December 8th, 12:19 pm

Ways to clean marble


Marble is the oldest building material. Its beauty inspired architects all over the world to create beautiful palaces, sculptures, mosaics. These masterpieces that have survived to this day are impressive and amaze with their beauty and grandeur. Naturally wanting a piece of that fascinating material in our kitchens and baths is expected.

Marble loved by everyone! What’s not loved about it is the difficulty in cleaning and caring for it. Being a strong and durable material, marble, however is subject to certain contaminants. It is important to choose reliable and at the same time gentle cleaning methods that will not damage this elegant, veined stone and extend its life.

Natural stone is porous and can be easily damaged by all sorts of acidic substances. By acidic substance we mean common household substance such as milk, orange juice, lemon or alcoholic beverages. One splash can etch the marble, leaving a permanent, dull scar.

Prevention is key and here we will go over some of the few, save ways that you can do yourself to make sure it doesn’t come to contacting professional assistance to restore the shine of your stone, which can be costly.

Common type of contamination marble is susceptible to

The degree of contamination of the marble depends on the environment in which it is located. For example walls and decorative elements in living rooms are usually only subject to dust settling. In this case, it is sufficient to periodically treat the stone with a soft, dense cloth slightly moistened with water.

On the other hand if marble is used in the design of the bathroom, then its cleaning should be carried out much more often and with special approach. In such rooms, the stone regularly undergoes exposure to steam, water and personal hygiene products (shampoo, shower gel, etc.), or calcium deposits. These factors lead to the fact that marble loses its original shine, starts to develop stains and in time rust begins to appear.

Finally, kitchen countertops are often made from marble, and this is another place of your home that needs to be cleaned regularly. In the zone of cooking and washing dishes, not only water and household chemicals, but also oil, flour and other food products fall on the stone. Cleaning it without special means might not be an easy task, keeping in mind that we can not use any acidic cleaners since it will damage the surface.

What do we do?

Lets rule out some of the MUST NOT use cleaning products, which include vinegar, Windex or bleach. A single drop of these acidic substance will eat into a marble and dull the stone. Do not use abrasive cleaner or pads, either, because marble can be scratched and will reflect those ugly scratches, specially on dark colored stone. A secret in knowing how to clean marble: You don’t need specialty cleaners for marble. Mild soap and hot water will do just fine. Wipe sudsy water on the surface with a soft cloth or sponge. This will remove dirt, dust, but won’t however heal any etching or stains.

This is where specially manufactured cleaning and protective products come into play. You can give your marble a little protection from stains and etching by using for instance spray sealant at least once a month. There is a variety of sealants we can recommend.

Modern manufacturers offer many options of cleaning products for marble. It is important note that all these products have an alkaline or neutral composition and do not contain acids, this makes them ideal cleaners and maintainers for natural stone materials.

Typically they can be found at any tile or hardware store, or online. There is all sort of assortment:

  • neutral marble flooring products;
  • alkaline products for fat and oils removal;
  • a paste-like chemicals for rust elimination;
  • means for removing cement and other construction contaminants;
  • paint removal substances
  • crystallizes for marble (emphasizes the texture and increases the strength of the stone);
  • polishing pads (gives the coating a glossy shine and masks minor defects);

Prevention and care

So, how do we actually care for our beautiful marble? Of course, the easiest and most effective way to deal with damage and dirt on marble is to prevent it. That just can’t be stressed enough!

1. Marble is easily exposed to mechanical stress. Do not walk on the marble floor in high heel shoes. Even sand and small debris, which is brought into the house with shoes damages the stone, it works similar to an abrasive material and scratches the surface of the floor. Marble tarnishes and loses its appearance. To prevent the grains of sand entering your home, lay a doormat at the door. But best solution is to just never wear shoes inside the house.

2. Use soft pads on furniture legs, especially on chairs, tables and other furniture items that you periodically move.

3. If you own a marble countertop, do not use its surface directly for cooking, use cutting boards, coasters. Try placing glasses with juice, glasses of wine, cups of tea or coffee on special stands, otherwise any spilled drink will leave a mark on the surface of the countertop.

4. Marble can sometimes be used for window sills. You should not use them for flower exhibition. When watering flowers, water can fall on the surface of stone and form streaks and rust spots.

5. Wipe marble surfaces in bathrooms immediately after use. But a rubber scraper for these purposes. It is convenient to use and there will be no murky soapy stains left on the surface.

6. Marble can and should be protected by special means. Use water-oil products that prevent the penetration of not only liquids, but also fats into the stone. That creates a sort of a mesh that significantly reduces water or oil penetration into the stone and increases resistance to external atmospheric influences. The applying procedure is simple, just follow the instruction, or consult a professional at a store if you have to. Keep in mind that any protective agents must be applied on a clean and dry surface. Before trying any type of a product, it should first be tested in an inconspicuous places to make sure that it does not harm.

7. For daily care of marble, do not use detergents. It is enough to wipe it with a damp cloth, and then polish with a suede or other soft cloth. Clean up spilled liquids or any other stains immediately. Marble quickly absorbs dirt, and the color of the stone can change, leaving a poorly noticeable spot.

If a stain did occur, try removing it using one of the methods below:

  • If you react promptly, it is possible to wash it off with soap. In a more complex case, you can use borax with warm water. Two teaspoons of borax in a glass of warm water might do it. Wet a napkin or a piece of cloth and wipe it. After rinse it with regular water and wipe it dry with a towel.
  • To remove stains from light marble, you can use hydrogen peroxide. Apply peroxide on a napkin, apply to a stain, and after some time rinse with water.
  • Grease stains cannot be avoided in kitchen area. First of all, remove fat as quickly as possible using white paper towels (colored ones can stain the surface of marble). Then put a napkin dipped in alcohol or vodka on the stain. Hold this compress on the spot for a while. Then, as usual, rinse with water and wipe thoroughly.
  • Also, to fully degrease the surface, the stain can be sprinkled with any absorbent substance at your fingertips, it can be soda, starch, chalk, baby powder.
  • Rust stains are rather difficult to remove from all surfaces, including marble. Try this solution… Mix some soda, slaked lime, liquid soap and sawdust particles. Bring the mixture to a boil level and apply to a stain. Cover with polyethylene so that the composition does not dry, and rinse after 24 hours. Though it is recommended to get professional assistance when it comes to rust.
  • Limestone on marble is removed mechanically. Rub it with a soft metal brush, which is used to wash dishes.
  • Mold or other types of fangi can be treated with ammonia.

A few useful tips

On dark stone, stains are more effectively cleaned with alkaline-based, on white – with neutral composed or paste-like cleaners. Once again, to maintain beauty, daily constant care is enough – once a day the surface is wiped with a rag and water without use of cleaning products. This helps to remove dirt on time, prevents drying of all sorts of liquids that eat into surface. Before polishing or applying a sealant, be sure to clean the surface from dirt and stains first. That will avoid scratches and allow for the product to evenly seal the area.

If after taking matters into your own hands still leave you with trouble and having done all the work didn't work as expected. Then the best advice is to seek professional help from a cleaning service. Normally specialists will find an approach to a specific decor and will be able to eliminate old, ingrained traces without harm to the stone. Though lets be honest cleaners aren’t magicians and not everything can be cleaned. There are situations where calling cleaning company alone isn’t enough, and require natural stone renovation. Professionals can crystallize the surface layer with use of special chemical treatment and equipment, which will not only create a protective layer of your stone, but also give it a beautiful shine.

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