Another option is to use a soft bristle brush to remove surface dirt. For weekly cleanings, use water and a gentle dish washing detergent on your marble surface. Then, rinse with lukewarm water and dry thoroughly.
You should never use abrasive cleaners on marble surfaces. Avoid commercial cleaners that contain acids, such as ammonia or vinegar. In addition, don't use heavy-duty bathroom tile and grout cleaners on marble, as they are apt to leave scratches and fine lines.
One of the easiest ways to learn how to clean marble that is heavily soiled or damaged is to read the back of a commercial marble cleaner. Name brand cleaners are available at companies that sell marble. The most popular brands are the ones that combine cleaning and polishing ingredients in the same product. The majority of these cleaner/polishers contain tin oxide which helps revive dulled or scratched surfaces.If you don't feel comfortable using a commercial cleaner, then make your own at home with the following every day items:
- Hydrogen peroxide: Dried food stains and other protein-based stains can be eliminated by using standard hydrogen peroxide. Just don't leave it on for too long. A couple of minutes should do the trick. Once the stain is gone, wipe the area with a clean damp cloth, and dry the marble surface thoroughly.
- Baking soda: Combine baking soda and water to make a marble cleaning paste for acidic stains, such as fruit juices and vinegar. Blot the stained area first before applying the paste. Next, allow the paste to dry on the affected area, then gently wipe with a damp, soft cloth.
- Cornstarch: Have cornstarch on hand to absorb grease and oil spills before they stain your marble surface. Simply use an absorbent towel to soak up excess grease or oil, then sprinkle cornstarch liberally over the stain. Allow the cornstarch to sit for at least an hour, and then gently wipe the affected area with a damp cloth.
Regardless of the type of dirt, grime or spill that comes into contact with your marble, you want to treat it immediately. Never allow a spill to set on marble, as it will stain the surface and require deep cleaning to remove. To prevent stains from ruining marble surfaces, add a light coat of wax, unless your marble surface is white. Waxing white marble may turn it an ugly shade of yellow. Your best bet is to apply a marble sealer that yields a protective coating. The sealer allows dirt to be wiped off easily with a damp cloth without harming the marble.