Although marble is a durable surface, it still needs to be maintained if it is going to continue to look attractive in the years to come. Marble is porous and is prone to staining and scratching. That is why it is essential that marble surfaces are properly cared for.
It is always advisable to use coasters on counters and never place hot pans directly on marble surfaces. Any items that can scratch the surface should have mats of some type between them and the tops.
Many drinks and foods contain acids, which are the enemy of marble as are certain other chemicals. Alcohol, vinegar, or citrus juices can dull the surface of marble and/or etch into it.
Protecting and Cleaning Marble Floors
Floors by nature take a terrific beating, and it takes about eight steps for the dirt and grime to come off the soles of shoes when coming in from the outside. To protect marble from those scratches and abrasions, it is always a good idea to keep a non-slip rug stationed at entry doors.
Even cleaning marble floors can be a hazard if an old vacuum cleaner is used with wheels that don’t roll or the bottom of the cleaning attachment is worn. Using a dry, clean dust mop to remove grit and dirt regularly will help avoid much of the wear to a marble finish.
Three of the standard cleaners for natural stone are stone soap, a neutral cleaner, and a small amount of mild liquid dish washing detergent. Less is always best with cleaners because they can leave a buildup which will dull the shine and cause streaking. Cleaners used on marble must be Ph neutral (ph7).
Never clean marble with products that contain vinegar or lemon. Do not use scouring pads or steel wool to clean marble as they will damage the polish and leave spots. It is also a good idea to test a cleaner on a scrap marble piece before applying it to the entire surface.
Use warm water with the cleaner and rinse it thoroughly when finished. It will take several changes of clean water to get the entire residue left from the cleaning solution.
In bathrooms, soap scum will build up on marble tub and shower surfaces. This requires removal with a non-acidic soap scum remover. Ammonia mixed sparingly with water is another way to remove soap scum, but too much ammonia will dull the finish on natural stone.
Cleaning and Sealing Marble Countertops
Part of caring for countertops is applying a penetrating sealer. It is important to research any sealer carefully to be sure that it is suitable for marble. A sealer used in a bathroom might be different from what goes on a kitchen counter because of food preparation concerns. Some sealers are toxic and should not be used in the kitchen.
Outdoor Marble Areas
Cleaning outdoor marbled areas usually requires some amount of bleach to control algae and moss. A pressure washer will remove some of the stains and clean away grime. When exterior marble surfaces are cleaned, it is a good time to apply a sealer to prevent more staining and make the surface simpler to clean on successive occasions.
The Difficulty of Stains on Marble
When stains develop on marble, a poultice can be used to remove some of them. It is important to know what caused the stains so the proper product can be applied in the poultice. Iron, copper, oil-based, organic, and biological stains all need to be addressed differently. It is much better to employ a professional for tough marble stains who already knows which cleaners are best and how to effectively remove various types of stains and polish the marble back to its original luster.