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One refrain you frequently hear from me is that if you want to invest in some gorgeous marble countertops for your kitchen, bathroom, or elsewhere, you should understand how sensitive marble is as a material.

Marble, and similar calcium-based natural stone, is soft and porous. It takes very little to etch, scratch, or ding marble, which is so frustrating when the point of marble surfaces is to elevate the space.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your marble counters looking like you installed them yesterday.

1. Seal your Marble Countertops

Essential to maintaining any natural stone is using the best sealer. We talk about sealers a lot on this website – we even have a video series about it; that’s how important it is!

When considering your options, there are two ways you can go. In our experience, the best sealer technology for protecting your marble counters is Tuffskin Surface Protect

Unlike traditional sealers, Tuffskin keeps liquids from ever touching your marble’s surface, so etching just can’t happen. It is also scratch and heat-resistant! It does all of this without diminishing the look or feel of your counters. There’s just no comparison; if you don’t want to worry about leaks, drips, spills, or scratches on your counters, Tuffskin is the way to go.

If Tuffskin is outside the scope of what you can get right now, then look for a penetrating sealer that offers a robust warranty – don’t settle for the cheapest one you find at the hardware store. Not sure where to start? We proudly recommend the natural stone sealers & stone care solutions from Rockstar Sealing Systems.

Don’t wait too long to do this! If water penetrates the marble for too long, you may start to notice a reddish hue in the stone – that’s iron within your marble rusting. Once that happens, there’s nothing we know how to do to fix it.

2. Use Secondary Surfaces!

It should go without saying that you never want to use a knife directly on your marble countertops. When you need to chop, mince, or slice, I recommend using a cutting board with a groove near the edge so that liquid doesn’t run off onto your counter.

Whenever you handle a hot pot or pan, place it on a pad instead of directly on your marble. While marble is relatively heat-resistant, it is easy to get distracted and leave a hot dish for too long. Prolonged exposure to high heat could cause discoloration on your marble, so it is best to get in the habit of keeping pads within reach!

Lastly, I recommend stashing your olive oils, vinegar, and similar bottled liquids on a tray rather than directly on your marble counter. I understand preferring not to block the sight of your marble surfaces with trays, but it is a convenient way to guarantee that drips running down the side of these bottles after use won’t touch the surface. Glass trays are great for this, as they add a touch of elegance while allowing your marble to remain visible!

3. Keep it clean!

Did you spill some orange juice? Did a drip of vinegar get away from you? Don’t wait to clean it up! The longer it sits touching your stone (something that Tuffskin prevents, by the way!), the more these acidic liquids will etch away.

Don’t settle for only cleaning these immediate sorts of messes. Get in the habit of keeping your counters clean all the time. Prevent crumbs from collecting in corners and behind things, and keep dust from building up on little-touched surfaces. 

It can be easy to get lazy and forget that marble countertops are meant to be shown off – the less care they receive, the worse they will be at shining for you!

Skip Jankoski

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