Marble Countertop Cleaning Mistakes To Avoid

Posted on: 28 June 2016

If you have recently had marble countertops placed in your kitchen, then you have likely paid quite a bit of money to have the marble installed. Marble counters typically cost between $125 and $250 per square foot. You probably think of the counters as an investment in the style and beauty of your kitchen. This means taking the time to care for the marble properly. Cleaning is essential, but some people make cleaning mistakes that can actually do more harm than good. Keep reading to learn about a few of these mistakes and also find out what you really should be doing.

Mistake - Cleaning Counters With Vinegar

White vinegar is a cleaning staple that you may keep in your cupboard at all times. Vinegar is antibacterial and antimicrobial, and it works through stains with ease. However, if you decide to use vinegar on your marble, then you may be damaging it. Marble is a form of metamorphic rock, and construction marble is the type that is typically used to create countertops. This material is generally comprised of calcite, dolomite, or serpentine. Calcite is rock made up of calcium carbonate, dolomite contains calcium carbonate and magnesium, and serpentine contains magnesium, nickel, chromium, and some other components. Vinegar will react when it comes into contact with calcium carbonate, magnesium, and a wide variety of different metals. These chemical reactions will break down the minerals in the marble and leave a pitted surface behind. 

You definitely should not clean with vinegar if you want to retain a smooth surface across your marble countertops. You also should stay away from cleaners that contain lemons, oranges, or any other acidic substance. In fact, you should also try to avoid spilling fruit juices, tomato sauce, coffee, and other acidic food items on the marble as well.

When you do need to clean your countertops, use plain soap and water to scrub debris away. If you need a little scrubbing power when you do the cleaning, then sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the marble and use a sponge or soft cotton cloth to work at the debris or stains that may be noticeable.

Mistake - Allowing Water To Air Dry

If you have hard water, then your water will contain minerals like calcium and magnesium. You likely notice that these minerals leave deposits on your bathtubs, sinks, and pots. The deposits are typically called scale, and the minerals can actually build on the surface of your marble counter if you allow water to air dry after cleaning. Marble is a porous material, and minerals will move through the pores on the surface of the rock and deposit themselves. As the minerals attach to similar compounds in the marble, the white deposits will start to build and form stains. 

You can prevent mineral deposits from building on your marble counters by using a microfiber cloth to wipe them down whenever you cook or wash the counters. Microfiber cloths are finely woven and hold a great deal of moisture. You can also use bottled water to clean your counters if you are worried about staining. If you do this, then look for water varieties that are labeled as purified. These types of waters go through a treatment process to remove contaminants like minerals and chemicals.

If you do not want to go to the trouble of using purified water, then you can opt to have the marble sealed about once a year. Sealers will help to create a protective barrier over the top of the marble to keep minerals from depositing within the pores of the countertops.

Marble countertops can be a beautiful addition to your home. You should make sure that you try to clean the marble properly without making any cleaning mistakes. If your marble has already developed stains that you can't get rid of, you may want to contact a local professional marble cleaning service to help you make your marble look like new again.