Antibacterial Cleaning For Marble

Disinfectant Cleaner Options for Marble Countertops

Disinfectant Cleaner Options for Marble Countertops


I just got new Carrara marble countertops and a full backsplash installed in my kitchen.

I'm slightly addicted to using a disinfectant cleaner, but realize it's a no-no for my marble.

How do I clean up after cooking with raw chicken, meat, etc?


True... typical household cleaners in general, including many antibacterial varieties (like Lysol disinfectant spray), are damaging to marble, travertine and limestone.

You have some choices though. I'll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each below.

First, you should be using a cutting board, preferably one designated specifically for meat/fish... one for fruit/veggies, etc., in order to minimize contamination of the countertop.

Disinfectant Cleaner Options: Pros & Cons

Soap and hot water is a proven method with one caveat discussed below.

Soapy water will remove the vast majority of pathogens from the area and "removal" is the most effective method to "disinfect" the surface.

You may think that is just nonsense, but it's a tried-n-true method.

Granite & Marble cleanability studies have demonstrated that such simple cleaning methods effectively clean stone surfaces.

In fact, granite is about as sanitary as stainless steel (and marble is similar to granite in this regard).

However, if you use soap all the time, you'll get a build-up that will dull the shine. Soap and water is recommended all the time for cleaning marble and granite countertops because it is so simple, but it really isn't the best method for regular cleaning.

For wiping up, just hot water will do along with a daily clean with a stone cleaner that won't leave a film.

If you do create a real mess, then washing with soap and water a couple times will get the job done.

Hydrogen peroxide, bleach & vinegar...

A more potent disinfectant solution can be mixed using hydrogen peroxide or bleach, but you're rolling the dice using these chemicals on marble.

Hydrogen peroxide is acidic, so it could etch (dull and/or discolor) your countertops. Diluting with water will decrease the risk (and killing properties), but getting the mix right is tricky, so be prepared for etch marks if you experiment.

Using a bleach solution runs the same risks as hydrogen peroxide.

Natural disinfectants like vinegar are popular. The acid will kill many, but not all pathogens, so it has limited sanitizing properties. For example... vinegar as disinfectant won't kill salmonella.

And since vinegar is acidic, it will definitely cause marble etching.

But then, with white Carrara marble kitchen countertops, you will have etch marks all over anyway from all the acidic foods and drinks that will inevitably contact, and corrode the surface.

Likely no one made you aware of the problem of marble etching, but it's the reason marble is not recommended for kitchen countertops. It's beautiful yes... but just can't avoid this problem.

The Best Disinfectant Solution for Cleaning Marble

Using this MOLD & MILDEW Remover will be your most effective and safe option for general disinfecting from common messes. This product contains disinfecting ingredients but is formulated to be non-damaging (non-etching) on all marble countertops, floor tile, shower tile, etc.

For serious disinfecting against the widest array of microbes, fungi, and viruses, then use this potent Marble-Safe Disinfecting Cleaner which can be used on all hard surfaces throughout the home.

For regular everyday cleaning I recommend this Granite & Marble Spray Cleaner . Cleaning with this spray will work as well as soapy water to remove the majority of pathogens, but without any soap scum build-up to dull the surface.

Then, for the meat and poultry or messes that really make you worry, clean repeatedly with soap, or preferably the Mold & Mildew Remover or the Marble-Safe Disinfecting Cleaner as suggested.

Important... you may not know....

Like all other disinfectant sprays, the above mildew remover must remain on the surface for 10 minutes or so.

Most people are not aware of this requirement. Disinfectant cleaners do not work immediately on contact. You can't just spray on and wipe off a disinfectant. It won't kill a thing that way. It needs time to work.

Again... simply wiping/cleaning the surface regularly and thoroughly is, in general, an effective disinfecting technique.

Everyone understands the desire to guard against health problems, although something interesting that you may consider is that many studies are now revealing that general use of disinfectant cleaners is overkill in most instances and over-use is likely counterproductive.

Using only when specifically needed is apparently the best choice.

One last note on etching... You might as well pick up some ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing Paste as well to help remove etch marks.

If you are diligent about always using cutting boards, coasters and trivets, then you can greatly cut down on problems with etching, but in a kitchen... it's inevitable, so you'll need the polish.

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Disinfect Marble Counters Prior To Food Prep


I just moved into a house w/ marble counter tops in the kitchen.

My felines are in the habit of walking on the counters.

I used to use bleach on my counters before preparing food on them since kitty feet aren't exactly "clean".

I also like to bleach after preparing raw chicken or spilling raw eggs on the counter.

I'm guessing I shouldn't use bleach on the marble.

So how can I safely disinfect my marble counters?


You're right... DO NOT use bleach, vinegar, ammonia or any other common household product for cleaning marble including "brand-name" cleaners like Lysol disinfectant.

These will etch / damage the marble countertop finish.

Now, you could risk using a bleach or hydrogen peroxide solution. It could (likely will) dull your marble if you don't get the mix right... I really would recommend that you do NOT experiment unless you're prepared to restore the surface.

You may get away with it if done rarely.... but it's a gamble to use even once.

You want to disinfect daily, so the above is not really a "safe" option.

You could use soap and hot water (yes, soap is a disinfectant cleaner) safely. It won't damage marble... but soap will cause a dull film... "soap scum" to build up on the marble. This happens even when you rinse, etc. and of course will not make for a clean surface.

You could use soap and also use Soap Scum / Hard Water Remover to keep the soap from building up. However......

The best option is to use the Bathroom MOLD & MILDEW Remover. Obviously, designed for shower use primarily, but it can be adapted.

It has a small amount of bleach, but the mix is perfect. It has been engineered and specially formulated by stone pros and tested, tested, tested to be safe on marble and all stone.

I think you'll get optimum results using this product as a disinfectant spray. Safe, easy.... no muss, no fuss!

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Disinfecting Marble in Bathroom & Kitchen


Please I need help asap husband has just been diagnosed with active MRSA, a severe staph infection.

We have been told by the doctor to completely disinfect every surface of our home.

The problem is we have marble floors and marble tops in the kitchen and bathrooms. (tumbled cream marble in bathroom and polished cream marble slabs on counters).

The product they have given me is for non-porous surfaces.

What can I use to disinfect marble... alcohol, hydrogen peroxide?


First, know that hydrogen peroxide, bleach, ammonia, vinegar and most common household cleaners are too caustic and will dull the finish of marble.

Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) typically is rather neutral (pH 5-7) and shouldn't damage the surface. It's a decent natural disinfectant, however, it has limited germ-killing qualities. Good for skin, but not so much for sanitizing surfaces.

The same is basically true for vinegar, which is a common household disinfectant, but not effective enough for the demands of this job.

This is a special case....

Obviously, your husband's health is the most important concern and you want to ensure that the surfaces are effectively sanitized.

So, in this case, you could choose to go with hydrogen peroxide. You may also consider using a very dilute bleach disinfectant solution.

Again, both could potentially etch your marble countertop. Etching makes the finish more dull. This is most visible on polished marble.

Given that you have tumbled marble, any etching that may occur (hydrogen peroxide is acidic, bleach is alkaline) won't be that noticeable, and since you'll be cleaning the entire surface area it will etch evenly.

Of course, it'll be very risky using HP on the polished marble countertops. It will almost certainly dull these to some degree.

Again, this is a special case and I wouldn't normally recommend using bleach or hydrogen peroxide, particularly since you do have a "marble-safe" disinfectant cleaner option....

A safer and better choice is to use the Mold & Mildew Cleaner (see link above/below). This cleaner contains bleach in a perfect dilution to be safe (will not dull) for use on marble including all polished marble.

Certainly, clean all surfaces multiple times letting the product sit on the surface for several minutes before wiping down.

If you use the hydrogen peroxide, I'd do a test application on a small area to see if etching occurs with your solution. Adjust the concentration as you see fit.

In the end, if you do have some etch marks or dulling of the surface, it can be repaired.

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Safely Disinfecting Marble Bathroom Countertops

by Carolyn
(Savannah, GA)


How do I disinfect marble bathroom countertops, floor tile and the attached water fixtures without staining the marble?

I really like to spray bathroom fixtures with a disinfectant cleaner.

My marble counter top will be sealed before installation. This is supposed to be long-lasting seal.


For disinfecting marble surfaces or faucets I'd suggest using the Bathroom Mold & Mildew Remover which is made for killing/cleaning mold and mildew (excellent for marble showers), so it is a very effective disinfectant spray AND totally safe for cleaning marble... it won't etch or damage.

"Staining" is not the concern. Marble is not very porous and does not stain easy especially polished (shiny) marble.

In fact, polished marble is near stain-proof and typically does not need nor can it be sealed since the sealer will not absorb.

Just perform the "water test" suggested above.

If it does need sealing, we recommend using SenGuard or these Impregnating Sealers.

Nothing on the market will last longer than SenGuard which forms permanent bonds with the stone.

And don't apply a sealer "just to be safe" unless you want to strip off the dull hazy film it could leave when it doesn't absorb and a residue dries on the surface.

What you may be concerned about is marble "etching".

Marble etching is often confused with staining, but they are two different issues.

Etching is corrosion that causes a chemical burn of the marble leaving dull light colored spots.

Common disinfectants are usually very harsh and most(all) will etch marble.

Unfortunately, sealing marble (if needed) won't protect it against etch marks... only stains. Which is why you need to use the "marble-safe" product recommended for disinfecting.

Okay... more on disinfecting...

You can never completely kill or clean away bacteria.

The best way to minimize bacteria and stay healthy is regular and thorough cleaning.... nothing fancy needed.

Frequent cleaning with a regular cleaner (in this case a marble-safe cleaner like the Marble & Granite Cleaner Spray) will keep all stone surfaces sanitary.

But when you really want to "disinfect" a surface immediately... use the Mold & Mildew Cleaner. It'll do the trick safely.

Remember to leave the cleaner on the countertop / tile for a good 10 minutes. This is the proper method when using any household disinfectant.

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Dull and Stained Marble Vanity Top
by: Mayissa

My bathroom vanity has a marble counter top. Since day one, it is stained, dull and practically impossible to clean and shine.

Any suggestion? I live in Jerusalem and I do not know where to ask for this problem.

Thank you for your kind help

=== Countertop Specialty comment:

Yes, most likely your are using cleaning products that are too harsh and are damaging the surface... and/or the personal products you are using are too acidic and etching the surface.

Either will leave dull spots. Marble doesn't stain too easy, but it can stain which happens when something absorbs into the countertop leaving a dark spot. Different than etching.

To polish and shine marble that has been etched, use the Marble Etch Remover & Polish.

Use the search box at the top of the page to learn more about "marble stains" and "etching" or "dull spots". These terms will bring up many pages with in-depth info.

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