How to Properly Clean and Maintain Marble Benchtops
Indeed, marble is a natural stone material that can add elegance and character to any space. That is why many homeowners seriously consider it when they’re choosing the ideal kitchen benchtops. However, since it is one of the softer types of natural stones, it is prone to etching and staining. So, it is important that you properly know how to clean marble benchtops.
In this article, we will share with you some useful tips on removing stains from marble benchtops. We will discuss what causes marble etching, as well as some solutions to stubborn stains that keeps you from having beautiful marble benchtops.
Marble Etching Explained
Since marble has a calcium carbonate makeup, it is susceptible to marking and etching. Marble also reacts with any acid. Acid can damage a marble surface and create dull spots which are widely recognised as etches. So, when you spill lemon juice on the surface or place a damp margarita glass on your marble benchtop, the liquid will leave a subtle yet unsightly mark.
Since marble is prone to etching, it has been known as a material that is hard to clean. That is partially true as you wouldn’t be able to use some common and acid-based cleaners like lemon juice and vinegar. However, in general, marble is like any other natural stone material. It is highly durable and easy to clean.
Proper Way of Cleaning Marble Benchtops
Marble benchtops are easy to clean. Here are the items that you’d need:
- Warm water
- Dishwashing liquid (gentle and non-abrasive)
- Spray bottle
- Cleaning cloth
- Highly absorbent towel
The first thing you have to do is create your cleaning solution. Simply combine your dishwashing liquid with warm water. You can do this by filling a spray bottle with warm water and adding a tablespoon of the liquid soap. Remember to avoid any cleaning product with lemon juice or acid. Shake the spray bottle to mix the ingredients.
Lightly spray the cleaning solution onto your marble benchtop. Dampen your cleaning cloth with warm water and then use this to wipe the soapy water off the surface. After that, use your highly absorbent towel to dry your marble benchtop.
Dealing with Spillages
Of course, the best way to deal with spillages is to blot or clean them out immediately to avoid staining. Keep in mind that when you keep them on your marble benchtop longer, the more difficult it is to remove the stain. On the other hand, there are instances when you can’t immediately attend to spillages. For instance, a late night event that makes it impossible to clean your home until the morning, and spillages may turn into stains.
Fret not because here at Aurora Stone; we also find ways to help you deal with such scenarios. We’ve listed below some techniques you can use to remove stains from your marble benchtops.
A poultice is a thick cleaning paste made up of a white absorbent material that is mixed with a liquid chemical or detergent. What the liquid cleaner or chemical does is draw the stain out and into the absorbent material. You may have to repeatedly apply the poultice to completely remove certain stains. However, there are still some types of stains that may not thoroughly be removed. These would require other types of cleaning materials.
Poultices work best on removing tea, coffee, paint, wine and other organic stains off your marble benchtops. Cleaning stains on your marble benchtop using a poultice can be done using the following steps:
Creating the Poultice
Form a thick paste by mixing diluted Hydrogen Peroxide with baking soda. The consistency should be the same as Nutella. Note that that poultice may slightly foam. If you notice that the mixture is starting to dry up completely, add some water to it.
Applying the Poultice
Dampen the stained area using tap water and then spread half an inch thick of poultice on the surface. Make sure you evenly spread the poultice by using a spatula or a knife.
Letting the Poultice Sit
After applying the poultice, you have to seal it by placing plastic over it and taping the edges. Let the poultice sit on your marble benchtop for 24 to 48 hours, ensuring that it thoroughly dries. As the poultice dries, it draws the stain out of the marble and into itself.
Removing the Poultice
After 24 to 48 hours, the poultice may have completely dried, and you can now remove it. Simply take off the plastic and then pull the poultice off the surface. You can use a wet cloth to clean the surface.
Taking Care of Stubborn Stains
If you notice that the stain has not completely been removed, you can repeat the process. Sometimes, you may need two or three applications of poultice to completely remove stubborn stains.
Using Corn Starch
Oil and grease stains can be difficult to remove if you do not use the right products. You will exert a lot of effort trying to remove them using soap and water. The ideal cleaning material for grease and oil stains is corn starch. Here are the easy steps to removing this type of stain:
- Carefully sprinkle corn starch over the grease-stained area.
- Let the corn starch sit on the greasy area for about twenty minutes, letting it absorb the oil.
- Use a damp cloth to wipe away the corn starch.
- Get a soft cloth to dry your marble benchtop.
Polishing your Marble Benchtops
Polishing is an essential part of keeping your marble benchtops in good condition. It is also a relatively easy task as long as you are careful, avoiding damaging materials along the process. Follow the instructions below to properly polish your marble benchtops.
Selecting the Ideal Polishing Product
Keep in mind that you should only use polishing materials that are specifically made for marble surfaces. Avoid any product with acrylic and polyurethane finishes. A lot of marble polishing materials are designed for certain colours. So, it is important to carefully read the label before you purchase the polish. Also, you have to follow the process exactly as the instruction manual says.
Polishing the Marble Benchtop
Whether you’re using commercially available polish or chalk powder, you have to polish your marble benchtop by starting from the centre. If you opted for chalk powder, immerse a wet microfiber cloth into the chalk powder. If you’re using a chemical polish, put a small amount of the material on the centre of the marble benchtop.
Buffing the Marble Benchtop
Use a diamond polishing pad or a soft cloth and buff the marble benchtop by making circular motions on the surface. When buffing the surface, always end at the centre. Move from right to left, upward and downward, ensuring that you eventually go back to the middle of the surface.
Letting the Marble Benchtop Dry
If you use a chemical polish, the surface will look clear and spotless after it gets air dried. On the other hand, it may take several hours to dry if you’re using chalk powder. Check if the surface has completely dried then wipe it again using a clean, wet cloth. After that, use a dry cloth to wipe the surface. Make sure that there are no marks or residue left on the marble benchtop.
Cleaning and maintenance are important exercises that ensure your marble benchtops stay stunning and durable for decades. If you want to learn more about caring for your kitchen benchtops, contact Aurora Stone today. A member of our team will be glad to answer your enquiries.