Whether in the kitchen or the bathroom, marble countertops are a high mark of interior design. There’s no question marble is one of the prettiest construction materials you can install in your home, but you may have heard about this natural stone being high maintenance and prone to staining. While it’s true that marble can be more delicate than some countertop materials, you can easily adhere to a cleaning and sealing routine with the right products. Many marble stains can be removed. More importantly, they can be prevented if you understand what causes them. Here are a few things that can stain marble countertops.
1. Common Household Cleaning Products
The cleaners you purchase from the shelves of your local supermarket can stain marble because their formulas may contain organic or synthetic chemicals such as pigments and solvents that should never come into contact with natural stone, because they’ll break down the protective seal, leading to stains and etches, and dull the surface. The red or green coloration of some popular all-purpose cleaners can act like paint if it makes it past the protective seal and seeps through the pores of the stone.
Want to know more about what you should use to properly care for and maintain your stone surfaces? Watch this quick video:
Carrots, squash, cantaloupe, apricots, and some peppers are very rich in beta-carotene, an organic compound often recommended for human consumption. This substance has a strong pigmentation property that can leave yellow or orange stains on marble surfaces. Fortunately, freshly spilled carrot juice won’t immediately stain marble countertops if they’re properly sealed and the spill is cleaned up quickly.
3. Coffee and Tea
The culprit in this case is known as tannin, another organic compound that can act as a pigmentation agent. Tannin levels increase when tea or coffee beverages are served at higher temperatures. In the case of coffee beans that have been roasted with a certain amount of cane sugar, the potential for staining is greater.
4. Hard Water
The potable water enjoyed across many North American households contains more than just hydrogen and oxygen. Water that contains high levels of calcium and magnesium carbonates is known as hard water, and it can easily stain marble countertops. Once hard water minerals build up on marble tiles or slabs, the resulting stains can be difficult to remove under some circumstances. In the case of bathroom countertops, water spots can be mistaken for etching marks, which are caused by abrasive or acidic substances.
5. Vinegar and Ammonia
While vinegar is often recommended as a natural cleaning product, it shouldn’t be used on marble because of its highly acidic content and its potential for etching the stone. The same can be said about ammonia, which can weaken the protective seal of natural-stone counters very quickly. Etching spots may look like surface stains, but they’re actually indicative of damage. A granite countertop cleaner such as Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® is safe for marble surfaces because it’s pH balanced and doesn’t contain ammonia.
Marble isn’t the only type of stone you can clean with Granite Gold Daily Cleaner®. It’s also safe to use on granite, slate, travertine, and all other types of natural stone. For tips on how to clean natural stone, reach out to the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold® today. Call 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
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Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.