Marble Countertop Care and Cleaning

Extra Care for Porous Stone Easily Etched by Acid

Kitchen

Lived In Images/Getty Images

Although marble is a beautiful and durable stone surface for countertops, it takes extra care for cleaning and maintenance. It is composed of calcium carbonate, which makes it susceptible to etching by any acids. Marble is softer and more porous than granite and as a result, you may see more scratches, pitting, cracks, stains, and even dulling of the shine.

Daily Care for Marble Countertops

Splashes of acidic foods and drinks like tomatoes, citrus fruits, sodas, coffee, wine, fruit juice, and even vinegar will damage marble. When you use a marble countertop for food preparation, you will need to wipe up any spills immediately. It may be a good idea to put down a protective sheet, such as silicone or plastic while working on a marble countertop. Or, use a large cutting board and do your prep work on it.

Marble is tolerant of hot surfaces, but you should always protect it with a trivet. Use placemats and coasters under plates and glasses when serving on a marble countertop. Immediately after each meal, clean the countertop before you go on to other tasks.

Cleaning Marble Countertops

Dust at least once a week with a soft microfiber cloth. For wet cleaning, use a damp cloth and a pH-neutral cleaner designed for stone. Check with your countertop company for their recommendations. It is common to use mild dish soap and water. Put it in a spray bottle and spray the counter. Wipe and scrub gently with a damp cloth. Rinse the towel and wipe until all of the suds are gone. You can then dry the countertop with a soft towel.

Do not use regular cleaning products that can etch the stone surface over time. Especially avoid cleaning products that include vinegar, bleach, ammonia, lemon juice, orange, or other citrus. Never use abrasive cleaners that will damage and dull the finish. Be sure to discuss this with any visitors or relatives who are staying with you or helping prepare a holiday feast. Have the appropriate cleaning products available and think of moving all of your vinegar to a locked cabinet.

Marble Countertop Regular Maintenance

Seal the countertops regularly, as recommended by the manufacturer. Be sure to reseal when water fails to bead up when splashed on the surface. Sealing will help prevent stains and damage and keep the marble countertops looking beautiful. However, there are some marble surfaces that don't need sealing, so you must check to be sure you aren't adding sealers that will just remain on the surface.

For mild etching, look for a marble polishing powder that is approved for that use and follow the directions. Stains will need to be dealt with according to what caused the stain. A baking soda poultice is a general solution for many stains. You mix baking soda with a little water, spread it on the stain, and cover it. After 12 to 24 hours, you gently remove the paste and wipe the area with a damp cloth.