Care and Maintenance of Marble Countertops

When limestone is put under pressure and recrystallizes under the earth’s surface, it becomes marble. With the significant heat and pressure of the recrystallization process, alabaster displays a variety of colors and veins running through the stone.

Although they are beautiful, alabaster countertops are sensitive to chemicals because they are made of a porous mineral. The porosity of this material means that it will easily absorb liquids that come into contact with it. This characteristic makes this stone an inappropriate choice for the kitchen or bathroom of a busy family. If you have alabaster in a powder room or in another decorative area of your home, it’s important to maintain it carefully or you might damage the surface.

When spills occur on marble countertops, clean the messes immediately or the liquid could mar the surface. Always protect the stone surface by using mats or trivets, because hot items and items with sharp edges could damage the surface. If you store personal care products on the counter, always place the bottles on a tray to prevent stains. Never cut on the marble surface because you could scratch the material.

Keeping the counter surface sealed is important for preserving the condition of the stone. Sealed marble resists staining because the sealant eliminates the porosity of the material. The alabaster is sealed upon installation, but eventually the sealant will wear off and you will need to reseal your countertop. Depending on how extensively you use the marble surface, you may need to reseal once or twice per year.

Etching is another issue with marble countertops. With etching, acidic liquids will remove the shine from the surface and leave it dull. If etching occurs, you may be able to restore the beauty of the material by polishing it.

Clean marble countertops to regularly to keep them beautiful. General cleaning simply requires wiping the surfaces with a slightly damp cleaning cloth to remove dirt and soiling. Never leave the surface wet or damp, because this can damage the alabaster. Do not clean this stone surface with chemical cleaners such as bleach, abrasives or acidic cleansers. Using these harsh chemicals could etch the surface of the counter and leave it dull.

The manufacturer of your alabaster may have specific products that it recommends for cleaning and care of the surface. If you receive a recommendation, follow it to ensure that you care for the surface correctly. A cleanser with a neutral pH will clean gently while maintaining the sealant on the surface. Never mix cleansers when cleaning alabaster.

If staining occurs, determine the type of stain before trying to remove it. You might succeed in removing an oil-based stain with a basic household detergent. Organic stains such as coffee or tea might require an application of hydrogen peroxide to lighten the stain. If water spots or water rings occur, buff the area with a dry 0000 steel wool pad. Etching may require professional assistance to remove the dullness. Before using cleaning products on marble countertops, check with the manufacturer to ensure it is safe.

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