Marble is stone that is generally polished and used in fine building work, furniture, or decorative art. It may be white or colored. It is porous, and easily stained. Marble is etched by acids. Wipe off anything spilled on marble immediately, as you would on a wood surface. Avoid setting beverage glasses directly on marble as they leave rings.
Marble Furniture - Care and Cleaning
Marble may be stone, but it is porous and stains easily. Wipe off anything spilled on marble immediately, just as you would from a wood surface. Use coasters under beverage glasses to avoid moisture rings.
Regular Cleaning Occasionally wash marble surfaces with lukewarm water and wipe dry with a clean cloth. Wiping surface with a damp chamois will not leave streaks. Once or twice a year, depending on soil, wash with a mild detergent solution (hand dish-washing detergent and warm water), rinse and wipe dry.
A light coat of wax will protect the surface of marble but is not considered essential. Use colorless wax. Don't wax white marble as it may tend to yellow it. A marble sealer can be applied to clean marble, which will protect from staining and allow soil to be wiped off with a damp cloth.
Special Cleaning Marble which has become dull can be livened up by using a commercial marble cleaner and polish. Buy from a company that sells marble. Companies generally carry imported polish-cleaners, which are used on softer imported marbles and hence safe for the harder U.S. marble. They work faster and easier than the old "marble care kits" which used to be distributed by marble companies.
Putty powder (tin oxide) can be used to polish dulled or etched surfaces, rubbing on with a damp cloth, folding and refolding to clean damp areas, and preferably using an electric polisher for buffing. However it's very hard to find. Severely damaged surfaces, scratched or etched, can be polished by a business making and selling tombstones or other marble products.
Stain Removal Make a poultice from white absorbent material such as a napkin, blotter, paper towel or facial tissue, dampened with the chemical recommended below to dissolve that stain; or mix whiting with that chemical to make a soft paste to cover the stain. The poultice should be left on the stain from 1 hour up to 48 hours, depending on the age and depth of the stain. Plastic wrap, held in place by masking tape, can be put over the poultice to keep it damp; otherwise it will have to be re-dampened with the chemical periodically. Mix only enough poultice for immediate use; mix a second batch later if another application is needed.
Organic Stains: Tea, coffee, colors bleached from paper, textiles or soft drinks. Make poultice soaked with 20 percent peroxide (hair bleaching strength) and a few drops of ammonia.
Oil Stains: Oil stains may include butter, hand cream or lotion. As soon as possible, spread surface with an absorbent fine powder such as whiting or even corn starch. After short time brush to remove and reapply more powder. Let stand 24 hours. To remove: Scrub with hot, sudsy (detergent) solution and stiff brush. Or wipe with ammonia-dampened cloth. In either case, then rinse and wipe dry. If these alkaline solutions don't remove all the oil, you can try a solvent. Make a poultice dampened with acetone or amyl acetate (available at drug stores), or with home dry cleaning fluid. Use good ventilation with windows open to remove fumes, do not use near spark or flame, and do not leave on too long.
Rust Stains: Usually the result of metal items such as a lamp, metal container in which plant is placed etc. Use a commercial rust stain remover. Follow directions exactly and do not leave on surface very long as acid in many rust removers can etch the surface.
Acids Fruit juice, carbonated beverages or other acids will etch (remove shiny surface) if allowed to remain on marble. Wipe up acid spill immediately, and wipe surface with wet cloth. If surfaced is etched, polishing may be required.