The Most Important Things to Know About the Proper Care of Marble Countertops

The Most Important Things to Know About the Proper Care of Marble Countertops

cleaning marble countertop

 

 

 

 

 

Not all Marble Care Products are “Safe”

• Using harsh chemicals found in most household cleaners to clean your marble and granite countertops will break down the sealers and should be avoided.
• Never use solvents or cleaners like bleach, vinegar and ammonia since they will “etch” leaving dull and discolored spots.
• Also not recommended are nearly all of the common name-brand household cleaners, such as Windex, 409, Tilex, Kaboom, Lysol…. most, if not all of these household cleaners are too harsh for cleaning marble and will also etch.
• Many cleaners labeled “for marble” are not good performers. Many of these cleaners tend to be generic household cleaners with a “marble” label sold in some stores.

Question:
What is the best marble cleaning product for marble countertops?

Answer:
The best product for cleaning marble and stone in general is Marble Cleaner NeutraSheen for Marble – 32 oz. – Premixed Spray
Our NeutraSheen Marble cleaner products work great on countertops, vanities, grout, glass and chrome.

Click here for our Stone and Grout Care Guide  – and learn all about how to care for your marble, granite and grout properly

 

But here are the most important things to remember…

 

  • Avoid wet pans, especially iron cookware, which can rust and will stain your marble countertops.
  • Don’t let standing water evaporate on the surface of your marble countertop, as this can leave unwanted calcium deposits, which sometimes can be difficult to remove. Some household water may contain minerals that have the potential to damage the marble surface.
  • Never use “glass cleaners” to clean marble, for the reasons mentioned above. The NeutraSheen For Marble Cleaner is safe to use on glass, but glass cleaners should never, ever be used to clean marble surfaces.
  • The best stone and grout care products to use for cleaning marble, granite or any natural stone is NeutraSheen Marble cleaner - It is safe and was specially formulated for marble cleaning, and will not damage the surface of your marble or your grout.
  • NeutraSheen Marble cleaner safely cleans marble due to its proprietary formula there is no loss of gloss, color, or clarity.

 

Take a look around our shop to find something perfect for you and use BD10 at checkout to receive a 10% discount! We look forward to doing business with you.

How to Care for Marble Floors

Learning how to care for marble floors is important because lack of proper maintenance causes the marble’s original appearance and overall quality to deteriorate.

Unlike other surfaces, marble floors are constantly exposed to elements, many of which lead to an acceleration of the marbles’ wear and tear, requiring routine upkeep and maintenance. In this blog post, we will share with you some insights on how to care for marble floors, as well as some great products to help sustain the life of your marble.

Clean Your Marble Floors Regularly

One of the best ways to care for marble floors is to maintain a cleaning schedule. Because marble floors are susceptible to scratches from dirt and sand particles, cleaning your marble floor regularly can help prevent scratches from occurring. In some cases of minor scratching, the marble floor can be restored using a marble polishing compound.

marble refinsihing kitHowever in situations of deep scratches, the marble may need to be refinished using sanding discs and buffing pads attached to an orbital buffing mechanism. For this, we strongly suggest using our deluxe marble refinishing kit, which includes everything you will need to restore scratched marble flooring.

Polish, Seal, and Protect Marble Flooring

An often overlooked aspect of caring for marble flooring is polishing and sealing the surface on a regular basis, typically, once or twice a year. This care requires some diligence because not only must you ensure that the marble floor is clean and free of debris, but marble polishing and sealing is a two-step process, requiring a significant amount of effort. This effort can be made much easier with the help of the right marble care products.

Our marble gloss restorer is very efficient at restoring the high gloss shine of marble while removing etchings and minor scratches from the marble flooring. Additionally, our marble sealer takes protection one step further by penetrating deep into the pores of the marble floor, creating a protective barrier. We offer both a solvent-based marble sealer, as well as water-based marble sealer.

Remove Etching on Marble Floors

Etching, which is actually a form of corrosion that takes place on the marble, is typically the result of the marble making prolonged contact with acidic or high alkaline substances. Although etch marks might appear like scratches, etching typically cannot be restored with a basic marble cleaner or polishing compound.

Similar to deep scratches, etch marks usually require a more restorative approach to the marble’s surface. Although there are companies that provide professional marble restoration services, these services can be very expensive, especially for large surface areas of marble flooring. A more economical alternative is to buy a marble refinishing kit, and do the process yourself. In all of our marble refinishing kits, we include an instructional DVD that takes you through the entire process, step by step. This makes the process very easy for almost anyone to do.

Learning how to care for marble floors is imperative to keep your marble looking its finest. Be sure to check out some of our marble care products or connect with Marble Cleaning Products on Google+ to stay current on more tips and insights on how to care for marble and other natural stone surfaces.

Bathroom Vanity Tops: Natural Marble vs. Man-Made Synthetic

Karen Mitchell has a situation which is quite rare; but, with elements that are uniquely common.

What would be extremely rare is if her bathroom vanity top and sink were made out of one solid piece of natural marble. What is more likely, is this one piece bathroom vanity top with sink is not natural marble. It’s man-made from synthetic materials to look like natural marble. In the industry, we call this cultured marble.

What is common to these cultured marble bathroom vanity sink combos is this: over time, the vanity section gets a build-up of scratches, it still retains its gloss look (soap, perfumes, other toiletries) don’t harm the gloss, cleansers containing abrasives will remove the gloss; the sink bottom near the drain typically stains, dulls, and cracks.

When you determine it’s time to replace the cultured marble bathroom vanity sink combo, we recommend replacing the vanity top with a piece of natural marble or granite and the sink basin can be replaced with porcelain, ceramic, mosaic, glass, or metal. If you choose to have a marble bathroom vanity top, we suggest installing an under mount sink basin instead of an over mount sink basin; because, it’s easier to refinish the marble vanity top if it gets damaged in the future.

If Karen Mitchell’s sink is natural marble, and stains near the drain are caused by metal oxidation leeching deep into the marble. This staining is usually yellow, orange, brown, or a mixture of these colors and because they are so deep in the stone, the staining is considered permanent. Sometimes a poultice can be used to draw out the staining and the discoloration will be reduced to varying degrees based upon the initial depth of the staining.

This article is in response to a request for help, submitted by Karen Mitchell, on 09/08/08.

How To Refinish a Marble Counter Top

Learning how to refinish a marble counter top can be achieved by any basic homeowner. You simply need the right tools and products, along with some basic education on how to refinish a marble surface. Here at Marble-Cleaning-Products.com, we  have everything you need to get it done. Our Marble Refinishing Kit contains everything you will need to restore and refinish your dull, stained, and scratched marble counter top to a brand new, highly polished surface.

Before you begin refinishing a marble counter top, we highly recommend watching our Instructional How To Do It DVD. After watching the DVD, you’ll want to analyze the condition of your marble counter top surface using a lamp or the overhead ceiling lights. Focus your vision over the dull areas and try to see the outline of the light bulb to determine the depth of the etching.

Next, mark a border with duct tape around areas that are completely dull and not scratched. This border should be one and a half inches away from the dull areas to allow for some overlap while using the buffer machine with the finer sanding discs.

Start your honing process (sanding) with the 220 grit disc. Follow this pattern using the 400 grit, then 600 grit, and finish with 800 grit disc. Remember to overlap your work area by a half inch each time you change-out a sanding disc grit. Also, remember to stop the machine every twenty seconds and clean the sanding disc with a wet sponge and check the sanding discs’ surface with your fingertips. The marble refinishing process works best when you feel the abrasiveness of the disc.

Please note: do not over use the sanding disc when the face becomes smooth to the touch (for it has lost its abrasiveness). If this is the case, the disc should be discarded and replaced with a new disc.

For estimating purposes: one sanding disc should hone up to seven square feet of marble. Additional sanding discs can be purchased on our website in the Supplies and Accessories category. We sell packages of (15) and (25) sanding discs; three (3) each of 150, 220, 400, 600, and 800 grit sizes and five (5) each of 150, 220, 400, 600, and 800 grit sizes, respectively. For areas that are completely dull and scratched, start the honing process (sanding) with 150 grit, and continue as specified in the aforementioned text.

After the honing process is completed, you can begin the polishing process using our Marble Gloss Restorer with our Ultimate Polishing Pad. Remember to polish the entire surface including areas that were not honed. It is necessary to polish two and sometimes three times to achieve a brand new, highly polished look. Additional Marble Gloss Restorer can be purchased on our website in the Marble Gloss Restorer category.

Please note: While analyzing the depth of etch marks, if you determine the etch marks are slight and not deep, some light is still reflective; then, no honing is necessary, just polish with our Marble Gloss Restorer with Ultimate Polishing Pad two to three times. Our Marble Gloss Restorer contains a fine gritty component which will remove minor scratches and water spots. Please note: our Marble Gloss Restorer out performs any and all of our competitors polishing products; our Marble Gloss Restorer is safe and easy to use, when used with our Ultimate Polishing Pad it produces a deep, durable, high gloss finish.

When polishing the following marble species: pure white (Thassos), dark brown (Breccia Nouvella), dark green (Verde Antique), and absolute black (Belgium Black) please call our professional sales staff at (800)-617-1779, to special order Marble Gloss Restorer SF (special formula); the mineral makeup of these marbles require a different chemistry to produce a high gloss finish, which is found in our Marble Gloss Restorer SF.

Please Note: when polishing marble with our Marble Gloss Restorer SF, you first make a slurry by mixing Marble Gloss Restorer SF with water, distribute the slurry over the area of marble to be polished, during the polishing process, it is normal for the slurry to dry quickly and you will notice a grabbing sensation from the machine which is caused by the friction created from using the Marble Gloss Restorer SF; do not add more water, polish this area dry for another minute or two; then, repeat this identical polishing process by adding more Marble Gloss Restorer SF mixed with water and polish the same area of marble one or two more times, before you start polishing your next section of marble.

After refinishing your marble counter top to a brand new highly polished surface, be sure to protect your marble by sealing it with our Marble Guard Protector SB (a clear, deep penetrating, impregnating) marble sealer. Follow the sealant with an application of our Marble Polish and Protector.

Our Instructional How To Do It DVD, shows you how to do these two preventative maintenance steps as follows: apply a generous amount of Marble Guard Protector SB, over the entire marble surface, let it penetrate for at least one hour; next, apply a light coating of Marble Polish and Protector to an area no larger than three square feet, immediately, remove all residue of Marble Polish and Protector from the marble surface with paper towels, use a circular buffing motion to accomplish this task; next, buff this area with our Micro Fiber Mesh Hand Polishing Bonnet which you can find on our website when you click on the Supplies and Accessories category link. Our Micro Fiber Mesh Hand Polishing Bonnet can be used manually or by machine, it has a built in pouch your hand fits into and it also attaches to machines that have a velcro pad holder such as the machines contained in our marble and granite refinishing kits. After you finish polishing this first section of marble with our Marble Polish and Protector, you’re ready to repeat this same process on the next section of marble, and continue, section by section until completely finished.

This article is in response to a question submitted by Lucille Wiseman on 07/19/08.

How to Remove a Urine Stain from Marble Flooring

Uric acid from pet urine is quite potent. The uric acid etches the marble to a dull appearance, and in many cases the texture of the marble surface will change from smooth to rough. Additionally, sometimes the color of the marble surface appears to contain a yellow tinge.

For those of you whose pets have urinated on your marble floor and damaged the marble, please don’t worry; our Marble Refinishing Kit contains everything you will need to restore your dull, etch-stained marble to a brand new, highly polished surface.

How to Refinish Stained & Damaged Marble

The first step prior to refinishing marble that’s been damaged or stained is to first protect the undamaged marble area with plastic sheeting applied with duct tape. Please note: allow an additional 2 inches of work area so that the machine can overlap the damaged marble surface with the finer sanding discs (overlap ½ inch per grit size).

Next, start your honing process (sanding) with the 220 grit disc, followed by 400 grit, then 600 grit, and finish with 800 grit. Remember to overlap your work area by a half inch, each time you change a sanding disc grit. Remember to stop the buffer machine every twenty seconds and clean the discs with a wet sponge. Also be sure check the surface of the sanding discs with your fingertips, for the discs work optimally when you can feel the abrasiveness on the disc. For damaged marble that is completely dull and its surface texture is rough when touching the marble with finger tips, start the honing process (sanding) with 150 grit, and continue as specified in the aforementioned text.

After the honing process is completed, you can begin the polishing process using our Marble Gloss Restorer with our Ultimate Polishing Pad, is necessary to polish two and sometimes three times to achieve a brand new, highly polished look. Please note:

When polishing the following marble species: pure white (Thassos), dark brown (Breccia Nouvella), dark green (Verde Antique), and absolute black (Belgium Black) please call our professional sales staff at (800)-617-1779, to special order Marble Gloss Restorer (Special Formula) ; the mineral makeup of these marbles require a different chemistry to produce a high gloss finish, which is found in our Marble Gloss Restorer (SF).

When polishing marble with our Marble Gloss Restorer (SF), you first make a slurry by mixing Marble Gloss Restorer (SF) with water, distribute the slurry over the area of marble to be polished, during the polishing process, it is normal for the slurry to dry quickly and you will notice a grabbing sensation from the machine which is caused by the friction created from using the Marble Gloss Restorer (SF); do not add more water, polish this area dry for another minute or two; then, repeat this identical polishing process by adding more Marble Gloss Restorer (SF) mixed with water and polish the same area of marble one or two more times to achieve a deep, durable, high gloss finish.

When finished, rinse the new marble surface several times with clean water; then, remove the plastic sheeting and duct tape. If the duct tape leaves an adhesive residue on the marble surface, this residue is easily removed. Use a paper towel and a small amount of lacquer thinner, or acetone (also contained in nail polish remover). Do not use lacquer thinner, or acetone on painted areas or on polyurethane which is typically on hardwood floors; use instead, a small amount of our Marble Polish and Protector or our Granite Polish and Protector, applied with a paper towel; both of these products will remove adhesive residue from duct tape without damaging paint or polyurethane.

This article is in response to a question from Carroll, that was received 6/10/08.

Understanding Your Marble

People often complain to us about their marble only being a week, a month, or a year old: “how is it that it my marble stained, scratched, lost its shine, water spots, glass rings, and dull spots.”

It took a billion years for the earth to form mountains of marble and in the blink of an eye, marble can lose its gloss, scratch, or get stained. Marble is calcium carbonate and for the most part is a very soft and porous stone as compared to granite whose mineral makeup is mostly quartz and silicon dioxide. Granite is a much harder and less porous stone as compared to marble; granite does not require as much (tlc) maintenance as marble, because granite is so much more resistant to alkaline and acidic encounters than marble. We’ll have a much more involved discussion about granite in the near future.

There are many myths and old wives’ tales about cleaning and maintaining marble. Some of the more popular; but, erroneous and truly damaging, marble cleaning myths are as follows: use vinegar, ammonia, bleach, fine steel wool, furniture polish (some contain lemon and other harmful materials), all purpose spray cleaners (some contain harmful petroleum based products or harsh alkaline chemicals). Some people use waxes, acrylics, urethanes, sealers containing polymers, all these products mask (hide) the marble blemishes and dullness; but, they all give marble an artificial look; these coatings are soft, they scratch and scuff, they crack, flake, and peel off over time; they really become a maintenance nightmare.

A very common problem, which is extremely damaging when used on marble, is the use of tile and grout cleaners. Tile and grout cleaners are formulated to clean ceramic and porcelain tiles and the grout between them. Tile and grout cleaners can be alkaline but the majority of tile and grout cleaners are acidic and are more corrosive in attacking the marble surface. There are so many over the counter kitchen and bathroom cleaners, glass and solid surface cleaners; and many of these cleaners list marble as one of the surfaces they can be used on. In order for these cleaners to be effective, they are formulated with chemicals that are extremely high in alkalinity and because of their chemistry, can be quite damaging when used on marble.

Be aware; especially, in bathrooms and kitchens, that marble will be damaged by soaps and shampoos, perfumes and other toiletries, by food and beverage spills, most foods and beverages contain citric acid as a preservative. Be aware of grit, tracking in sand and dirt from outside and walking on it, acts as an abrasive and wears off the marbles’ high gloss finish over time. Be aware of house pets tracking in grit and urinating on marble. Be aware of trades people working near and around areas containing marble, many times these trades people are not cognizant of the damage their tools and materials can do to marble if they don’t spend time prepping and protecting their work area.

Some popular marble cleaning misconceptions we hear all the time are: what marble cleaner can be used to make the marble look new again or what marble cleaner will bring back that high gloss look the marble had on day one; what marble cleaner will remove the dull spots, the glass rings, the water spots; what marble cleaner will restore the original color the marble had on day one? Please note: there is no “marble cleaner” produced anywhere in the world that will repair or restore the aforementioned problems. A credible marble cleaner should be formulated as follows: be neutral on the PH scale, so it won’t have a negative effect on the marble’s gloss, color, or clarity; be able to break through surface deposits and disinfect, have a pleasant smell.

Understanding the cause and effect nuances of damaged marble facilitates the formulation of corrective measures (using what products and techniques) to restore, protect, and maintain marble to its day one appearance and condition. Typically, when marble is damaged (lost its shine and some color) we usually say the marble surface is etched. Degrees of marble etching can vary greatly. The surface of marble when etched, develops microscopic to tiny craters (holes) and to a lesser extent, the marble surface can develop slight fractures; also, etched marble yields color loss in varying degrees (due to the depth of damage).

New marble, having a high gloss (factory finish) inherently has the ability to reflect light and clear images (mirror finish). When analyzing etched marble, pay attention to loss of light reflectivity, loss of image clarity (distortion) loss of color, check surface texture (is the marble still smooth or has it become rough when you touch the marble surface with your finger tips). Be aware, that not all marble species display a 100% high gloss, mirror finish; the mineral makeup of the stone is the determining factor. Evaluating to what extent the marble surface is damaged helps in determining what corrective course of action to implement when restoring marble.

Since we understand that scratched or etched marble have surface openings which don’t reflect light or images, it is necessary to close these openings in the marble surface, and once closed, the marble surface can be polished to a high gloss finish. The simplest and quickest way to restore scratched and etched marble is to first hone or sand the marbles’ surface, starting with a more aggressive abrasive (approximately 150 grit) and progressively using finer and finer abrasives (220, 400, 600, and 800 grit sizes respectively). Please note: only deep scratches and deep etchings require a 150 grit abrasive as a starting point, start with a 220 grit abrasive for medium scratches and etchings to be followed with 400, 600, and 800 grit abrasives respectively. Once the honing or sanding process is completed, the openings are eliminated and the marble has a new surface; the next step, is a polishing process. Polishing marble will restore its gloss and color and using the correct marble polishing compound and polishing pad is critical because not all marble polishing compounds and pads are manufactured the same way. It usually takes two and sometimes three polishing attempts to restore the marble surface to its original gloss and color. Please note: fine marble scratches (they can not be felt by your finger nail) and medium to light marble etchings (partially dull, reflects some light and partial images, slight color loss) can be corrected most of the time, just by polishing two or sometimes three times with our Marble Gloss Restorer and Ultimate Polishing Pad, without having to hone or sand first.

In conclusion, for those of you who have damaged marble, not to worry. Your damaged marble can easily be restored (resurfaced and refinished) to a brand new condition (factory finish). For those of you who have marble that is newly installed, marble in excellent condition, or contemplating purchasing marble, proper maintenance is crucial: using a bona fide neutral cleaner and sealer is most important. We’ll have an article on marble, granite, and grout sealers in the very near future.

Remember to use common sense around your marble: use glass coasters when putting drinks on a marble surface, be sure to pick up (remove) quickly and clean with a neutral marble cleaner, food and beverage spills, dedicate a section of a kitchen marble counter top as a food preparation area and have this food prep area covered with “butcher block” or plexiglass for example, don’t cut anything on marble, don’t apply any type of cleaning abrasive on marble, don’t drag chairs, tables, other types of furniture on a marble floor, don’t drag or push cleaning buckets or dirty vacuum wheels across a marble floor, be careful that children’s toys don’t scratch or damage a marble surface. Have area rugs near entrance doors, near bathroom sinks, shower/tub and toilets, near kitchen sinks and the food prep area.

We will be writing articles a few times per month to help educate and inform relative to why granite, grout, and marble inherently are beautiful, problematic, and needy of proper maintenance. We welcome responses to our articles and will try to answer comments and questions in a timely fashion.