How To Clean Marble Without Hurting It

Marble is a natural stone made of calcium carbonate. It’s porous and soft and is used for countertops, floors, furniture, and decorative elements around the house. Homeowners prefer it due to its durability and elegance. 

A woman cleaning a marble surface with a yellow cloth

Although marble is timeless and elegant, it can be easily stained and etched. Thus, it requires special care to stay in top shape. Plus, if you own marble, you should be rather careful about the products you use to clean it. You might not be able to use common cleaning products or homemade ones because they might damage it. 

How to clean marble without hurting it

The best way to clean your marble is by using soft cloths, water, along with a few drops of dishwashing liquid. And there’s always the option of using commercial products specifically designed for cleaning your marble. As you can see, the easiest way to clean your countertop is using a stone cleaner. However, using natural products and cleaning agents you already have at your disposal is better, as they don’t contain harmful chemicals. Let’s see how you can clean it without damages. 

Here’s what you need to clean it safely: 

  • A spray bottle
  • Hot water
  • A gentle dish soap
  • Soft dishcloth
  • Cloth
  • A soft, absorbent towel

Cleaning products for taking care of marble

You can follow now the below steps:

  1. Fill a bottle with water and add a few drops of the soap. Shake very well to dissolve the detergent.
  2. Spray the item with soapy water and scrub the surface with the dishcloth. 
  3. Rinse the marble with a cloth. Keep rinsing until the soapy solution is completely gone and there’s no residue left. 
  4. Dry and buff the surface with a soft, absorbent towel

How to clean marble countertops from stubborn stains

Countertops are getting dirty very quickly. Cooking splatters, water stains and coffee stains are the most typical. And it’s inevitable having a stained countertop at the end of the day. While all other types of countertops can be cleaned using natural ingredients, unfortunately, the same is not true for countertops. Marble needs special treatment. Let’s see how you can deal with different types of stains. 

Oily stains

Grease, cooking oil, and other oil-based ingredients can cause dark spots on the countertop. These stains can be removed using chemicals like ammonia, acetone, or mineral spirits. You can use those products only if you own a light-coloured or white countertop.

Organic stains

Coffee spills, wine, tea, fruit, and any other pinky-brown ingredients somehow dye marble and can’t be cleaned just by using water and dishwashing detergent. They need something more powerful but still safe for your marble. 

To clean these types of stains, you’re going to need a 12% hydrogen peroxide solution and a few drops of ammonia. Spray the solution onto the stained area and wipe with a soft, clean microfibre cloth. After cleaning the stain, rinse very well and wipe dry with a chamois.

A bunch of cleaning solutions on a marble surface

Biological stains

Biological stains are caused by mildew and mould growth. That’s when a powdery, green/brown stain appears. You can remove these stains by applying a bleach solution.

  1. In a spray bottle, mix bleach with one part water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent.
  2. Spray the surface and rub it with a cloth. Repeat the process until the stain disappears.
  3. Rinse with a damp cloth and dry with a soft one. 

Water stains

As weird as it might sound, if you don’t wipe water from marble, it can leave stains and hard-to-clean rings. You can, though, clean them with a 0000-rated steel wool pad. Buff water stains with a dry, 0000-rated steel wool pad until they are gone. 

Metal stains

Metal stains differ in colour depending on the material. Iron and rust stains are usually orangey-brownish, whilst copper or bronze stains are green-muddy browns. You can deal with these stains with a poultice. You can get commercial poultice, but you can create yours as well. 

For a DIY poultice, you need:

  • If you have a copper stain on the countertop, you need to mix one absorbent material like chalk or talc with ammonia. 
  • If you have rust stains, then mix diatomaceous earth and a rust remover.

Note: If you can’t remove copper stains with your DIY poultice, you should call for a professional to handle over. 

How to clean marble floors safely

Floors are, generally speaking, easily stained. That’s why you need:

  • A bucket
  • Hot water
  • A dust mop
  • A microfibre head mop
  • A soapless cleaner with pH neutral/mild, phosphate-free dishwashing detergent
  • A soft cloth

A clean marble floor

Now, do as follows:

  1. Pass the dust mop on the floor to wipe any grime and debris
  2. Wet the floor with clean water and apply the cleaning solution with a microfibre head mop.
  3. Rinse the floor thoroughly with clean water. Don’t forget to change the water every now and then if it gets really dirty.
  4. Dry the floor with a cloth

How to remove scratches from marble

Whether you have marble floors or counters, scratches are possible to happen no matter how careful you are. Fortunately, there’s a way to get rid of them.

You are going to need:

  • Warm water
  • A soft cloth
  • Mild dish soap

Once you’ve gathered all the needed materials, follow these steps:

  1. Rub the scratch with a damp water cloth.  Add a few drops of mild detergent to the water to create more friction.
  2. Rinse the surface from the soapy water and dry it very well with a soft rug.

Extra Tip: If there are deep scratches on the surface of the marble, before using the soapy water, rub them with very fine-grain sandpaper or a sander

Note: If you can’t remove the scratches with the above method, then call a professional. Professional marble cleaners know exactly how to remove them without damaging the surface.

What is the safest way to clean white marble?

These surfaces are easier to be stained and marked by spills and spots. However, there’s a safe way to clean them.

Cleaning products for white marble

You are going to need:

  • Warm water
  • A microfibre cloth
  • Dish soap
  • A dry cloth

Now, follow these easy steps:

  1. Fill a bucket or a bowl with water and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Stir very well to dilute the soap.
  2. Soak a cloth into the warm soapy solution and wipe the white marble surface. 
  3. After cleaning the surface with soapy water, rinse it very well and wipe it dry with a cloth

What to avoid when cleaning marble surfaces

When cleaning a marble surface, there are many things you should take into consideration in order not to damage your elegant marble. 

  1. Avoid acidic substances. In other words, don’t use white vinegar to clean the marble. Vinegar is the best natural household cleaning solution. However, it isn’t the right one for marble surfaces due to its acidic properties. And any other acidic cleaners can corrode marble and create etch marks, including lemon juice.
  2. Don’t use abrasive cleaners like scouring powders or creams, dry or soft cleansers, bathroom, grout, tub, and tile cleaners. You should avoid them as they can damage the natural stone
  3. While vacuuming, your marble floor you should be really careful, as vacuum cleaners might scratch the surface.
  4. Don’t use any scrubbing brushes as they can scratch the surface of the marble. Opt better for soft, microfiber cloths. 
  5. Avoid using baking soda on marble surfaces. Baking soda is abrasive, and it could ruin the marble’s finishing. If you do want to use it, though, don’t let it stay on it for more than a few seconds, and be sure to rinse it very well afterwards. 

a jar of white vinegar a jar of baking soda and a lemon

Is it safe to use cleaning products on marble?

When you want to use common household products to clean your marble, you should be really careful and always read the labels. Not all products are suitable for marble, and they can damage it. In fact, almost all household cleaning products are too harsh for marble, as they might be too acidic or alkaline. Even if you choose a cleaner labelled “for marble”, it might not be so effective. Many of these products can clean oil or food spills, or they might leave streaks. 

Tips for keeping your marbles shine for a long time

Marble is a soft stone that needs special care and protection to keep it in good condition. It’s rather sensitive to acids and alkalis that many everyday-used ingredients contain and can make it look dull. Vinegar and lemon, for example, can etch marble and remove its shine. 

    1. Avoid using and placing sharp-edged items on marble. Use padding under furniture if you have marble floors. Plus, coasters and mats can protect your marble countertops.
    2. Wipe away any stain, especially liquids. Orange juice, wine, coffee and other stuff that can dye the surface, like curry powder, coffee grounds, and leafy greens, should be cleaned as fast as possible. 
    3. Don’t let marble air dry after cleaning with water, as it might leave water stains. Always dry them with a dry cloth afterwards. 
    4. Avoid marble contact with white vinegar, lemon juice, bleach, tomato sauce. They can etch it.
    5. Don’t place hot plates directly onto the marble countertop.  You should always use trivets and mats. 
    6. Seal your marble. Sealing your marble every few months is the best way to protect it from stains. According to marble experts, a sealant doesn’t make marble stain proof but more resistant to stains. Ask your supplier for the best way to seal your surfaces, especially your marble counters.
    7. Clean daily your marble surfaces with warm soapy water to avoid stain buildup. Don’t forget that you can clean your floors using a dust mop

a marble countertop in a kitchen

No matter how careful you might be, stains can occur. Cleaning marble is a very easy process. You just need to know what you can use to clean it, as not all products and ingredients are suitable for marble surfaces. Daily cleaning using water and a cloth can keep your marble surfaces out of grime. For extra cleaning power, you can add a squirt of your soap. Avoid using your typical home remedies (keep vinegar and baking soda in your cupboards for this task) as they’re too acidic and alkaline for marble.

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