Stone mosaics are ancient art forms. They're so tough they've actually outlasted whole civilizations. They're a true art form, equally popular with ancient kings and modern homeowners. Marble is strong, but very sensitive to common kitchen items like cleaning chemicals, juices containing citric acid, and oily liquids. Marble countertops and tabletops are easily stained by acidic foods like fruit, tomato sauce, coffee, and wine. These fluids will eventually erode your marble or make it look "cloudy".
Here are some ideas to help you clean and care for your marble countertops:
Some must-have cleaning accessories in caring for your marble tile:
- Warm water
- Stone sealer/protector
- Specialized stone soap (or another neutral cleaner)
- Soft bristle brush (synthetic)
- Soft washcloth or sponge
Stained marble tile leaves you with two options: live with the stain or live with etched marble tile where the stain used to be. Many cleaners that remove stains from your marble countertop do so by removing the stain but also damaging the surface finish.
• For food and oil stains, a better option would be to spread dry con starch over the stain, letting it sit undisturbed for 24 hours. The corn starch will absorb the oil from the stain on the marble countertop, and will hopefully prevent you from having to use the harsher, damaging, cleaners.
• Removing rust stains is much more damaging to your marble tile countertops, as rust can only be removed by using specialized rust-removal products that only work by etching away polished surfaces.
• If the stain is just too horrible to live with, marble tile can be sent out and re-polished. You will receive your counter top back with a beautiful shine again, but it will also be slightly thinner.
Preparing Your Countertop
Before you start cleaning your marble tile with specialized products, first use the soft bristle brush to loosen the surface dirt, wiping away what comes off with your soft washcloth or sponge. With the surface dirt gone, those specialized cleaning agents will have much more success.
Be sure to only use cleaning products that were made to clean marble tile. Most household cleaning products people keep under their sink or in their laundry rooms include acid, which as already mentioned, will leave stains behind (exactly what you're trying to get rid of). The best marble-friendly cleaning products are phosphate-free solutions or even liquid dishwashing soap. The best way to use any cleaning product on your marble tile is to rinse off the soap instantly with warm water to keep from drying out the marble.
Sealing Marble Tile
When you have cleaned the surface of your marble tile countertop, you will want to seal it to keep oils and dirt from causing damage again. It is not a good idea to use wax, especially for white marble tile, as the wax causes the marble to yellow. A better option is to use a stone sealer designed specifically for protecting marble tile and helping it to resist the oils and dirt you just spent so much time and energy removing.