Marble is the essence of elegant and luxurious living, including when used as kitchen countertops. However, while most people are aware that marble is not as high maintenance as some claim, the fact is marble is relatively soft and reacts readily to acid. That said, it is possible to keep your marble countertops in pristine condition if you take reasonable steps to keep it so.
Some suggest commercially available special cleaning agents for marble, but these are not actually necessary. You can save a bit of money and effort by making your own. Here is how to make and use a cleaner for marble countertops.
A note on cleaners
White vinegar and baking soda have recently become very popular as very effective cleaners for almost anything in the home and can even de-clog drains. However, it would be a mistake to use white vinegar, or any type of acid for that matter on marble. Marble is a calcite, which reacts easily with any acid, so you might end up with etches on your marble countertops in trying to clean it.
On the other hand, baking soda is not an acid, but it is somewhat abrasive. If you use it on marble countertops, it might produce tiny scratches on the surface, dulling the finish. You can use baking soda on marble countertops in some instances, but you need to be very careful when you do.
Making the cleaner
While white vinegar and baking soda is out, you can still make marble cleaner with other common things you have in the home. One of the easiest is to mix a small amount of mild dishwashing soap such as Dawn dishwashing detergent with water and using that to clean the countertops.
You must make sure it is a mild soap, as some dishwashing detergents contain harsh chemicals that are not compatible with marble countertops. A good way to do that is to check the labels.
Look for terms such as “soft” and “gentle on hands.” Among the recommended dish soap brands are Palmolive, Ivory, and as mentioned earlier, Dawn. Avoid anything that says “antibacterial” or “industrial strength” or the like, as these usually spell bad news for marble countertops.
The ideal cleaner for marble is something with a neutral potential hydrogen or pH, which is a measure of acidity. The levels of pH range from 1 to 14. Anything lower than 7 is acidic, while anything higher is alkaline. You want something with a pH of 7, which makes it neither acidic nor alkaline. Examples of pH neutral soaps include Joy Ultra Concentrated and Seventh Generation Dish Liquid.
You want a dish soap that has neutral pH, which is between 7 and 8. This is sage for use with marble. If you have Dawn Ultra, then you have neutral pH dish soap. Other dish soaps that also pass the litmus test are Seventh Generation Dish Liquid and Joy Ultra Concentrated.
For a good cleaning solution for marble using any of these recommended dish soaps, shake five or six drops of soap in one liter of clean water in a closed container for about 30 seconds. You should observe some bubbles or foam forming. This is a sign of the surfactants, which attracts dirt, is now active in the solution. Use this solution to clean your marble countertops.
Using the cleaner
Using the cleaning solution, you just made is very simple. You can use it by soaking a dishcloth or sponge with the solution and wiping the countertops with it. You can also put it in a spray bottle to mist the countertops completely before rubbing it gently with a clean cloth in a circular motion. If you hit a snag with some dried-on dirt, spray a bit more of the solution on it and leave it to soften for a bit before giving it a vigorous scrub. Remove any excess soap by mopping it up with a dry cloth.
Since it is mostly water, you might think it is okay to leave it alone and not rinse it off. This is a mistake, as even a very small amount of detergent on the surface left to dry can accumulate over time, leaving a noticeable residue that is very hard to remove. Make sure you rinse it with clean water to avoid this problem.
Using a dry cloth, wipe the surfaces to ensure it is thoroughly dry. You should use a lint-free and absorbent material such as chamois or microfiber cloth to make your life easier. You are less likely to leave wet spots using these materials but check anyway to avoid hard water spots from forming.
Keeping your marble countertops clean and in good condition is easy and cheap. Take note of and follow these tips and you will never have a problem with them.
If you do not have marble countertops yet, but all fired up to get them for your kitchen or bathroom, you want a reliable countertop specialist to do it for you. Keystone Granite & Tile is the top contender for this role in the areas of Columbus, Ohio, Delaware cities, Lancaster and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
We are experts at fabricating and installing marble, granite, and engineered quartz countertops, so you can be confident that you will get the very best in product and service quality.
We have showrooms in Lancaster and Horsham, Pennsylvania as well as New Castle, Delaware and Columbus, Ohio. We will walk you through each slab and explain how each can benefit you in your kitchen or bathroom remodel. If you prefer engineered stones, we also carry the top brands in the industry such as Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all with manufacturer warranties.
Once you have chosen your slabs, we provide free professional design consultation and quotes, so you know exactly where you are before committing. We also have a quick turnaround, so you will get your products on time and on budget.
Give us a call or send us an inquiry through our website to set the ball rolling!