Using natural marble on floors, countertops and walls to enhance your décor can be a major investment for homeowners. Yet many people lack information about caring for marble and restoring it to its original luster.
“Several clients have asked us to use certain cleaners on their marble that, over time, can actually damage it,” said Mini Maid owner Carol Doak. “We’ve also had clients ask us about having their marble floors restored, so we’ve been investigating both cleaning methods and the restoration process.”
Marble can be used in any room of the house but experts generally recommend not using it for kitchen countertops. If you’d like a natural stone countertop, try a non-etching granite or Corian, a man-made product that resembles natural stone.
Marble can be beautiful for shower walls, but it requires a great deal of maintenance as everyday bath products such as shampoo and soap can actually “etch” the stone over time. A neutral cleaner should be used weekly on the shower walls and it should be professionally polished once a year. If this isn’t done, it may eventually need to be diamond-polished to restore the clarity. Properly maintained marble will show a reflection clearly.
Cultured marble, which is man-made from marble dust and polyester resin, can work well for showers. It is protected with a gel-coat and is easier to clean, however once its protective seal is broken with scratches or other damage, it is nearly impossible to restore. Experts do not recommend using cultured marble for flooring.
Marble slab floors should be dust mopped at least once a week with spills wiped up immediately. The floor can also be damp-mopped once a week with a neutral and non-abrasive cleaner that has a Ph level between 7.0 and 7.4. Appropriate cleaners can be found at janitorial supply stores. Mini Maid has a policy of using whatever cleaning products are provided by clients for all flooring and special surfaces like marble elsewhere in the home to ensure results that meet your expectations. We recommend clients seek advice from professionals who install and/or care for marble and other specialty surfaces that are popular today such as laminate and flooring before selecting a cleaning agent.
Tile and marble expert John Freitag also recommends the following tips to avoid micro-scratches that will eventually dull the finish of your marble as well as deeper scratches that may require more extensive restoration:
- Use doormats at entrances.
- Use a separate mop—one that is free of chemicals
- and abrasive cleaners.
- Allow cleaned floors to air dry completely
- before walking on them.
- Use coasters under furniture legs.
For Tables and Countertops:
- Dust regularly using a soft, non-oily cloth.
- Use coasters under glasses and placemats under other objects.
- Don’t place acidic foods or drinks directly on marble.
- Don’t place hot dishes directly on marble.
- Keep cosmetics off marble surfaces.
For All Surfaces:
- Never use wax or one-step acrylics.
- Never use vinegar or harsh cleaners.
- Wipe up spills immediately.
- Keep metal objects away from marble.
Individual use patterns and environmental exposure can affect how much care your marble will require, but it is important to remember that marble and other natural stones are porous and alkaline by nature and do require special care. With a little daily diligence, regular care with the right products and occasional polishing to restore the original luster, you will protect your investment and enjoy the distinctive look of marble in your home for a lifetime.