It can be incredible having a marble countertop in your kitchen. Its classic, luxurious look adds a timeless feel to your kitchen. But remember that marble countertops require high maintenance to protect your investment.
Marble is a natural stone and can still get nicked or scuffed. Regular maintenance can keep your marble countertop looking good. But you might be surprised that natural marble doesn’t need the time-consuming care you might have expected.
Cleaning your marble countertop can be easy if you know what to do and what not to do. Regular cleaning and occasional maintenance can make your marble countertops look fabulous for years to come.
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1. Start with a good sealant for your marble countertop
Marble is one of the more porous stones, so you must seal it to protect the surface. Normally there will be no sealant on marble countertops when you buy it. You will have to ask the installer to apply the sealant. You can also easily do it yourself after the countertop is installed.
Sealant is a must for a marble countertop. Do it after you have done whatever finishes on it. The most common finishes for marble countertop is either polished, honed, or high-gloss surface. It can produce a softer matte surface. Most people opt for honed as it does not show as many scratches as a polished surface, but it will leave more susceptible to stains.
It can be easy to apply a penetrating sealant, just make sure the surface is clean and dry, and wipe the sealant on with a soft cloth. The sealant should last about a year under normal use as long as you don’t use harsh cleansers on your countertop. You will know it is time for more sealant when you can’t see water drops beading on the surface.
2. Clean your marble countertop daily
You will need to clean your marble countertop regularly, and this is to ensure that the sealant remains effective. You can use a nonabrasive cloth or sponge and wipe down your countertop with mild soap and water. Spill food should be wiped immediately to prevent it from seeping in and causing discoloration or stain. You will want to have cutting boards on hand for food preparation to prevent staining substances from coming in contact with your countertop. Coaster will come in handy, too, as red wine and coffee cups are common culprits.
Marble is also prone to etching, which is light marks caused by contact with acidic substances. Many acidic ingredients can cause it, such as lemon juice, tomato sauce, and vinegar. Getting rid of etching marks is difficult, requiring more aggressive treatment.
3. Remove stains and etching from your marble countertop
Usually, cleaning with mild soap and water is sufficient enough for daily maintenance. But when it doesn’t work or areas are etched, you will need to take more aggressive action.
You will need to use cleansers such as Soft Scrub or even Ajax with bleach and apply with an abrasive sponge. It will remove the sealant and allow you to scrub away the stain. You will find that the area you clean will look brighter than the rest. You will need to clean the rest of the countertop the same way. It may take a couple of days to dry completely. Once it is dry, you need to seal back your countertop.
4. Vanquish stubborn stains from your countertop
There are times when you can’t remove the stain by yourself. If so, you will need to call a stone refinisher. Stone refinisher does professional cleaning using special grinders or even fine-grit sandpaper.
You should consider using fine sandpaper to clean the countertop yourself. You don’t have to worry about hurting your countertop. You can smooth nick and chip out with sandpaper. You can try it on a stain. Just remember to reseal the surface. A little etch and stain is normal wear and tear on your marble countertop. It becomes part of the kitchen.
Daily maintenance for marble countertop
Preventing stains and etches is one of the most important parts of cleaning your marble countertop. Marbles will have a dull spot or burn mark if it comes into contact with acidity.
Acidic products are common in the kitchen, including vinegar, tomato, alcohol, and juices. The two biggest culprits that will stain marble countertops are red wine and oil.
Wipe up immediately if anyone spills red wine on the countertop. If you wipe it up immediately, it won’t stain most of the time, but its acids will cause the marble to etch. You can prevent etching and stains by using cutting boards, trivets, and coasters.
You can use mild soap or stone cleaner for daily cleaning. You need to read the instruction clearly and ensure it is for stone. If it suggests you test in an area, you might want to stay away from it. Many other products in the market won’t hurt your marble. You don’t need to take the risk of testing it.
Annual maintenance for your marble countertop
You will need to reseal your marble countertop regularly. You have to check out the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some sealers will last only six months, while others can last for years.
If unsure when to reseal your marble countertop, you can test it by putting a few drops of water and letting them sit. If it leaves a dark spot, it is time to reseal your marble countertop.