Editor’s Note: “Whiting” is calcium carbonate, and it can be found in specialty paint stores and hardware stores. – AC”
Marble is a material that is often used to make beautiful tabletops, floors, counter tops, mantles, and other decorative marble surfaces, but marble can become easily scratched, stained, discolored, and permanently scarred. Although marble is a material that can be easily damaged, if you want a marble counter top, floor, tabletop, or other marble piece, by all means choose marble. Synthetic marble tabletops, counter tops, flooring, and other marble pieces are available, but nothing compares to the beauty of high-quality marble. With a little extra care and attention, marble surfaces will remain as beautiful as the day they were new. It’s best to take preventive measures to keep marble looking its best, but if marble pieces become dirty, stained, or scratched, if the damage isn’t too severe, the marble can be cleaned or repaired.
Protecting Marble to Avoid Scratches and Stains
Don’t take the chance on leaving your marble tabletops, counter tops, floors, mantles, and other decorative marble pieces unprotected. Even the most diligent care can result in an unavoidable scratch or stain. Protect marble from moisture damage by always using coasters beneath drinking glasses and cups, and place throw rugs in areas of heavy foot traffic. Place protective plastic scarves beneath items that could cause damage to marble furniture. Keep marble surfaces protected on a daily basis, but consider uncovering marble when you want to impress guests. Don’t be afraid to show the beauty of your marble, but make coasters available, and always pay careful attention to marble surfaces when they aren’t protected.
Marble will eventually become dirty no matter how hard you try to keep it clean. Run lukewarm water over a soft clean sponge, and ring out the sponge until it’s barely damp. Gently wipe the marble, and dry it with a clean soft cloth. Buff the marble until it shines.
If the marble surface is extremely dirty, and gentle cleaning with a damp sponge isn’t sufficient, sprinkle a small amount of dry borax onto the surface of the marble. Clean the marble with a clean damp cloth, and rinse the marble with clear lukewarm water. Dry the marble with a clean soft cloth, and buff it to a bright shine.
Removing Stains From Marble
Sometimes stains remain after attempting to clean a marble surface. The method of cleaning a stain from marble depends upon the stain. If the stain appears to be rust, combine whiting with liquid rust remover. Make a smooth thick paste, and allow the paste to remain on the marble for approximately three hours. Remove the paste with a clean damp sponge, and keep rinsing and wringing out the sponge until the marble is thoroughly rinsed. Dry the marble with a clean soft cloth, and buff it to a brilliant shine.
If the stain on your marble appears to be oil-based, make a paste with whiting and acetone (fingernail polish remover), or if the stain appears to be caused by food, mix whiting with a few drops of peroxide and a few drops of household ammonia. Spread the appropriate mixture upon the stain, and cover the stained marble with plastic wrap or part of a plastic trash bag trimmed to the correct size. Seal the edges of the plastic with painters masking tape. Allow the plastic to remain on the stained area for several hours. Use a clean sponge and water to rinse the marble, and dry it with a clean soft cloth. Buff the marble to restore the original shine.
Removing Surface Scratches From Marble
Marble can become scratched rather easily, but surface scratches are simple to remove. Gently sand away surface scratches with fine-grained sandpaper. After gently sanding the marble, polish it with commercial marble polish. Mix the powder with the appropriate amount of water. Gently wipe the area with the polish, and buff the marble to a lustrous shine.
If cleaning your marble dulls the surface, the shine can be easily restored using commercial marble polish. Mix the marble polish with the proper amount of water, and use a clean cloth to gently rub the surface. Buff the marble to a newly restored shine that will make it appear as it did when it was new.