We at Mint Marble and Stone Restoration have heard of the many myths and old wives’ tales about marble polishing. Some of the more popular; but, erroneous and truly damaging, marble cleaning myths are as follows: use vinegar, ammonia, bleach, fine steel wool, furniture polish (some contain lemon and other harmful materials), all-purpose spray cleaners (some contain harmful petroleum based products or harsh alkaline chemicals). Some people use waxes, acrylics, urethane, sealers containing polymers, all these products mask (hide) the marble blemishes and dullness; but, they all give marble an artificial look; these coatings are soft, they scratch and scuff, they crack, flake, and peel off over time; they really become a maintenance nightmare.
A very common problem, which is extremely damaging when used on marble, is the use of tile and grout cleaners. Tile and grout cleaners are formulated to clean ceramic and porcelain tiles and the grout between them. Tile and grout cleaners can be alkaline but the majority of tile and grout cleaners are acidic and are more corrosive in attacking the marble surface. There are so many over the counter kitchen and bathroom cleaners, glass and solid surface cleaners; and many of these cleaners list marble as one of the surfaces they can be used on. In order for these cleaners to be effective, they are formulated with chemicals that are extremely high in alkalinity and because of their chemistry, can be quite damaging when used on marble.
- Especially, in bathrooms and kitchens, that marble will be damaged by soaps and shampoos, perfumes and other toiletries, by food and beverage spills. Most foods and beverages contain citric acid as a preservative.
- Be aware of grit, tracking in sand and dirt from outside. Walking on it acts as an abrasive and wears off the marbles’ high gloss finish over time. Beware of house pets tracking in grit and urinating on marble.
- Be aware of tradespeople working near and around areas containing marble, many times these trades people are not cognizant of the damage their tools and materials can do to marble if they don’t spend time prepping and protecting their work area.
Some popular marble cleaning misconceptions we hear all the time are:
- What marble cleaner can be used to make the marble look new again or what marble cleaner will bring back that high gloss look the marble had on day one;
- What marble cleaner will remove the dull spots, the glass rings, the water spots; what marble cleaner will restore the original color the marble had on day one?
Please note: there is no “marble cleaner” produced anywhere in the world that will repair or restore the aforementioned problems. A credible marble cleaner should be formulated as follows: be neutral on the pH scale, so it won’t have a negative effect on the marble’s gloss, color, or clarity; be able to break through surface deposits and disinfect; have a pleasant smell.
For more information on marble restoration please call us at (866) 415-2639.