Maintenance & Care of Polished Marble and Granite

Certain types of stones lend themselves to less maintenance than others. There is, however, no stone that is maintenance free. All stone should be dusted and damp wiped to remove dust and grime on a daily basis. Beyond that, normal “Housekeeping” maintenance involves periodic washing with clean, potable water and mildly alkaline cleaners. Mild phosphate-free, biodegradable liquid dish soaps, soap flakes or powders are acceptable, if rinsing is thorough and soap residue completely rinsed off.
Products that contain citrus, vinegar or other acids will etch marble or other calcareous stones, as will frequent or over-use of ammonia solutions. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the stone.

1With a cloth wetted with cleaning solution and/or water, wipe the surface in small overlapping sweeps. Immediately rinse with clean, potable water to remove all traces of cleaning solution. Buff with a clean dry soft cloth and allow it to air-dry.

Periodically, if desired, a top-dressing may be applied to the completely dry surface. Most commercially available clear paste waxes, beeswax, or other dressings specifically identified as for use on marble may be used to help prevent staining and water-spotting. Never use products that contain petroleum distillates, penetrating oils or colored wax on stone surfaces.

Spills should be removed immediately and rinsed to remove all traces of the spill. If necessary, clean the surface thoroughly as described above1.

Although marbles are hard surfaces, they are not so hard that they don’t scratch. Coasters should be placed under all glasses, particularly those containing liquors or citrus juices. Hot-plates should be used under heated dishes. Place-mats or felt bottoms should be placed under china, ceramics, silver, and bric-a-brac to prevent scratching.

Periodic sealing of all natural stones is recommended to further protect from staining. Frequency is dependant upon the specific stone and usage. Marble and other calcareous stones require more frequent sealing, annually or bi-annually, than do quartz based granites, semi-annually or annually. High use sink and Cooktop areas may require more frequent sealing than do less used areas.

Sealing involves spraying a clear penetrating sealer onto the stone, letting it dry to a light haze and buffing it off. Repeat the process to ensure complete coverage. As penetrating sealer is not a topical coating, it will not change the appearance of stone.

Prior to sealing stone it is imperative that the surface be absolutely clean and stain-free. Accumulated soap residue, surface grime, wax or polish need to be removed by thoroughly cleaning1 stone with denatured alcohol as a cleaning solution. Care should be used to avoid getting alcohol on painted, stained or varnished surfaces like cabinetry or furniture.