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Six top tips for cleaning marble surfaces

06 June 2016

When it comes to selecting natural stone surfaces, marble is undoubtedly king. Marble is a metamorphic rock and a very versatile material that’s perfect for flooring, fireplaces, worktops and more.

It’s beautiful to touch and look at and the addition of marble is sure to add a touch of luxury to any environment. It's available in so many different patterns and colours, often interspersed by contrasting mineral veining.

However, before you fall head over heels in love with marble, it is worth remembering that marble is a natural stone, which means that care needs to be taken in its maintenance and cleaning regime to keep it looking its best. Unlike manmade materials such as laminate flooring or ceramic tiles, the upkeep and preservation of natural stone requires a little bit of thought and commitment.

Here are our top 6 tips for looking after marble surfaces.

DO use coasters and floor protector pads

Prolong the life of your marble surface by protecting it from items that could harm it. Put coasters under coffee cups and wine glasses on marble countertops. Use a stand for hot saucepans to avoid the risk of thermoshock. Place felt pads or cork pads under furniture so as not to scratch the marble floor. Think about using non-slip mats under rugs – marble floors can be slippery!

DO wipe up spills quickly

Marble is a porous surface which means it absorbs liquid and marks easily. It’s best not to leave liquids on the surface for too long. Fruit juice, wine, vinegar, beetroot may all leave stains on kitchen worktops. In the bathroom, products such as creams, lotions and nail polish remover could leave rings or stains that may be hard to remove later. Best to be safe than sorry.

DO wipe daily

It’s important to give your marble surfaces a regular wipe over with a clean, dry cloth. Not enough people realise that marble can scratch easily. Dust particles that are not removed frequently can attract other debris too, and the mixture can turn abrasive when mixed with water or detergents. You may not be able to detect tiny scratches at first, but over time your marble surface will lose its shine and become duller. What’s more, scratches in the marble will make it even more porous and susceptible to staining.

DO use non-abrasive cleaning cloths

Soft, lint-free cleaning cloths or chamois leathers/cloths are best for cleaning the delicate marble worktops or floors without the risk of damaging the surface. E-cloths are ideal for this purpose too.

DO use special marble cleaners

If you’re serious about prolonging the life of your marble surfaces, look out for specialised solvents designed specifically to protect marble and natural stone surfaces. Regular chemical detergents may be too harsh. And don’t make the mistake of choosing natural cleaners such as vinegar or lemon juice – these substances are far too acidic for the delicate marble surface and will do more harm than good.

DO seal natural stone periodically

To reduce absorption of liquids in marble due to its porous construction, marble is usually treated with a sealer that penetrates the surface and fills the microscopic pores between the crystals. Natural stone may need to be resealed every 6 months or so, depending on your level of usage and cleaning regime. Many suppliers will provide a stone care kit for DIY resealing of worktops, but you can also hire a professional company to do this for you.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Sussex-based stonework specialists Chandler Stoneworks