1. Marbles are not necessarily “Soft”
Many people say that marble is a “soft stone,” but really what they mean is that it has a tendency to react to acids. Actually, the minerals in marble are not the softest on the Mohs scale; it is a common misconception that stone softness has a correlation to chemical (acid) resistance.
To state these facts simply, most marbles etch when they come in contact with acids, ammonia and alcohol (etch marks look as if the shine or the finish of the stone has been removed). The wrong cleaner, tomato sauce, even the condensation on the bottom of a glass can all etch marble, so be sure to use coasters, cutting boards, trays and neutral cleaners such as Lavenet.
(By the way, acid etch marks can be removed through restoration, call International Stoneworks for more information.)
2. Marble surfaces require specialty stone cleaners
Acid cleaners are a no no, so avoid cleaning with vinegar; also water by itself is not a cleaner. You want to use a neutral stone cleaner such as Akemi Crystal Clean or Lavenet. If you want to disinfect your marble without etching the stone, try Sani-Tyze.
3. Marble is very diverse
Not into the traditional polished or honed finishes, no problem! Try a more textured finish such as leathered, tumbled or brushed. Not to mention, marble comes in a variety of colors: everything from timeless white to bold red.
4. Sealing marble is a great idea
Seal marble surfaces annually with a penetrating sealer such as Seal & Go® S or Seal & Go® W. These penetrating/impregnator sealers do not change the appearance of the surface and do not add shine, but they do protect the stone. (If you want more shine, call a stone restorer such as International Stoneworks.)
Sealers help prevent oil and grease stains, so great for the kitchen. Sealers do have their limitations, though. Sealers do not prevent acid etching.
5. Marble maintenance
Marble actually isn’t too difficult to maintain as long as you stick with your neutral cleaners. A knowledgeable consumer is the best consumer, so if you are considering investing in a beautiful marble surface, take the time do a little homework (like reading this blog!) and just know that if you do have a little spill with an acidic product, that it is totally fixable by professional restorers.
Bottom line, enjoy your marble countertops, floor, shower, whatever surface you have!