Marble countertops are definitely a great idea for upgrading a kitchen. It is quite durable despite what most people say, and beautiful at the same time. Having marble countertops in the home will increase its value as well as functionality. Many homeowners and interior designers readily think of marble when they think about making their kitchens more elegant and luxurious.
Of course, as with any beautiful asset in your home, you need to take good care of it. Fortunately, it is quite easy to do that with marble countertops with just a little effort and common sense. The biggest drawback one can think of with marble is that it might sometimes stain when unsealed, and easily scratches and etches. Here are some guidelines in caring for marble countertops.
Marble have some level of porosity, and requires impregnating sealers to retard the absorption of liquids and minimize staining. Otherwise, maintaining marble countertops is similar to any type of stone countertop.
Cleaning marble is simple. You only need to wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth. You can also use a mild non-alkaline (which is nonabrasive) dish detergent to clean up grease and oil from the surface. Make sure you rinse it off thoroughly with clean water however, as any soap residue will eventually build up and dull the surface. Dry the surface thoroughly with a clean cloth when you are done.
Marble is actually food safe, and daily cleaning is usually enough to keep it so. However, if you want to make sure, you can dampen a cloth with 12% hydrogen peroxide and wipe the surface to disinfect the surface once a week or as frequently as you think it needs it.
If you do acquire stains on your marble countertops, the first thing you have to do is clean the area and remove any liquid that may still be on the surface. This will also make it easier for you to identify the stain so you can choose the right way to remove it.
Stain removal techniques will vary according to the source of the stain. This may be oil, water, soap, organic matter, or even rust.
The guide below uses ordinary household ingredients to remove stains. However, you can choose to use a commercial stain remover specific to a particular type of stain. Just make sure the active ingredients do not include any strong chemicals, as these could dull the finish of your marble countertops, and follow the instructions.
Once you identify the source of the stain, go to the section you need. You will be able to identify even old stains by its appearance, as described below.
Keep in mind that older stains may be more difficult to remove, and may require several tries before you achieve success. In most cases, you should be able to get the stains out eventually, provided you choose the right method, of course.
A frequent source of stains on marble countertops is regular water. This happens when you allow the countertops to stay wet after cleaning, when water splashes from the sink, or when someone neglects to use a coaster.
Tap water often contains calcium and magnesium carbonates, and this hardens into whitish marks or spots when the water dries up. You might be surprised at how hard these are to remove. If they do not come out with a vigorous scrubbing with a soft cloth, try using a very fine grade of steel (#0000) designed for stone countertops. Very gently rub the stains in a circular motion until the stain comes out.
As mentioned earlier, soap residue can accumulate if you fail to remove the soap completely with water after cleaning the countertops. This residue leaves the countertops looking dull, even dirty, and they are surprisingly difficult to remove.
The trick is to cut through the soap residue and break it up so you can wipe it off. You can do this by spraying a solution of 1 cup water with 1 Tbsp of ammonia. Let it work into the soap residue for a few minutes before wiping it off with a dry cloth. Your marble countertops will just like new.
Oil is also a common cause of stains, and oil-based products are frequently in the kitchen and bathroom. You know it is an oil stain because it darkens the stone, and it might seem too deep seated to get out.
The best way to remove oil-based stains is to draw it out with a poultice. You can make one using baking soda and ordinary water. Mix the two together to make a thick, peanut butter-like paste, and spread a thick layer on the stain. You will need to leave it on the stain for at least 24 hours, so protect it by taping it down with cling wrap.
When the paste dries out completely, remove it with a rubber or plastic scraper and clean the area with water and a clean cloth. Check if the stain is gone. Repeat the process if you still see some staining until it is completely out.
Stains from organic substances such as fruit juice and coffee will have a brownish appearance. Removing this type of stain requires a cloth moistened with a solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide mixed and couple of drops of ammonia. Rub the dampened cloth gently over the stain. The stain will gradually lighten and eventually disappear before your eyes!
Cans and other metal objects left on the countertops can leave unsightly reddish rings that are very hard to remove. If the rust ring is just sitting on the surface, you can remove it by sprinkling it with some baking soda and wetting it slightly with water. Using a damp scouring pad, rub at the area gently before rinsing it off.
If that does not work, the stains may have permeated into the stone. In that case, you might want to try using the baking soda-water poultice described above. If that still does not work, you will need to get a rust remover such as Iron-Out to get the job done.
You can see that caring for marble countertops is easy as pie. If this has inspired you to put in marble countertops in your kitchen, consider Silver Marble Granite.
We are your ONE-STOP SHOP for home improvement, and we specialize in providing you with the best kitchen countertops in Northern Virginia. We service the areas of Washington D.C., Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax, Chantilly, Herndon, Centreville, among others. You can visit our showroom in Sterling, VA to see the products before you buy.
We work only with the best brands in the business, and can offer better prices and faster turnarounds than big box stores. Aside from granite and marble, we also carry top brands in engineered quartz, including Silestone, MSI, Cambria, and Caesarstone.
Check out our website for some of the best deaals in kitchen countertops and other products to make your home a better place. You should take advantage of our free quote offer. You will be amazed!