Did you recently move into a home with beautiful marble counters? Or did you recently renovate your kitchen or bathroom to include marble finishes? If so, you likely want your marble to retain its original shine. The best way to do that is with regular cleanings. However, you can't clean marble the same way you clean other surfaces. Marble can absorb chemicals and other contaminants. It can also show stains easily. Before you wipe down your marble counters, make sure you understand what will and will not work. Here are a few tips to keep your counters clean:
Use coasters and trays. Bottles, glasses, and cans can leave ring stains that are difficult, if not impossible, to remove from marble. In the kitchen, always use coasters underneath drinking glasses, cans, and bottles. At the very least, make napkins and paper towels available to use as makeshift coasters.
In the bathroom, use a small tray to house toiletry items like perfume, toothpaste, creams, and lotions. Even though those bottles are small, they can be dangerous because they usually contain chemicals. Those chemicals can leave permanent etch marks on your marble counters.
Only clean with warm water. Household cleaners all contain chemicals that are harmful to marble. Consistent use of household cleaners can lead to deep stains and discoloration. The same is true of lemon juice, vinegar, and other so-called "natural" cleaners. If you feel that water just isn't getting the job done, you can use a specialty cleaner designed for marble use. You can usually find this special marble cleaner at your local hardware store or through a marble counter dealer.
Blot up stains as soon as possible. Acidic foods like tomatoes, wine, and coffee can do serious damage to marble. The marble absorbs the acid quickly and then starts to change in color. If any liquid is spilled on your counter, just assume that it is made of dangerous materials. Carefully blot it with a soft cloth. Don't wipe, as that will only spread the acid over other parts of the counter. Blot until the liquid is no longer visible and then clean the area with warm water.
Don't sit or set heavy objects on the counters. Marble isn't as durable as granite and other counter materials. It also isn't usually backed by plywood. Sitting on your counters can cause cracks. Usually, these cracks are tiny and aren't readily visible. However, they'll grow larger over time. Also, even when the cracks are tiny, they allow moisture and contaminants to seep in, which can lead to serious discoloration.
If you're unsure of how to maintain your marble counters, talk to a marble professional such as All American Stone & Tile Care Inc. You may want to have your marble professionally cleaned on a regular basis. That way, you'll know that they've received the needed amount of maintenance.