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Secret tips to Cleaning Marble Countertops in Clearwater Florida

Marble Magic – The Secret to Cleaning Stains on Marble Countertops

Marble countertops are very popular in Clearwater cottage style kitchens. Whether you choose prefer the bright white with gray and silver veins of Carrera marble or the golden ribbons of Calcutta Gold, they all look beautiful in a light and bright Clearwater cottage style kitchen.

 

The Secret To Cleaning Stains Marble Countertops  in Clearwater Fl

Carrera marble countertops in a beautiful Clearwater cottage style kitchen.

The Warnings about Marble

Marble is a natural stone that is softer than granite or quartz, making it more easily scratched or chipped. The small pours and spaces within the crystal structure of marble that give it such a soft, almost three dimensional luster, also allow liquid to penetrate the stone. Liquids such as wine, coffee and tomato juice, leave stains.

Preventing Stains in Clearwater Marble Countertops

Wiping up spills on marble countertops immediately and rinsing with plenty of water will help prevent stains from seeping in. Applying natural stone sealer will make it harder for liquids to penetrate and make it easier to clean the spill. Sealant needs to be regularly reapplied according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Proper sealing helps prevent liquids from penetrating your marble countertops. Image credit: Spirit Sealers

Unfortunately, even after sealing and with the best intentions, it can be very difficult to keep up with or even recognized all the small spills of food that can stain your marble countertop.

Removing Stains from Your Marble  Countertops

If you do end up with a stain, all is not lost. There are special products and many homegrown recipes that can help remove stains from your marble. The technique of applying poultices goes back centuries. The same way that ancient healers used poultices to draw out venom from snake bites or infection from wounds, you can be use a poultice to remove stains from your marble countertops. The exact method varies somewhat depending on what has caused the stain but the basic idea is simple: treat the area with something that will dissolve the stain and then apply a poultice that will draw the dissolved stain out of the stone. Also check out this DIY kitchen cleaning tips.

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Coffee stain on marble. Image credit: Marble Clinic

Different Games for Different Stains

There are four major types of stains that can affect your marble and a different combination of dissolving agent and poultice is applied for each type. The poultice material can be made of cotton balls, paper towels, shredded cardboard paper mache paste, flour or even baby powder.

Metal Stains

Stains such as rust can be drawn out by treating with a mixture of sodium citrate and glycerin or oxalic acid. Soak or mix the solution with your poultice material and apply the poultice over the stain. If you have a stubborn stain, tape plastic over the poultice so that it dries more slowly and has more time to draw out the stain.

Inorganic Stains

Ink stains on light marble can be treated with bleach or hydrogen peroxide. If the marble is dark use lacquer thinner or acetone to dissolve the stain and allow your poultice material to draw it out.

Oil Stains

For stains from cooking oil and tar, first try to clean the stain using scouring powder with bleach or a household detergent. If the stain remains use a poultice that includes baking soda.

Organic Stains 

For coffee, wine, juice and other stains from food pour hydrogen peroxide (35% solution) directly on the stain. Once it has stopped bubbling apply a poultice with hydrogen peroxide to the area in order to draw the stain out.

Making an Informed Choice

Many people will try to dissuade you from choosing marble for your kitchen countertops. While it can be more work to clean and maintain your countertops, knowing what to expect can help you make your own decision with confidence. If you would like to add beautiful marble countertops to your kitchen contact us today.

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Marble Countertops in Clearwater Find a Home in a Cottage Kitchen

All along the Gulf Coast you’ll find many cute and quaint cottages in beach communities and historic neighborhoods. Many date back to the early 1900s. A new trend toward small space living has been making cottages in Clearwater increasingly popular. Urban professionals looking for convenience and quality of life have been choosing to purchase older homes in established neighborhoods rather than live in the suburbs. Retired couples moving to Clearwater are also often looking to downsize and find cottage living is a good fit.

With Clearwater listed in the 2012 CBS Money Watch top 10 places to retire, this is a trend that will certainly continue. Cottage life is also the perfect alternative to newer suburbs where large look-alike homes are stuffed into subdivisions like sardines. According to small space living advocates, cottage living is about setting your priorities. Many people will gladly trade a large house in a newer area for the opportunity to live near the beach or in a historic older neighborhood where the streets are walkable and local shops are just a few steps away.

Florida Cottage Kitchen Style

Even in a small space like a cottage kitchen you can have big style. Florida cottage kitchens are relaxed and eclectic while still having a classic style inspired by their historic roots. Modern interpretations of the classic cottage kitchen include vintage touches like pressed tin ceiling tiles, subway tile backsplashes and oversized farmhouse sinks. Environmentally friendly materials are also popular. Reused barnwood, old furniture and vintage cabinet knobs and drawer pulls have found new life in modern cottage kitchens. Many Clearwater cottage kitchens also feature marble countertops that give them a timeless and beautiful old world charm while at the same time keeping the decor light, bright and casual.

The Allure of Marble

From the grand Greek temples of ancient Athens and the masterpieces of Michelangelo to the country kitchens of Provence and Tuscany, marble’s appeal has endured the ages. The color and pattern of marble can range from the soft grey shades of Carrara and brilliant whites of Calacatta marble with its distinctive veining to the contrasting colors and random patterns of brecciated marbles like Pavonazzetto and Breccia Oniciata. Marble’s appeal for architectural, monumental and more recently as a kitchen and bathroom countertop material comes from its beautiful appearance, aesthetically pleasing patterns and its rugged durability. Marble has also been favored by sculptors for centuries because it can be carved using hand tools and is able to hold delicate details. Sculptors like Michelangelo and Rodin used marble to create their most outstanding masterpieces. The translucent finish of marble is able to create the lifelike appearance of smooth skin. Marble temples and statues have survived for thousands of years in nearly pristine condition.

Trouble in Paradise

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Marble Countertop Simple cleaning tips.

It wasn’t until the industrial revolution that the effects of acidic solutions on marble became fully realized. Marble contains a large amount of calcium carbonate or calcite which reacts with sulfuric and nitric acids found in polluted air and rainwater. Acid rain and air began to gradually destroy the delicate marble carvings on many world renowned monuments such as the Parthenon and the Taj Mahal.

The same reaction happens with many modern cleaning products that use acidic ingredients to dissolve oily dirt. Many popular “extra strength” kitchen and bathroom cleaners will stain and etch marble as will some all natural cleaners that use vinegar or lemon juice. Mild soap and water is normally all that is needed to clean marble countertops and surfaces.

Stains and Scratches

Marble is also slightly porous. The same qualities that give it its lustrous crystalline almost three-dimensional finish also allow liquids to gradually seep into the surface. Common food products like tomato sauce, wine, coffee grounds, curry powder and even leafy green vegetables will stain marble.   Marble can also be easily cut or scratched with metal tools. Since the Bronze Age sculptors have preferred working with marble because of this very characteristic. A few simple precautions are usually all you need to keep your marble countertops looking great.

Simple Care for Marble Countertops

 

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Tools to use when cleaning your marble countertops.

If you spill an acidic liquid on a marble countertop it’s important to dilute the liquid with plenty of water as soon as possible before it has a chance to penetrate the tiny pores in the stone’s surface. Don’t simply wipe the liquid up with a damp cloth or paper towel as this will leave residual acid.

Simple wiping the spill will press small amounts of acid into the pores of the stone. Acidic solutions will eventually discolor and etch the surface leaving a permanent mark. If you spill wine, tomato sauce or other liquid that may stain the surface, dilute the area with water, soak up the spill with a cloth or paper towel and dry immediately.

To prevent scratching your marble countertop simply use protective mats, cutting boards and containers when using metal tools in the kitchen. Use wooden tools whenever feasible if you are still concerned with accidentally dropping a sharp object on the surface.

Sealing

Treating your marble countertop with a good penetrating natural stone sealer will make it much more resistant to everyday spills and dirt. Some types of polished marble come factory sealed. Sealants will generally last from 10 to 15 years.

Mixing Marble and Other Natural Stone

For those that want to enjoy the beauty of marble without the concern of staining and scratching or the hassle of constant cleaning and maintenance, mixing different natural stone surfaces can be a creative and attractive solution. By carefully considering the activity that you will use each surface in your kitchen for you can choose the appropriate surface for each activity. Combining marble with other more stain and chip resistant stone like granite and manufactured quartz is a beautiful and creative solution that lends itself well to the relaxed aesthetic of a modern Clearwater cottage kitchen. Using a white granite countertop for example with a Carrara marble backsplash and windowsills lets you enjoy the beauty or marble without the worry of damaging it while cooking.

The Perfect Kitchen Countertop

If you want kitchen counters that, in five years, look as pristine as the day you installed them then you should consider your options. If you never or rarely use your kitchen and are willing to seal and meticulously clean up after even the tiniest spill then marble is still a viable choice. If not you should choose a more stain and scratch resistant surface like polished granite or manufactured quartz.

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Classic marble countertops may be the right choice for your Clearwater cottage kitchen.

Find The Best Marble Countertops In Clearwater For Your Cottage Kitchen

The distinctive beauty, bright translucent finish, durability and vintage charm are all good reasons to include it as part of your plans. Remember though that marble is a material that wears its history like a badge of honor. For many, the homey relaxed atmosphere of a cottage kitchen is a perfect match with natural marble.

As marble ages it takes on a patina that adds an authentic vintage touch to an eclectic kitchen decor. The sunny laid back atmosphere of Clearwater and the cozy space of a small cottage kitchen are both good matches for a lighter brighter color palette. Large windows, painted cabinets and white marble create a feeling of space and timeless charm that is perfect for your Clearwater cottage kitchen.