How to Clean, Maintain, and Repair Marble Countertops
There are three main types of rock in the earth: sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Marble and quartzite are metamorphic and granite is igneous. The variation of minerals and composition of each type of stone is what determines the difference in appearance and durability. Marble is a metamorphic stone usually largely composed of calcite or dolomite. This composition makes marble much more susceptible to etching or scratches than granite. In this post, we will cover all the information you need to clean, maintain, and, if needed, repair your marble countertops.
Clean your marble with water and a professional quality natural stone cleaner when necessary (there are several good options available from Regent. Do not use any acidic or heavy duty cleaners on your natural stone. Never use Windex on your marble.
Marble should be sealed two to four times a year. White marble, especially if it’s being used in the kitchen, should be sealed every three of four months. You can’t over-seal your stone, but you can under-seal it. Dont’ worry, sealing is a quick and easy process. High traffic or high risk areas like islands or the sides of the range (where grease splashes are more common) can be resealed more often as needed. You can get high quality sealer (also called impregnator) online from Regent. For marble, white granite, and quartzite, we recommend a specialized sealer like Regent’s “Zeta Seal,” which is specifically designed to prevent acidic substances from etching stones.
To seal your countertops: Clean the counters thoroughly. When they are dry, pour the sealer onto the counters roll it evenly onto the counters with a clean paint roller, making sure to roll forward, backward, left, and right. Wait 15 minutes and wipe off any excess. Then repeat the process a second time. Like paint, sealer shrinks as it dries, so a second coat will ensure that all the surface is protected.
Unsure about whether your counters need to be sealed? Pour a small bit of water on the counter (half an inch or so in diameter) and place an overturned glass on the spot for about half an hour. If there is no dark spot when you wipe away the water, then your countertop is sealed. If there is a dark spot, then just wait for it to evaporate, then seal your counters.
You should avoid cutting on your marble. It could scratch it, but even if it didn’t the knives might leave steel marks (and it will ruin your knives!). You can put hot pans and pots on your counters, but you may want to use hot-pads if they have rough bottoms that could scratch the marble.
If your marble etches, it’s possible to repair it. Simply get a marble polishing powder like the one that comes in countertopspeciality.com’s “Stone Care: Marble Repair & Polishing Kit.” Cover the etch mark in the powder, spray a bit of water onto a cloth and a bit of water onto the power, scrub vigorously for about 20 seconds, and finally use marble cleaner to wipe off any excess powder.
If your marble stains, you can use a heavy duty stone stain remover like the “Bellinzoni Mangia Macchia” available through Regent or simplestonecare.com. This pre-mixed paste sucks the stain out of the stone. The product comes with easy to follow instruction for use and will work on all natural stones to remove almost any stain without changing the color of the stone or damaging the finish or polish. If you have a dyed stone (only relevant with granite, and not applicable for Granite Grannies clients), the paste will remove that dye along with the stain.
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