Take care of marble for the long haul
People love marble countertops for many reasons; they are beautiful, durable and upscale. A marble countertop is not indestructible, though, and it is also not inexpensive. Since marble countertops are such a serious investment, people with marble in their homes must make an additional effort to keep them clean and maintain their integrity. With a little bit of effort over time, marble countertop owners will get a lot of use out of their investment for many years.
Unlike some other natural stones, marble is highly porous. Because of this, marble countertops can soak up stains and retain them much more than other natural stones. The porous nature of marble countertops makes them more delicate when it comes to their cleaning, too. The delicate makeup of a marble countertop prevents owners from being able to use harsh cleaning products on them, because it can eat away at their surface and wear away at their polished sheen.
Marble is made up of calcium carbonate, which reacts dramatically with acidic liquids. Marble not only reacts badly to cleaning products, but to citrus juices, coffee, tea, alcohol and blood as well. Avoiding these stains is obviously the best option, but accidents happen. When a marble countertop is dirtied, the first option for cleaning is lukewarm soapy water and a soft washcloth. After cleaning the marble countertop it should be thoroughly cleaned, to avoid water logging.
For additional protection after cleaning the marble countertops, owners can use a light coat of wax, but this is entirely optional. Marble will not gain additional luster from wax like wood does, but it will help protect it from further staining. For more serious stains, any kind of absorbent material such as blotting paper or facial tissue can be used. The cloth should be lightly soaked in water and 20 percent hydrogen peroxide, placed over the stain and left there for several hours. The stain should wipe off the marble countertop easily after this treatment. Rust stains are best removed with regular rust removers, but marble countertops should not be exposed to them longer than strictly necessary.
Marble tends to fade over time, but this does not necessarily take away from its innate beauty. The luster of faded marble countertops can be rejuvenated, though. There are specialty cleaning agents such as tin dioxide available at most leading housekeeping stores. Used as manual polish or in combination with an electric floor polisher, these work wonders in freshening up the lost shine of a marble countertop.
Keeping a marble countertop in peak condition is easy with a little care. Marble can easily be maintained with soft, conventional cleaning products. Heavier stains can be removed from marble countertops with hydrogen peroxide, and they may even be polished to keep them looking new.