Marble countertops remain one of the more popular countertop choices out there.
It’s easy to see why. This timeless material never seems to go out of style — unlike those dated tile countertops that have been hanging around since the ’70s and ’80s.
But marble countertops are kind of like that one friend you have: beautiful, but with a reputation for being high-maintenance.
If you’re going to spend the money on these elegant countertops, it’s important to take care of them properly. Although expensive, these long-lasting stone countertops essentially pay for themselves as long as they’re maintained and properly cared for.
Here are some tips on how to keep your pristine marble countertops looking, well, pristine. Plus, a couple of tips on how to fix some trouble spots, like etching or set-in oil stains.
The best way to prevent etching and stains is to wipe up any spills right away. This is especially true with lemon juice, tomato sauce, and other acidic substances that will do serious damage to the stone.
Take the time to do a quick cleaning of your countertops everyday, with a marble-safe cleaner.
Always use trivets to protect your countertops from hot dishes. Never put anything hot directly on the surface. Similarly, always use coasters, too. Resting water can leave marks.
Never clean marble countertops with a vinegar-based cleaner. It’s a popular cleaning ingredient for DIY household cleaners, but it can etch marble. Vinegar is too acidic, and will damage the stone in the same way lemon juice and other acidic substances will.
If you leave oil on marble, it can soak into the porous surface and make the spot appear darker. In an effort to lighten the stain, you need to soak up as much of the oil as possible.
Rip a white paper towel into small pieces roughly the size of the stain. In a dish or bowl, spritz the pieces with hydrogen peroxide. Lay the pieces on top of the stained area, and cover with plastic wrap. Poke a few air holes in the plastic wrap, and leave it there until the paper towels dry out.
It could take a full 24 hours, but check the spot periodically to ensure you don’t accidentally over-lighten the area. Once it’s done, remove the plastic wrap and paper towel, and clean the surface with marble-safe cleaner.
I already said it, but I’ll say it again: acidic substances, like vinegar, lemon juice, and even tomato sauce, will cause etching or dulling. As long as it’s just surface level etching, try buffing your marble with dry #0000 steel wool. The mild abrasive will buff out etch marks.
Sadly, if it’s deeper than surface level scratches, it will require a professional’s help to get polished out.
Keeping your countertops is important, regardless of the material, right? Don’t be afraid of marble’s purported high-maintenance reputation. You can still give your countertops a daily wipe-down, you just can’t use vinegar or other harsh substances.
All you need is mild soap and hot water. Wipe sudsy water on the countertop with a soft cloth or sponge to remove dirt, dust, and bacteria. Dry with a second clean cloth to make sure there’s no moisture left on the surface. Water can leave marks.