Marble and granite accents are a popular way to add beauty and functionality to your home, but because of their porous surfaces, some people consider them too hard to keep clean.
While it is true that something as simple as water can leave stains if you don’t wipe it up quickly enough, but taking the proper steps to clean your accents can and will ensure they aren’t any harder to clean than most other materials. Use these cleaning tips and tricks to help you.
1. Clean Spills Right Away
As mentioned previously, granite and marble will stain quickly and easily, even if the liquid is just water. You can avoid stains by cleaning up any spills immediately.
Yes, this means even if you’re super tired or trying to juggle dinner. The 30 extra seconds it takes to clean up a spill will be well worth the beautiful counter that remains.
When you do have to clean a spill, be sure to use a blotting motion with your cleaning cloth and not a rubbing or wiping one, just like you would if you were cleaning your carpet or clothing. Rubbing the spot can actually make the stain far worse and spread the substance.
2. Stick to the Basics
When your marble countertops or floors aren’t too messy, the cleaning process is very simple. All you need to do is wipe down the counters after cooking dinner or just touch up the floor a bit, and it’s easiest just to stick to the basics when it comes to the cleaning materials that you use. You can do this by creating your own cleaner to use.
First, you’ll need to gather some supplies:
- Warm water
- Dish liquid
- Spray bottle / Bucket
- Cleaning cloth
- Soft towel
Next, mix the water and soap together in the spray bottle. Use about a tablespoon of the soap. Be sure not to use anything with lemon juice or other acids, as this can cause etching in the marble or granite. Once you create your mixture, you can keep it on hand for any time you need to clean. Spray the area with the mixture, and then wet your cleaning cloth and use it to wipe away the soap.
Finally, completely dry the area with your towel.
3. Get Acquainted with Baking Soda
If your counters or floors need a more thorough cleaning, dish soap and water probably won’t get the job done. Instead, you can try creating and using a baking soda poultice.
- Baking Soda
- Plastic Wrap
Use the spoon to mix the water and baking soda together in a bowl until it resembles sour cream. Spray the area you’d like to clean with water, and then cover it completely with your mixture. Cover it with plastic wrap and then leave the area alone.
Over the next 24 hours, the mixture will dry, pulling up the stain as it does. Once it’s dry, you can remove the poultice and wash the area according to the instructions in the first tip. If staining remains, simply repeat the process as needed.
4. Use a Sealant
The above tips will help you clean your stained marble or granite counters and floors once they are already stained. However, there are actually proactive methods you can try to prevent stains from happening in the first place.
The easiest way to do this is by using a sealant on the marble or granite. You can purchase the proper sealant at your local home improvement store. Look for products made specifically for the material in your home, and if you need help, be sure to ask a sales associate. It’s much better to ask questions than to end up with a product that could potentially harm your counters or floors.
Remember, even if you’ve sealed your marble or granite before, you will still need to touch it up periodically. You can determine if it’s time for a touch-up by putting a few drops of water on the counter. After a few seconds, the water should form into beads. If it doesn’t, this means your sealant has faded. Touch it up as soon as possible to prevent stains.
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5. Hire a Marble Care Professional
If you have already tried all of the above and still feel as if your marble or granite accents aren’t clean enough, you could hire an expert. Stone care professionals will more easily be able to get dirt or stains that fall into any etching and remain out of reach.
Granite and marble have a bad rap for being hard to clean, but if you use the cleaning tips provided above, your counters, floors, showers and any other marble or granite in your home will look polished and beautiful for years.