How to take care of your marble worktops
Despite its reputation as a ‘delicate’ stone, marble is still tough as rock. Much of the care your marble worktop needs is common sense, using things you have on hand anyway. With just a little bit of expert knowledge and some TLC, your marble worktop will look as good as new for decades.
On installation – get your marble worktops sealed
At Surrey Marble and Granite, we strongly recommend that all our customers get their marble worktops sealed, as this gives the stone an extra layer of protection without affecting the look. Made of clear resin, the seal is essentially invisible yet protects the natural stone against damage and staining.
Daily cleaning – wipe with a damp cloth
Although sealed marble doesn’t stain easily, it is crucial to promptly address spills and stains on your marble worktops. The longer a substance sits on the surface, the higher the chances of it seeping into the stone and leaving a permanent mark. By wiping up spills immediately with a soft cloth and blotting rather than rubbing, you can minimize the risk of staining and preserve the marble’s pristine appearance. This is particularly true for strong or acidic liquids like red wine, tomato juice, citrus juices and vinegar.
The best way to clean marble is with a damp, soft cloth or a squirt from a gentle cleaner, such as washing up liquid, which should be all you need for daily cleaning of a marble surface.
Weekly or monthly – clean with a mild cleaner
When cleaning marble, It is crucial to establish a routine cleaning regimen and stick to it on a regular basis. This means wiping down the marble surfaces daily with a soft, damp cloth to remove any dust or debris. By doing so, you prevent the accumulation of particles that could potentially scratch the surface or dull its shine over time.
For most families with natural stone worktops, a daily wipe down will be all you need to clean marble, but it’s still worth lifting appliances and knick-knacks once a week or a couple of times a month to ensure that there’s no grot or grime hiding in a corner. You can also clean natural stone with all-natural cleaners which can be found on the market and are safe to use as a marble worktop cleaner.
When you get a new appliance – put felt feet on it
Metal, stone, or hard ceramic feet on appliances such as microwaves, blenders, trivets, plant pots, and so on can cause small scratches which, over time, can dull the polished finish of a marble worktop. Felt feet cost just pence each and prevent this risk entirely, as would a cork mat, soft coaster, or cloth under the item. Choose the appropriate option for the item to avoid creating a fire hazard.
Yearly – refresh the polish
If the finish on your marble worktop starts to look a little muted after a year or two, consider investing in a specialist marble cleaning product and give it a good deep clean. This will usually be enough to remove any hidden grease or dirt and bring it back to life.
To maintain the lustre of your marble worktops, it is recommended to polish them on a regular basis. Polishing not only restores the shine but also helps to seal the surface, providing an extra layer of protection against stains and moisture. You can use a marble-specific polishing compound or consult with a professional for the best approach based on the type of marble and its condition.
If you spot damage – call an expert
When taking care of marble countertops, the important thing is to handle any damage carefully and properly. Damage, including abrasions, dull patches, chips, cracks, and stains, are best handled by expert stoneworkers. This is because marble, although it’s described as a soft stone, is still a tough material which means that it’s unlikely to be positively affected by over-the-counter cleaning products or household tools. Matching and filling chips or cracks can be tricky, and a damaged finish typically needs specialist equipment to treat.
5 things not to do to a marble worktop
- When cleaning marble, don’t use harsh or abrasive cleaners, such as bleach. Strong acids and alkalis should be particularly avoided as they can react with the calcium carbonate in the marble and cause pitting, scarring or dulling of the finish.
- Don’t use tough scouring pads, steel wool or other abrasive cleaning tools on marble worktops. These can cause tiny, near invisible scratches. They don’t harm the stone but will damage a gloss, polish or mirror finish, leaving it dull and patchy.
- Don’t let standing water build up on marble countertops. Particularly in hard water areas, evaporating water can leave behind deposits of calcium, known as limescale. As marble is also made of calcium, shifting limescale without shifting the marble can be tricky.
- Don’t use limescale removers on marble surfaces unless they’re designed for stone. For all the reasons mentioned above!
- Don’t test it to see if your marble countertop will stain. It probably won’t, but if you really want to run your own experiments, ask for an off-cut when your worktop is made.
Final thoughts on maintaining marble worktops
In conclusion, maintaining polished marble worktops or any natural stone surfaces requires a commitment to regular care and attention. By taking the necessary steps and using the right cleaning products, you can ensure that your marble worktops retain their beauty and longevity.
When it comes to taking care of marble, it is essential to avoid using harsh or acidic cleaning agents. Acidic substances like vinegar or lemon juice can etch the marble and damage its polished finish. Instead, opt for pH-neutral or mild stone cleaners specifically designed for cleaning marble. These gentle solutions will effectively remove dirt and stains without causing harm.
Additionally, preserving the beauty of clean marble worktops requires consistent care and attention. By implementing a regular cleaning routine, using appropriate cleaning products, and addressing spills promptly, you can enjoy the elegance and durability of marble for years to come. Remember, maintaining marble worktops is an investment in both aesthetics and functionality and with the right approach, you can ensure they remain a timeless centerpiece in your home.