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How To Clean Marble Counters

How To Clean Marble Counters

Are you wondering how to clean marble countertops the right way? Capitol Granite has put together a detailed guide walking you through everything you need to know about taking proper care of your marble countertops. With its wonderful feel and very rich coloration, natural stone is a beautiful gift for our homes from Mother Earth. This common kitchen and bath countertop option can be quite pricey. Marble is an incredibly durable stone with a delicate side. This is the reason why it is important to protect this investment by taking care of your marble tops the right way. Marble is mainly composed of calcium carbonate and is sensitive to acidic cleaners. Any liquid that is acidic such as lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar etc. and has the capacity to eat away the countertop’s surface thus creating etches. Etches are dull spots. Many people see etches as a part of the countertop’s character and others want the top layer to get grinded down anytime that too many etches occur.

What You Need When Cleaning Your Marble Countertops

To get started, you are going to need to stay far away from acidic and abrasive cleaners. Below you will find a small list of products you are going to need before you start to clean your marble counters.

  • Warm Water
  • Marble Stone Solution
  • Spray Bottle
  • Mild Dish Soap
  • Soft Towel
  • Dish Cloth or Sponge

Step One: Non-Abrasive Marble Cleaner

If you have chosen to not use a marble cleaner then that is okay! You can use a small squirt of mild non-abrasive soap and mix it with warm water inside a spray bottle. Take this soapy water mix and begin to spray down the marble countertop surface generously. Now, grab the soft sponge or cloth of choice and begin to gently scrub down the natural stone surface. Continue repeating this process until the soapy residue is completely gone.

Step Two: Buffing Marble Countertops

Grab a soft absorbent towel and buff the countertop after you have already rubbed down the surface until dry.

Stain Removal And Supplies

Getting rid of stains found on marble countertops can be a very tricky task. It is very helpful to identify the initial cause of said stains on your counters. This enables you to find the right cleaner to use for that type of stain. The sooner you tend to the stain the easier it will be to remove it. You should never mix chemicals or other cleaning agents with each other. Not only can they be toxic but they can also be lethal. Before you clean you should always test out the cleaning agent of choice on an inconspicuous area so you can determine the suitability and be sure that it will not damage the countertop surface. You also want to be sure to use the right clothing like protective eyewear, gloves, and be in a well-ventilated area. Materials you may need are as follow;

  • Mineral Spirits
  • Ammonia
  • Acetone
  • Soft Liquid Cleanser
  • 12% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Bleach
  • 20% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Lacquer Thinner
  • Razor Blade
  • 0000 Steel-Wood Pads
  • Soft Sponge
  • Gloves
  • Flour
  • Protective Eyewear
  • Pre-Mixed Commercial Poultice

Oil Stains

Oil-based stains such as cooking oil, grease, makeup, or milk will cause the stone to darken the countertop and will have to be dealt with using chemicals. Gently clean the surface using a soft sponge or towel, a liquid cleanser w/ bleach, ammonia, acetone, and mineral spirits.

Biological Stains

You can battle mildew stains using a 3-part household bleach with 1 part water and a small dash of dish soap all mixed together inside of a spray bottle. Take the spray bottle and spray the countertop surface thoroughly & repeat until the stain is gone. You can then rinse the area with water. Finally, dry off the surface using a dry soft cloth.

Organic Stains

Tea, paper, coffee, fruit, wine, tobacco, & other similar food stains can be cleaned using a 12 % hydrogen-peroxide solution with a couple of ammonia drops. Now, wipe over the stain using a clean cloth. Take a damp cloth and rinse off the area. Dry the surface using a chamois cloth.

Ink Stains

When you are wanting to remove ink-based stains from dark countertops, take a cotton swab and dip it in acetone. Using the cotton swab, apply the acetone directly onto the countertop surface. If you have lighter countertops, then you’ll want to use a 20 % hydrogen peroxide solution. You will also need a soft sponge or cloth dampened with H20 to wipe off the residue after the stain removal. 9

1. Take anywhere between 1/4 – 1/2 of a cup of flour in a bowl and mix it with either acetone (dark colored stone) or twenty percent hydrogen peroxide (light stone) to form a paste.
2. Take flour poultice and apply it to the area with a spoon or plastic spatula. Now cover the area with some plastic wrap and press down firmly. Take a toothpick and poke a few holes in the plastic wrap and let the poultice dry up for about 24 hours.
3. Remove & discard the wrap & let the poultice to continue drying. After it is completely dry you can remove it and discard of it. If you still see any marks left then all you have to do is repeat the process.
4. After the stain is completely gone, you’ll want to apply a little bit of neutral pH soap like Dove. You will use this to clean the surface off. You will also need a soft sponge or cloth dampened in water. Clean off the area where the soap was & remove any leftover residue.

Paint Stains

You can start by removing a small drip using lacquer thinner by dabbing it on using a cloth or you can also scrape it off with a razor blade but you have to do this carefully to prevent any potential scratches on the surface. For large paint stains, you will need to use commercial paint stripper which may cause etching & require the need for repolishing after the removal. See back instructions when using these products.  After you finish using any of the mentioned products you should always clean the area off using a clean cloth or sponge dampened in water and ventilate the area afterward. Regardless of whether you own your own condominium or your own house, countertops can get dirty throughout time so make sure you know how to properly clean them!

Water Rings And Spots

You are going to want to buff away any watermarks using a dry 0000-rated steel wool pad. This particular pad may potentially do the trick for any small scratches and nicks you may find. Bigger issues will probably require a need for repolishing. You can prevent such damages by using trivets and coasters.

Metal Stains

Metal stains are caused by rust or iron and may range from orange to brown color while bronze or copper stains normally will appear muddy brown or green. All metal stains are stubborn. You can tackle metal stains using poultice:

  1. Take premixed commercial poultices and mix it in with water until it reaches a consistency similar to that of peanut butter.
  2. Take the mix and apply it over the stain to a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch. Take a plastic or wood spatula and spread the paste evenly over the stain.
  3. You can cover the metal stain with plastic wrap & secure the sides all around using painter’s tape. Let it sit for 24 – 48 hours.
  4. Take off the plastic wrap and let the poultice dry as to pull the stain off of the natural stone countertop.
  5. After the poultice has dried to the touch, you can remove it with the plastic or wood scraper and then rinse off the area using distilled water. Buff using a soft cloth.

For more related content make sure to visit our quartz blog or contact us today by calling a solid surface expert.


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