Cleaning Marble Bathrooms

Cleaning marble bathrooms properly is important to keep the shine and finish looking of the stone new. Marble is one of the most beautiful natural stones for use in household construction. It is commonly thought of as a hard stone, but is actually quite porous. This means that it is prone to staining and blemishes.

Preventing Stains

Preventing stains and blemishes on marble is just as important as proper cleaning. Spills should be cleaned-up immediately. Any liquid with color in it has the potential to leave a stain.

Wine, coffee and tea are common beverages that will stain marble. If a spill occurs soak it up immediately with a clean, soft cloth. Don’t rub because this will cause the stain to spread and deepen.

Etching is the result of damage to the surface of marble. It is caused by acidic substances on the marble. Liquids like juice, vinegar or any acidic substance will actually start to eat into marble. This can’t be prevented by sealing it or polishing. The surface of the marble where the acidic substance came into contact with the marble surface will appear dull.

Hard water will stain marble. If you have hard water you really need to make sure that you clean up every drop. Do not ever let a marble bathroom surface air dry, even if you don’t have hard water. Any water left to dry can stain marble. Blot it dry with a soft, clean cloth. Always have coasters available for absorbing condensation from beverages. Consider a water softener for your house.

Heat Damage

Heat is another enemy of marble. Hot drinks, curling irons, candles and any other heat producing items should never be set directly on a marble countertop. Cloth mats or some other heat absorbing material should be used to prevent heat damage.

Make sure that any candles are placed on a thick enough candle holder to absorb all the heat that is produced. Even exposure to a small amount of heat for a short duration of time is capable of producing blemishes on marble.

It is a good idea to use felt on any areas where an item that can scratch the surface of the marble countertop comes into contact with it. This can be done with various sized felt and sticky sided furniture pads. You can cut them to size if necessary.

Another good idea is to keep all cosmetics, barrettes and other small items in scratch-proof containers. The chemicals found in everyday cosmetic and hygiene products can stain or damage a marble counter top so keep them in a waterproof container as well.

General Cleaning

No matter how thorough you are with the prevention of scratches and stains on a marble surface, some accidents are bound to happen. In addition regular, general cleaning is also important to maintain the original appearance of marble.

Regular cleaning with only hot water and a soft cloth will help keep the marble surface looking new. Use distilled water if possible. Use only soft cloths and wipe the surface with the first cloth dampened with water. Use a second dry cloth and dry the surface completely.

Never use an abrasive cleanser. If you do need additional cleaning power use a PH-neutral cleanser only. There are many commercial soaps available specially made for cleaning marble. They are non-abrasive and have a neutral PH. Always read the labels for directions and make sure that the product you are buying fits those two criteria.

Poultice

For stubborn stains that can’t be removed with commercial cleansers you may need to use a poultice. You can purchase a poultice that comes in a powder.

Mix the marble cleaning poultice with water until it forms a paste. It should be thick like peanut butter. Spread it on the stain. Try to leave a layer of paste that is at least ¼ inch thick and at least ½ inch past the edges of the stain.

Cover the area with plastic wrap and tape it down. As the paste dries it should absorb the stain out from the stone. When the paste is dry wipe it off with a clean cloth. You may have to apply a poultice several times before the stain is removed.

Fixing Scratches

To fix scratches on your marble surfaces you may need to employ the process of re-polishing and re-honing. When you polish marble you return it to its natural shine and luster. Over time even with normal wear and tear marble becomes dull and starts to look worn. A professional can be employed at this point if you want perfect results.

The first thing that needs done is to sand the scratched area or if you choose, the entire surface. This is done with a fine-grit diamond sander. It removes the top layer of the marble and hopefully will reveal a fresh surface free from scratches. If you are re-doing the entire surface then it will be entirely smooth and fresh.

The next step is re-honing. Honing marble creates a dull matt surface. It is evenly smooth but doesn’t have the high-gloss appearance that we usually associate with marble. Some people prefer to leave marble in this finish. It is less prone to scratches and can be quite attractive. Re-polishing is then the next optional step. When marble is republished it is buffed into a high-gloss shine. This is then usually the final step.

Marble Shine and Sealers

You may want to add additional shiners and sealers. They do add some protection but are not necessary. In fact a marble shine or sealer can actually become discolored over time. The removal of this entire layer of product can be quite expensive and really not worth the effort because a polished marble surface is beautiful as is and does not need these treatments.