Marble is a stunning natural material that delivers an aesthetic that simply can’t be replicated by any other material. Marble is a form of limestone that has changed over thousands of years by heat and pressure underground. And while it looks fantastic, it’s not as indestructible as you might think.
To protect your marble surfaces and ensure they stand the test of time, here are a few cleaning tips to get you started.
What not to do
You have probably heard about the wonders of vinegar when it’s used as a cleaning agent in the home. While white vinegar is an effective cleaning agent, it should NEVER be used on marble. The acidity in vinegar can react with marble and dull the surface. Over time, acid eats into marble and causes permanent damage.
Cleaning marble on a day-to-day basis isn’t rocket science. Wiping up messes should involve the use of a little warm water and a microfibre cloth. You can use a sanitiser spray when you need to — just make sure it’s not acidic. It’s also worth remembering that marble is prone to water stains. Don’t let your marble surfaces air dry, as stains form relatively easily on marble.
When it’s time to do some deep cleaning, it’s probably best to use a dedicated pH-neutral marble cleaner or dishwashing detergent. Add a little to some distilled water, and do your cleaning with microfibre cloths or sponges. Acetone and hydrogen peroxide can be used in small quantities for big jobs, but make sure you check the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines before you proceed. If in doubt, speak with a marble specialist for advice.
Removing stains from marble
The biggest enemy of the marble in your home is acidic products. This is why it’s vital that you wipe up fruit juices, wine, tomatoes, carbonated drinks and salad dressings the moment you notice them on your marble. Always blot spillages with microfibre cloths, as rubbing them can cause stains to take hold.
There are commercial stain removal agents devised for marble, but you can make your own with baking powder and distilled water. Use a poultice to remove acidic stains, or baking powder and rubbing alcohol for greasy stains.
Prevention is the best cure
As is the case with many cleaning issues, prevention is usually the best cure. Protect your marble by using mats, stands and protective covers. Never place hot pans, cups, utensils or anything containing hot liquids on your marble. If you have marble surfaces in your bathroom, use mats as a barrier between hygiene products. And use rugs and mats to protect your marble floors from wet feet and pools of water.
This is the great thing about marble — it doesn’t require any special polishing agents. Marble has a natural shine to it, which is why it’s so popular. Use a dry microfibre cloth or a chamois to buff up your marble with relative ease. If you need a little help with removing accumulations and stains, rub some baking powder or chalk into the affected area with a microfibre cloth.
Seal your marble
Particularly in areas where your marble will get wet or is susceptible to spillages, it’s a good idea to seal your marble. Remember: marble is a porous rock, and it will absorb moisture over time. Sealing your marble adds a water-proof protective layer — extending the life of your surfaces considerably.
Marble is a beautiful, low-maintenance surface for bathrooms and kitchens. Look after it, and it will continue to deliver its unique aesthetic for many years to come.