How To Clean (And Maintain) Marble and Tile Countertops

How To Clean (And Maintain) Marble and Tile Countertops

Well, of course you have to clean the countertops. It’s important for sanitary conditions in the kitchen and/or bathroom. It also helps prevent discoloration and mildew growth. But what if you’ve finally gotten those marble and/or tile countertops that you’ve always dreamed of, and you’re suddenly remember how your friends told you that you were crazy to get marble and/or tile countertops? Well, the bad news is that your friends were right about the maintenance. The good news is that we can make that maintenance seem simple…  [photo via flickr]

Marble Countertop Cleaning

Cleaning marble countertop is pretty easy, as long as you know the proper techniques to use and which products are safe for this type of surface. Make sure to wipe up all spills right away. Marble is more porous than other types of countertops, so if spills are allowed to set in discoloration will occur. To prevent unnecessary spills, make sure to use coasters under all glasses and cans that may contain acidic beverages.  Do not place toiletry items on the countertops. If necessary, place these on a tray before setting on the countertop.

For daily cleaning of marble countertops, all that is necessary is a damp cotton cloth and warm water. If you choose to use a cleaner, make sure it is a pH-neutral cleaner that will not harm the marble. Chemicals and even acidic foods can damage the stone surface and dull the finish. It is important to emphasize, do not use cleaning products that are not pH-neutral. Using products like vinegar, ammonia, lemon, or orange will only guarantee that you spend more time and money in the end on your countertops. Damage will occur and repair for these countertops is expensive.

A sealer may also be a good option to help protect the marble.  It is important to note that some marble countertops do not require sealing, so make sure to identify the type of marble countertops you own. If sealer is applied to this type of countertop, toxic chemicals are required to remove it.

Cleaning Tile Countertops

Use a spray bottle filled with water and a mild dish detergent to spray down countertops daily to remove dirt that accumulates during every day activity. Wipe with a damp cloth to rinse away detergent and follow-up by drying with a clean cloth.

Tools needs for deep cleaning include a toothbrush, rubber gloves, and tile cleaner. After putting on rubber gloves, spray a toothbrush with tile cleaner and begin scrubbing the grout lines in a back and forth motion. If stains in the grout do not come up, try spraying cleaner directly onto the grout and allow to set for 2-3 minutes. Repeat the same back and forth procedure with the toothbrush on each tile. Upon completion, use a damp cloth to rinse away cleaner. Allow the surface to air dry for a few hours.

When the tile and grout are completely dry, a grout sealer or clear nail polish should be used to seal the grout lines to prevent future staining. To seal the grout, use a small paintbrush to apply sealer to the grout lines. Allow to dry overnight.