Do you need to take special marble cleaning precautions for a bathroom countertop, floor or shower?
Yes.... Like any material marble does require a particular type of care, so you do need to learn the proper marble cleaning methods, but nothing different than the guidelines detailed on the marble cleaning Do's & Don'ts page.
Sealing marble may or may not be necessary. It's a myth that marble stains easy.
Actually, it is quite dense, may be naturally stain resistant, and not need a sealer. This is especially so with polished marble.
So be sure to water test it before you go to the trouble of applying a marble sealer.
Avoid exposure to acidic or harsh products, which does include most typical household cleaners and some normal bath products like toothpaste, shave cream, mouthwash, perfumes, etc.
Most personal products will not harm marble, however, some brands are acidic enough to corrode and mark the surface and you just never know which one will do it, so take precautions.
Soaps and shampoos in the shower are generally not a problem. Most hygiene products used when showering won't etch marble shower tiles and all the water washes them away, so stains are also rare.
What products are safe and effective for daily cleaning of marble bathroom countertops?
Ten points for asking about marble bathroom cleaners!
Marble cleaning requires some specialized products, for both general cleaning and specific problems, but they are easy to use.
Many people assume marble is just a rock and any old product can be used for cleaning. Well, they learn the hard way that most household and bathroom cleaners are too harsh for use on marble.
So, by "safe" we mean products that won't damage marble countertops or tile by staining or dulling the finish.
All the marble cleaning products we recommend from various manufacturers at our Stone Care Product Center are totally safe for use on marble and all stone.
In fact, we've found these products to be the most effective and often the best value for the following uses:
Hard water and soap scum build-up: Use the Bath & Shower: Hard Water / Soap Scum Remover (see link in previous question above).
Incidentally, the above product is also a very effective (and safe) product to use for grout haze removal on new tile installations. And, of course, it is perfect for cleaning grout around shower tiles.
Also, very helpful is the non-acidic Toliet Bowl Cleaner. Again, most common cleaning agents will damage marble and toilet bowl cleaners can be some of the worst.... very caustic.
So, even when not directly cleaning marble floor tile or a bathroom vanity you should still use products safe for cleaning marble when cleaning surfaces around marble like toilets and mirrors (i.e. the granite-marble cleaning spray can be used on mirrors too).
The above products will definitely help keep your bathroom marble beautiful safely and effectively without worry.
I have a marble finish countertop in my bathroom...what is the best method for cleaning it?
I heard that car wax works great, but what about everyday cleaning?
Car wax is an old-school method used to enhance the shine a bit, but it has its drawbacks (scuffing, yellowing, frequent re-application). Of course, it isn't for "cleaning".
Car wax certainly is not the best product for this anymore, is rarely (if ever) used, and I don't recommend it.
Surface waxes can become problematic when constantly applied to a marble countertop or bathroom vanity. The wax builds up requiring stripping, can start to look ratty, dingy and yellow, and can even stain the marble yellow. It just increases the marble maintenance needs.
To enhance the shine I recommend using the Topical Polish/Shine Enhancer. This is a non-wax surface dressing made for stone, so none of the hassles of car wax.
As mentioned above...
The Granite Countertop & Marble Cleaning spray is the best out there in my opinion for daily cleaning.... and cheaper than most too. It doesn't leave streaks and has visual brightening agents to make your stone look great... excellent product.
I am moving into a house with new marble tile bathroom countertops and a marble tile shower.
The homeowner had them installed, but he is quite a do-it-yourselfer and I'm not sure about marble cleaning & maintenance.
A well known personality has a book on cleaning everything and she said to not let toothpaste touch it, or makeup or perfume, or...
Seems like that would be impossible in a bathroom. The surface is nicely polished, but I don't know how to keep the grout clean.
What can I use as a marble cleaner?
Is a water glass going to leave rings?
I am thinking trays and baskets to protect the surface, but would that even rub the surface finish and leave dull marks?
It's beautiful marble, but it seems a wrong material for a bathroom vanity with no shelf or cabinet to keep products from staining the surface.
What do you suggest? Thanks Glenda.
True, things like toothpaste, perfume, mouth wash, etc., can sometimes be acidic enough to etch (dull) polished marble (and honed... any marble no matter the type of finish). It depends on the brand.
Also, most common brand-name household cleaners will damage and dull marble countertops, bathroom vanities, shower tiles, floor tile, etc.
So, yes.... what you've learned so far is true to a degree. But you don't have to be as paranoid about it as I sense you are.
I can tell you that even though there are several types of products that may etch marble, that the occurrence of etching on bathroom countertops is pretty low compared to say a marble kitchen countertop.
Most problems or damages occur from using the wrong cleaners in the bathroom.... not from personal products.
Decorative trays are a great idea. Just put the rubber dots (buy at hardware store... don't use the felt ones because they will get wet) on the bottom to diminish scratching or wear. And you can get shelves that simply stand on the countertop.
I would not use baskets because they will get wet and although polished marble is not very absorbent and does not stain easy (despite what you read that it does) wicker baskets will tend to stain when in constant contact with the surface in a wet environment.
If you do happen to etch the marble and get a dull spot, you can use this Marble Polishing Etch Remover product to repair the spot and get the shine back. This product works very well for that. It will also polish out light surface scratches.
Water in a glass will not leave a ring. What you are referring to are the mysterious "water spots" you read about online.
These are not actually caused by water, but they seem to be colorless "stains". However, these are the etch marks (not stains) I explained above.
These "water spots" or "glass rings" occur from acidic drinks like orange juice, coffee, cola. If a little runs down the side and forms a ring around the cup it will etch the marble.
For general cleaning I recommend the Granite & Marble Cleaning Spray with link at the top of this page.
For etch marks: (those dull and lighter-colored ghost spots) use ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing product, which is the best available and will restore the shine and color on any polished marble surface (countertop, floor tiles, shower tiles, etc.)
On "honed" marble you have to follow the instructions in the Removing Etch Marks ebook since there isn't a product that will repair etching on honed marble.
To remove hard water stains and soap scum use this tried-n-true Soap Scum / Hard Water Remover. This is a problem primarily encountered in the bathroom shower, so this product is best used as your regular marble shower cleaner.
Check out the Stone Care Center for other stone and marble cleaners you might need, again depending on the issue you want to address.