Has your gleaming marble lost any of its brilliance over time? It’s very unusual for dull patches to appear on polished marble—in fact, the rare flaw is simple to repair. Learn how to restore its lustre with just a few specialist stone materials.
Marble, a white or uniquely variegated form of limestone that has been subjected to intense heat and pressure, has long been valued by craftsmen and architects, from Michelangelo’s David and Moses statues to The Taj Mahal. So it’s no surprise that marble is both valuable and costly in the modern house. Its natural beauty, pattern depth, and distinctive patterns make it an attractive and opulent option for floors, countertops, tabletops, and vanities.
However, soft and porous marble countertops have drawbacks, the most notable of which being their proclivity to stain or etch. Etching is a term used to describe faded areas that sometimes seem pitted and feel somewhat abrasive to the touch. These can happen after eating acidic or highly coloured meals (red wine, tomatoes, vinegar, and citrus), as well as using acidic or abrasive cleaning solutions. While a matte marble surface might hide flaws, the glossy finish that most homeowners choose on their counters accentuates every scratch and stain.
Still, the beauty of marble, as well as the value it provides to your kitchen or bathroom, makes it worth the extra effort. When your marble surfaces have lost their lustre, the following techniques will restore their lustre.
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Before You Polish Mable
Before you start cleaning and shining your marble counters, it’s a good idea to understand the two distinct marble finishes so you don’t waste time trying to restore a shine to one that wasn’t meant to be glossy.
Honed marble has been smoothed to a velvety texture that is neither matte nor glossy. Because it is less slippery than polished marble, honed marble is ideal for flooring. Some homeowners prefer honed marble for their worktops because it scratches less easily than polished marble and hides etching better than a glossy surface.
Nonetheless, polished marble is the more popular option for kitchen countertops and table inlays. This less porous surface will not discolour as quickly as honed marble and does not require the same frequency of sealing. Furthermore, its lustre provides a semi-reflective surface that is both appealing and aids in making a tiny kitchen look larger than it is.
While it is feasible to convert a polished marble counter to a honed surface, the procedure takes talent, experience, and specialized equipment—in other words, it is better to leave this task to a professional using a stone polishing machine. However, if you want to restore the sheen to your polished marble counter or tabletop, you may do it with these simple supplies and methods.
How to Polish Marble
The first step in restoring the lustre of your marble is to clean it. Of course, you undoubtedly frequently whisk away crumbs and swiftly clean up any spills or splatters, but when it comes time to truly polish up the finish on your marble, you’ll go a bit deeper than that.
Wipe the surface of your marble with a soft dry towel to remove dust and crumbs, then dampen it with a sponge. Next, use a manufacturer-approved commercial marble cleaner or a wet rag with a couple of drops of mild, non-abrasive dishwashing liquid as a cleaning. Using whichever method you want, apply the cleaner to the marble and buff away any traces of food or other debris.
Overnight Deep Clean
If your marble counters have discolorations from food or other household objects, you must treat them before polishing. While professional marble stain removers, known as poultices, are available, you may make your own by gently combining one tablespoon of ammonia into a half-cup of hydrogen peroxide and gradually adding just enough baking soda to form a thick, creamy texture.
Apply the poultice to any discoloured areas with a clean paintbrush and wrap in plastic wrap (edges taped down). Allow the poultice to sit for 12 to 24 hours before removing the plastic wrap and allowing it to dry fully.
Scrape the crumbly poultice away with a razor blade, being careful not to gouge or dig at the marble surface. Wipe the marble dry after removing any leftover poultice residue with a wet towel.
Buff and Shine
While severe etching necessitates the services of a professional, minor etching from acidic meals and cleaners may easily be removed by yourself with a polishing powder from any ordinary home improvement store (just be sure to check with the marble manufacturer on which they recommend). Wipe the etched areas clean with a wet towel and apply a tiny amount of marble polishing powder to the engraved areas. Using a wet cloth, gently buff the powder into the imperfections according to the product’s recommendations. Remove the powder residue with a clean, damp towel, then wipe the marble dry to show its restored sheen.
While sealing may not fully prevent discoloration, it will assist your marble in resisting severe stains and increasing its glossiness. In general, you should seal your marble counters at least twice a year, but doing so every season will keep your countertops looking their finest. For product and application advice unique to your marble, contact the manufacturer of your countertop.
Read the directions on your marble sealer attentively and follow them exactly. Most specialist marble sealers (available from the manufacturer and home improvement stores) spray or pour straight onto the surface of the marble. With a clean, dry cloth, apply the sealer to the whole marble countertop and allow it to soak in for the time indicated on the product’s bottle (typically less than five minutes).
Buff the sealant into the marble with another clean, dry cloth in circular motions. Buff the marble until the sealer has been entirely absorbed into the stone and the marble feels dry.
Clean Marble Regularly
Of course, proper marble countertop care will significantly extend the material’s brilliance and shine. All you need is a soft cloth (microfiber cloths are preferred), warm water, and a few drops of a light cleaning solution. Avoid using abrasive products on marble, and keep in mind that even cleaning powder and soap can leave residues on the surface. Rinse the area well and dry with a soft, clean cloth.
When cleaning marble surfaces, keep the following things in mind:
- Never use bleach or other cleaning solutions containing alkaline (including lemon) or other acidic chemicals since the marble sealer will deteriorate.
- Remember that vinegar and other natural acid-containing chemicals will also dull the surface.
- Abrasive cleaning chemicals or harsh brushes can etch the marble, and even minor scratches will impair the material’s exquisite sheen, while larger ones might seriously harm it.
- Only use cleaning products that are specifically intended for marble. They should be pH-neutral in order to not damage the stone. Acetone may be used safely on dark marble and hydrogen peroxide on light marble, but not vice versa.
- Always use lots of warm water to ensure that you have thoroughly washed the countertop and that no residue has left; do not just let wet marble air dry since water stains will remain all over the surface.
Remove Spills Instantly
Unless you make a practice of immediately wiping any spills on a countertop, the liquid will enter the porous marble and create unsightly stains that are tough to remove. To prevent damage, oil, coffee, wine, fruit juices, and sauces must be wiped up promptly. Coarse wipes may damage the tabletop, so be cautious. Instead of scrubbing, use circular motions to wipe.
Remember to place coasters under cups and glasses and to never place hot foods or sharp-edged items straight on the countertop. To avoid rust stains, avoid storing metal containers on marble surfaces and use trays for bottles of cleaning agents, cosmetics, or anything else that may damage the countertop if dropped.
If, despite your best efforts, a stain remains on the marble, you may remove it with baking soda mixed in water, alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide. Wet the stain, apply the poultice, cover with plastic wrap, and wipe clean with a moist soft cloth after a few hours (drying for 24 hours is recommended for best results). However, test this procedure on a tiny, inconspicuous area first, because the impact is extremely dependent on the particular type of marble in your home, and the method’s safety is a very contentious issue. Alternatively, you may use a professional-grade poultice stain remover instead.
When To Ask For Help
If the damage is more serious, or if you are unsure of the best approach to employ and do not want to risk damaging your beautiful marble, you should contact a professional. It is unlikely that it will cost you more than acquiring the necessary quality materials and tools, not to mention the time you will lose in the process and the extremely unknown outcome. Professional marble cleaners have the necessary tools and know-how. They will understand what sort of marble your countertop is and how to properly care for it. Their expert technique and high-quality materials will restore any marble object to its former glory.
Specialists will complete their job by applying a high-quality sealing coat. You’ll be glad you invested in hiring pros based on the appearance of your newly polished countertops.
Marble has withstood the test of time, adorning houses and palaces, libraries and churches for millennia. With careful maintenance, you will be able to preserve its beauty and longevity in your house as well.