How to Protect your Marble from Stains and Etch Marks
You have a Busy Life…don’t Worry about Staining your Marble
Life is too short to be worrying about staining your beautiful marble countertops. This is an area where a little prevention will pay HUGE dividends. Protect your stone with a quality stone sealer or impregnator. But How?
Before we get to the How…. let’s talk about the… Why!
Marble is a calcium based sedimentary rock that is sensitive to acids and high alkaline cleaners. Common household foods and cleaning products can “Etch” or “Dull” your beautiful marble surfaces. Citrus juices like Lemon and Orange can etch or burn the finish, dulling the polished finish, and leaving rough etch marks on honed marble finishes. Highly alkaline (like Dish Detergents) cleaners can also dull polished marble surfaces, though they won’t leave etch marks or rings like acids do.
The Good News is – It’s Easy to Seal Marble
Marble is an absorbent stone, and readily accepts stone sealers, but “sealers” vary in type and quality. There are dozens of products on the market, with varying degrees of quality. We suggest NOT using a product you find in the grocery store or your local Big Box store, rather, select a professional grade stone sealer! Usually sold through stone dealers.
Choose a Professional Grade Stone Sealer
Having been in the stone industry for nearly forty years, I have used many of the common stone care products available, but having visited the testing laboratories of several of the domestic manufacturers, I know for certain that the major manufacturers make “Consumer Grade” products that just don’t measure up to the few Industrial/Professional Grade products available.
With my experience, I would only select a German or Italian manufactured product.
Back in the late 1970’s I was introduced to Moeller-HMK Stone Care, as this was the ONLY stone care product specified by Architects in North America.
Virtually evert commercial project I worked on through the 80’s and 90’s always specified Moeller-HMK Stone Care System. HMK has a complete system of products to Clean, Protect, and Maintain all types of Natural Stone and even Cast (manufactured) Stone.
Ok – Now the “HOW TO” Seal Marble
- For Polished Marble we recommend using an Impregnating Sealer. This type of product penetrates the pores of the stone, delivering the stain repellents deep into the stone. This will “buy you time” to clean up a spill, thus preventing stains and etching.
- For honed or textured marble you can either use an Impregnating Sealer, or for more protection against etching, a Topical Acrylic Sealer will provide a physical barrier, protecting your stone but “Topicals” require more maintenance depending on the exposure and use.
- Make sure that the marble is Clean and Dry. If you have stains, it is best to use a Stain Remover or perform a Deep Cleaning prior to applying a sealer. You don’t want to trap the stains under the sealer.
- Use a BRUSH to spread Impregnator! Many people make the mistake of applying stone sealers with a rag or a sponge. This method is certainly quicker, but will not give you “Ultimate Protection” from stains and etching. Pour on the sealer directly to the stone, then spread the product over a larger area using a brush. When using Impregnators, an inexpensive “Chip Brush” is sufficient.
- If you choose to use a Topical Acrylic Sealer, then it is recommended that you use a quality paint brush suitable for applying lacquers.
- For Impregnating Sealers, allow the product to “Soak In” for a minimum of 15 minutes….YES 15 Minutes. Keeping stone wet.
- For Topical Acrylics, you need to be more careful applying a thin even coat. It is best to apply two light coats rather than one heavy coat.
- For Impregnators, after 15-Minutes, blot up the excess product with paper towels or a clean white rag. For better results, we suggest using a disposable Microfiber Wiping cloth.
- Finish buffing out your stone with a clean cotton rag, our use a Premium Microfiber cloth to buff to a clean shine, making sure that no streaks remain.
- Allow to dry and cure for 24-48 hours before cleaning.
- Once product is dry, we suggest you clean with a mild pH neutral cleaner, particularly in food prep areas.
Now Enjoy your Life….not Worrying about Staining your Marble Countertop!
For Daily Maintenance, we suggest using a Professional Grade Maintenance product that will not degrade your sealer. Only use pH Neutral Cleaners.
Recommended Professional Grade Stone Care Products:
- Impregnating Sealer (does not change the look of your stone)
- Topical Acrylic Matte Finish Sealer (will slightly enhance stone)
- Topical Acrylic Satin Finish Sealer (will enhance stone and have a sheen)
- Color Enhancing Impregnator (will darken and enhance colors)
- Disposable Microfiber Wiping Cloth
- Premium Microfiber Polishing Cloth
- Marble Polishing Paste (polishing compound and wax for stone)
- Daily Stone Soap Maintenance Cleaner