How To Protect Your Marble Countertop
Marble is a top material for countertops because it gives a lovely natural pattern that other synthetic materials could not. However, marble countertops require extensive maintenance due to its sensitivity to heat, stain, and impact. Here's how you can protect your marble countertop:
Consider Marble Sealing
Marble sealing is your first line of defense in protecting your marble countertop. Marble sealer is a surface treatment that penetrates the marble to fill pores to avoid foreign substances from going in. It is usually made of water or other liquid solvent and a solid resin. The solvent allows the sealant to penetrate and then evaporates to leave the solid resin completely plugged in the marble pores. Sealants also prevent penetration of stain. Sealants must be applied every other time that the marble is polished and repaired. Keep in mind that marble sealing is not a magic bullet that keeps your marble countertop protected and stain-free forever.
Take Extra Precaution
Aside from marble sealing, you also need to take extra precautions to protect your marble countertop. Avoid acid-containing food and substances such as citruses, wine, tomatoes, and vinegar from directly touching your countertop. Use coasters and cutting boards to avoid etching due to marble's corrosive reactions with acidic agents that strip away the topmost layer and reveal another layer of dull and raw marble. Other homeowners appreciate marble patina but if you like your marble countertop to remain pristine, practice extra precautions to protect it.
Clean the Marble
Marble is sensitive to acidic and abrasive cleaners. Use a soft wet cloth or sponge when cleaning your marble countertop. You can use liquid soaps, but doing so for an extended period of time can make your marble countertop dull. Specialized tile and stone liquid cleaners are also available for as low as $10 per 32 oz. For dry surfaces, you can use a vacuum to remove loose dirt.
To remove stubborn stains, use specialized cleaners that you can make at home. Poultice paste made of 3% hydrogen peroxide and mild powder detergent is one good option. Other alternatives are flour and liquid soap or baking soda and water. It is important to wipe off these stubborn stains as soon as they appear.
Despite the seemingly demanding maintenance routine, the good thing about marble is that it can always be polished to look good as new—whereas, most countertop materials could not be repaired after being worn out.