Are marble counters right for you?
Choosing the counter top that’s right for you is one part aesthetics and two parts function and practicality. If you are fine with a material that requires daily maintenance and isn’t always perfect, you might go for marble or soapstone. If you’re on a budget and don’t want to worry so much about spills on your counter top a different product might be a better choice. Counter tops are a daily workhorse for food preparation and serving our guests. As consumers we expect our kitchens and their counters to be durable, beautiful, and (hopefully) economical.
When we rebuilt our home almost four years ago we made the switch from granite to marble counters and back splash. We also put marble counters and floors in two of our bathrooms. When asked if I’d put it in again I always say yes.
Tips for Cleaning and Caring for Marble
- Be vigilant.
Marble makes an excellent baking surface, and it can also take a fair amount of heat. Problems arise when this porous material is exposed to anything acidic products such as lemon, lime, vinegar, or harsh cleaning products. If lemon for example is left on the marble, you will notice a permanent etched spot. If I’m entertaining I am watchful to make sure guests have coasters and I keep an eye out for spills. At the end of the evening I always give everything a wipe down. All this said, I still have etching and imperfections that are a result of living and using our home. I’m okay with that and have learned to like the patina.
- Use a gentle cleaner and soft cloth on marble.
First, always test products on your marble to make sure they are safe. There are lots of marble cleaners available. Many are safe for the marble but I don’t like the ingredients. Our home is almost 100% green when it comes to cleaning products so I’ve spent years trying to find alternatives that are safer for our home and family. If you take a peek at my cleaning highlight (here) you can see how I clean the various rooms our home. Over the years I’ve eliminated most of the toxic, chemical filled cleaning products from our home and replaced them with Eco friendly products and not only clean but make the house smell amazing! My go products are mostly from the Mrs. Meyers line. Their quality and pricing can’t be beat. If you aren’t familiar with the company, you may visit them here, and I almost forgot to mention that you receive a free gift with your first order! For general care and cleaning of my marble surfaces I use a gentle spray with essential oils and a Norwex cleaning cloth . The Norwex cloth can also be used for dusting. The static electricity lifts the smallest particles of dust and dirt up into the cloth and prevents them from being spread around on surfaces like most dusting cloths. When you use the Norwex wet it removes surface dirt and up to 99% of bacteria.
- Have your marble surface honed
Honed means the surface has been ground to a smooth, flat, consistent surface. For stones with a natural shine such as granite or marble, the polish or shine is removed leaving a more matte surface. We wanted our marble honed so the patina that naturally occurs over time is less noticeable.
- Use Cutting boards and coasters
Setting a cutting board out encourages family and friends to use that as a landing spot for drinks and food items.
Don’t use an abrasive sponge on your marble. Marble is soft and porous and needs to be treated gently. I use a soft sponge or Norwex for cleaning bigger messes. For oil marks, I’ve found this product works well. It literally pulls the oil up and removes the stain over the course of a day or two.
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