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Marble Care : Proven Strategies for Cleaning & Maintenance

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Caring for Your Marble

Marble can be one of the most beautiful and elegant choices for use as a surface in any room of your home.  It can also be versatile and enduring, as long as it is cared for consistently in the right way.  Proper attention to the correct cleaning methods and the best strategies to maintain your marble is the first step in keeping it in great condition and providing you with a durable surface you can enjoy.

The difficulty with marble comes from its absorbent nature, causing it to be sensitive to not only spills but also things like household cleaners.  Chemicals within these items can cause severe damage to the surface of your marble, causing it to look discolored or even deteriorate.  Doing what you can to properly care for your marble now can ultimately save you time, trouble, and restoration costs.

Basic Tips to Prevent Marble Damage

The best way to keep your marble looking fantastic is really to prevent damage in the first place, which you can do easily by following these tips for the basic maintenance and care of your marble.

  • If you haven’t already, try not to use polished marble in areas that will be subject to a lot of traffic
  • To keep outside dirt from damaging the surface of your marble, place nonslip rugs near entrances
  • Never allow spills to sit for any length of time on the surface of your marble
  • Never set drinking glasses on your marble without using a coaster to protect it
  • Avoid placing hot plates on your marble without a mat to protect it
  • Keep a regular maintenance schedule for the care of your marble that includes inspecting your home for damaged tiles

Cleaning Your Marble

Typically, experts recommended that water be the only ingredient used as a cleaner on marble.  If and when additional cleaners are required, those with neutral ingredients are best, as they are less likely to damage the marble.  Ultimately, it is best if cleaners are not used by nonprofessionals, and the following tips should be suitable for the basic cleaning of your marble.

  • Do not use old vacuum cleaners as they will damage marble surfaces
  • Rinse marble surfaces with fresh, warm water
  • When cleaning, make sure you are using clean water and change your mop water frequently
  • Do not use floors after cleaning until they are completely dry
  • Avoid chemical cleaners, and do not mix chemicals to use on your marble
  • Avoid abrasive materials to clean polished marble surfaces as they will cause damage
  • Do not wax your marble as it will cause a very slick surface
  • Wipe up spills as quickly as possible to keep them from causing stains

Daily Maintenance

Getting into a daily maintenance routine may be the best way to keep your marble looking nice.  This routine can vary according to the particular surface you are attempting to maintain.

For polished marble floors, you are better off not using brushes with harsh bristles that may damage the surface.  It is also not advised that you use a vacuum to clean your floor, as they can also cause scratches.  Ideally, a dry mop can be used daily to remove dust or dirt particles, and a damp mop can be used when more thorough cleaning is required.

When it comes to countertops, marble with a natural finish and no shine is probably better suited for the kitchen.  These can be cleaned more easily with a microfiber cloth every day.  Similar to marble floors, a damp cloth can also be used to clean more thoroughly.  Never use chemical cleaners with abrasive ingredients and keep acidic ingredients like vinegar and citrus fruits off your marble surfaces as well.

For marble in the bathroom, make sure you wipe up excess water right away because hard water can easily damage the surface of your countertops.  Also, take care when using glass cleaner to clean your mirrors if they are located directly over marble counters because the chemicals included in your glass cleaner can also damage surfaces.

You should also be cautious of placing wet bottles or cosmetic items directly onto the surface of marble in the bathroom and doing things like painting your nails or using harsh hair products near your marble as this could cause staining.

The Art of Marble Polishing

If you already own marble, you know that restoring or polishing marble is not the most straightforward task, and it can be a little complicated.  This is partly due to the fact that there are actually several kinds of marble, and each variety of marble requires its own unique care.  

If you have noticed different colors in marble, you are really seeing the variety brought about by various materials within the marble.  For example, the elegant white marble that most people are familiar with is created from a high purity limestone.  Alternatively, marble that contains ingredients in addition to basic limestone often produces colored marble, as in the case of green marble, the creation of limestone and the addition of large quantities of magnesium.

Typically, marble polishing is best left to professionals who can distinguish the type of marble surface you own and have the appropriate tools for the job.  Using a professional service to bring out the natural shine of the marble surfaces in your home is the best way to save yourself the headache of later trying to restore the damage caused by an inadequate job.

Additional Care for Your Marble

You will probably want to occasionally clean marble floors with clean, warm water and dry them after cleaning with a dry, soft cloth.  Conducting this type of cleaning at least twice a year can keep dust particles from building up on the surface of your floor and diminishing the overall look of the marble.  

Generally, anything extra required for the regular maintenance of your marble would best be advised by a marble expert who can determine the type of stone you have and suggest the most appropriate practice for ongoing care.

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