Marble worktops and tiles can be a beautiful choice for your home but special care is needed to ensure they last and stay in a beautiful state.

This guide is designed to eliminate the overwhelm in terms of maintenance and cleaning your stoneware and we have put together some TOP TIPS and advice that will help overcome any worries you have, to make sure your marble stays marbleous!

Cleaning:

If you find that you have watermarks on your marble floor tiles you can follow these helpful steps to know how to clean them and get your tiles back to a lovely marbly shine.

- First you will need to know if you are dealing with a watermark or an etch mark. Etching is when the surface of the marble has come into contact with something acidic and it has eaten away a bit of the surface.

TIP: The two marks can appear similar but they need different procedures and products to clean them.

How to identify:

Don't worry, you don't need to be the Sherlock Holmes of tiles! To identify which you have just run your finger over the mark.

 - Watermarks are likely to leave the surface slightly raised (they can also attract more dirt or scum)
- Etch marks will leave more of a small dent in the area.


Our recommended way to deal with a watermark is to use very fine #0000 wire wool.


Method:

- Dry the area and then gently rub the wire wool over the watermark in a circular motion until it disappears.  
- You can then use a marble cleaner and a soft clean towel to finish and to give you a nice polished surface.

A marble cleaner we recommend is:
Method Daily Granite Cleaner (for Graniter, Marble and Stone)
Amazon sell it for around £8


Etching

If it is an etch mark, you will need a polishing powder to remove the marks. 
One we know and recommend is MB stonecare’s MB11 polishing powder.  
Again, Amazon sell this one for around £35
Method:

 - Clean the area around the etch mark and then sprinkle the polishing power onto it.

 - Spray the powder 2 or 3 times with water and gently scrub with a cloth that is lightly sprayed with water. 20 seconds to a minute should do.

TIP: Careful not to scrub too hard. Work quickly rather than applying too much pressure. If the mark remains you can go a bit harder or repeat the process.

If neither option has helped you may need to contact a professional marble cleaning company for further advice.

What about Worktops?

One popular example is the Cararra Marble worktop. It's pretty affordable compared to some granite and quartz options and the marble looks beautiful but it does require specific care and routine maintenance to keep its beauty.

TIP: Consider using a seal to prevent the build up of dirt and to protect the marble. We recommend Lithofin MN Stain-Stop It's safe for use where food is handled.

The first thing to do before sealing it is to ensure that it is really clean.

How to clean it?

We recommend using Lithofin MN Power Clean to do this. When it is fully dry,
(leave for 24 hours if you can) the best product to use to seal it would be either Lithofin MN Stain-stop or Lithofin Stain-stop ECO.

The first one is solvent based but leaves no harmful residue when dry and the stain-stop ECO is water based.

Use Stain-stop ECO once a year to provide optimal protection.

Follow the instructions with the products carefully and your carrera worktops should have a long and happy stain resistant life.

It's important to note that the sealants protect the worktop surface from oil and water. Anything acidic will still cause etching to occur.

You can use Lithofin MN Easy Clean or Polish for the day to day care.

Important to know is that marble is not acid resistant, so avoid vinegar, wine, ketchup etc. from coming into contact with the worktop. The STAIN -STOP products won't protect the marble against acidity. If you have stains of this type, known as an etch mark, they will probably be clear or whitish in colour and this physical damage to the surface of the marble so it will need to be polished with an etch remover product before going ahead with the process of sealing it.
(See the polishing powder above and follow the method above)

What about Travertine floor tiles?


These tiles are another popular choice for indoors and outdoors and in this photo you can see how the outdoor ones have attracted dirt and have some discolouration. 
The indoor ones still look clean but on the outside ones black patches have appeared.

The most likely cause of these patches is black spore that will have developed with moisture on the tiles.  

The DIY Doers always recommend Lithofin products for this type of job. 
We are not affiliated with Lithofin in anyway but their technical department is excellent so we are happy to endorse them.

You can use a product called Lithofin ALGEX to remove light algae and spore but if the tiles were not sealed when they were installed, the spore may have penetrated deeper in to them as travertine is very porous. 
For harder to remove spore, use Lithofin MN Outdoor Cleaner.

If there is a sealer already on the tiles, which means that the outdoor cleaner may not penetrate the surface, the best course of action is to use Lithofin Wax Off first.

Method:

- Use the Wax Off on one tile to test it.

- Follow with the MN Outdoor Cleaner and see if that removes the dark patches. 

- Allow contact time of 2 - 10 hours, even overnight and try and avoid a rainy day. 

- A second application can be made if the marks are really stubborn.

- You can then re-seal the tiles after cleaning them if you do end up having to use Wax Off. Use Stain-Stop-W to do this.

We have found most Lithofin products are available to buy on Amazon or check their website for stockists near you.


Thanks to Bob Sewell, Technical Manager at Lithofin for his help on this.


We hope this has demystified some of the questions around cleaning and caring for natural stone.
If you have a composite sink we have another helpful post here on how to clean them.

If you have any further questions you can ask us on our Facebook group.

Feel free to share this post and thanks for reading.

The DIY Doers