How to Remove Stains from Marble Countertops without Causing Damage
Marble countertops can make for a beautiful addition to your home. Marble is particularly prized for its luxurious appeal, thanks to unique properties like a level of translucence that creates the illusion of an inner glow, as well as a crystalline structure that lends depth and dimension. Although this stone is well-known for its timeless beauty, it is one of the softer stone countertop options on the market. While certainly a hard substance, marble falls at roughly 3-5 on the Mohs hardness scale. For comparison, granite is typically 6-6.5, and quartz is 7.
This means that marble could be more easily scratched, for example, but with proper sealing, this doesn’t typically pose a problem. The bigger potential issue for many homeowners is the fact that natural stone is incredibly porous.
With appropriate sealing, including regular re-sealing, you don’t have to worry much, but with wear and tear or exposure to acidic substances, sealant can become thin or etched, and your marble countertops could be vulnerable to staining agents in common foods like coffee, tea, red wine, pasta sauce, and more.
If your creamy marble countertop is marred by a stain, it can stand out like a sore thumb. Here are a few tips for safely and effectively removing stains from your marble countertops.
Use Marble-Specific Cleaning Products
The best way to treat stains on your natural stone countertops is to prevent them in the first place. This means properly cleaning and maintaining your marble. You might want to start by finding a natural stone cleaning product that will remove dust and grime and leave the surface spotless and shiny without doing any harm to the sealant or the stone itself.
In truth, you could skip the stone cleaner in favor of mixing a mild soap, such as dish soap, with warm water to effectively clean your countertops. The only downside is that soap can leave a film on countertops that dulls the beautiful shine, so you’ll need to rinse thoroughly with water after cleaning to remove any residue. Next, dry with a soft cloth to prevent water stains.
The main thing to avoid when it comes to cleaning and maintenance is marring the surface. This can be easily accomplished by avoiding any cleaners that are acidic or abrasive, from common kitchen items like lemon juice and vinegar to harsh chemical cleansers. You could always add a layer of protection by applying a spray sealant monthly to enhance the resilience of marble between professional sealing services.
Target Specific Types of Stains
Maintaining pristine, white marble countertops, like the striking Statuario marble featured in this traditional New York kitchen, is easy enough with regular sealing. However, if you’re dealing with organic stains, like wine, coffee, or vinegar, take a tip from the Marble Institute and apply a solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide, paired with a scant few drops of ammonia, directly to the stain. Rinse the area thoroughly with water and wipe with a soft cloth, repeating if necessary.
Removing Oil-Based Stains
Even with a more forgiving palette, like the Fantasy Brown marble featured in this transitional kitchen, oil-based stains can prove problematic. Grease, cooking oil, and so on can leave dark stains that stand out on the surface. While bleach isn’t typically recommended for natural stone countertops, in this case, a soft, liquid cleanser with bleach can help to lift the grease and return your counter surface to a natural hue. A mixture of bleach and water can also be used to address biological stains like mold and mildew.
What if you accidentally mar the surface with paint flecks while you’re transforming your kitchen space with a new wall color? If the specks are small, you can carefully scrape them from the surface of your countertop with a razor blade, using extra caution to avoid scratching the marble surface.
Hire Professional Help
If you’ve started to notice staining on your marble countertop, chances are you’re experiencing wear or etching. This probably means it’s time to re-seal your stone. While you could try DIY sealing, a professional service will not only get the job done in a fast and effective manner, but they may be able to address any stains you haven’t been able to remove on your own.
With proper care and maintenance, you have the best opportunity to avoid stains on your elegant marble countertops, but when they do occur, treat them as quickly as possible to prevent lasting damage.
Can Academy Marble help?
With professional help, you can choose the countertop that matches your aesthetic preferences and complements the rest of your home, and after installation, we can help you properly care for your investment so that you can enjoy it for years to come. Contact us today to get started on your project.