Elegant, versatile and durable as it is, marble, like any other surface, needs conditioning, cleaning, care and maintenance to preserve its beauty and prolong its life. Because it is absorbent, marble need special care – it can stain with spillages like liquids or oil, and is sensitive to acids like citrus juices, vinegar or household cleaning chemicals, which can damage its surface. When used externally, it is vulnerable to acid rain or pollutants in the atmosphere, which erode and discolor its surface. But, taking care of your marble as soon as you install it will go a long way to preserve it, and save restoration costs in the long run.
Prevention – the cure to marble damage
Taking just a few precautions with your marble will mitigate, and sometimes eliminate any problems whatsoever:
Use honed marble on the floor – it is more resistant to scratches.
Avoid using polished marble in high traffic areas
Placing non-slip mats or rugs at the entrance minimizes soiling from dirt on shoes
Wipe anything that spills on marble immediately
Use coasters under glasses or bottles
Use mats or trivets to place hot items on marble
Follow a daily and periodic cleaning routine
Use clean mops and brooms
Old vacuum cleaners will scratch your marble – avoid using them
Change mopping water frequently during cleaning
Always rinse using clean, warm water
Allow floors to dry before use
Always follow the directions on yourcleanerand avoid mixing chemicals unless specified
Use abrasives (nutshells, feldspar or silica, quartz etc) on honed marble only, and never on polished surfaces. Abrasives can cause scratches
Avoid using chemicalcleaners, acids like vinegar and limejuice,grout cleaners, tub ortile cleanerson marble. They will etch or dull the stone
Try not to use wax on marble, as it makes it slippery
Inspect interior and exterior tiles regularly and correct flaws straightaway
Never use a mixture of ammonia and bleach for removing stains. The resulting gas is toxic and lethal
Do not use hot water to clean spilt milk or blood, as doing so makes the stain worse
Cleaners for your marble
For best results, please do not use acid based householdcleanerson your marble. Soaplesscleanersand other neutralcleanerslike specialized stone soaps are ideal, as they do not damage the surface. Mild phosphate-free, eco-friendly dishwashing liquids or powders, suitable detergents (PH 7 –neither acidic nor alkaline), or vegetable oil based soaps are also fine, as long as you rinse the soap off completely. Contact your stone dealer for more details.
Sweep using a soft brush for polished surfaces, and medium bristles for a textured surface. You can also vacuum, as long as the cleaner is in good condition – worn vacuum can scratch your marble - to remove dust. Or dry mop every day, using a non treated cloth.
Ideally, granite is best as a kitchen countertop, because it is very hygienic and easy to clean. If you decide on marble, however, (it does create a very European feel) then honed (natural finish with no shine) is best, as it is easier to manage. You can scrub your honed marble counter using abrasives, bleach and soaps with a scouring pad without worrying about damage. Rinse well and dry afterwards using a soft cloth.