7 Everyday Household Items that can Stain or Etch Your Marble Countertop
Thanks to its elegant look and luxurious appeal, marble is one of the most sought-after countertop materials in the world today. However, beautiful as it may be, this natural stone requires extra care and attention to keep it looking good as new for years.
Thus, before you invest in this premium countertop material, it is essential to know the do’s and don’ts of having it in your kitchen. Moreover, you need to be aware of the things that can damage or discolor its surface.
Now, if you have a marble counter at home or if you’re planning to get one soon, stick around as we discuss the seven everyday household items you need to keep away from this beautiful natural stone.
1. Acidic Substances
Because of its Calcium carbonate component, marble is susceptible to acidic substances, like coffee, soda, vinegar, tomato sauce, and fruit juice. As such, when any of these products come in direct contact with your kitchen counter, it can leave a permanent etch mark on your marble’s surface.
Unlike stains, etch marks are dull spots that appear on marble due to its chemical reaction with acid. It is corrosion that happens once calcium-based stones, such as marble and travertine, come in contact with any form of acid.
Hence, it’s no surprise that in many high-end restaurants and bars, you can easily find etch marks on marble counters and tabletops because of the beverages they serve.
It’s always a good idea to use coasters and trays under every glass, bottle, and can at home. After all, no matter how careful you are, there’s always the possibility for any spill or drip to happen. Water rings can form, too, at the bottom of your glass due to condensation, which can leave behind a nasty mark.
As they say, prevention is always better than cure, so keep those coasters handy to save yourself the hassle. Should any acidic substance come in direct contact with your marble countertop, wipe up the liquid as soon as possible.
2. Oil-based Food
Oil-based products, such as peanut butter and cooking oil, can easily penetrate marble’s porous surface. If any of these products touch your counter’s surface, it can leave a stain on your stone that’s quite difficult to clean. Oftentimes, it darkens the affected area, that’s visible even after you’ve cleaned it with a cloth and warm water. This is especially true for oil-based products that have seeped into the stone overnight.
To draw out the oil from your marble’s surface:
3. Raw Meat
Although raw meat won’t damage your counter, putting it directly on your stone’s surface can be dangerous. Marble, being a natural stone, is porous. This means that bacteria, such as those found in raw meat, can make their way into the tiny pores of sealed marble. As a result, it can contaminate your surface, potentially spreading to your food and other household items.
Therefore, it is important to use a cutting board in every meal preparation. Not only does it minimize the risk of food contamination, but it also protects your marble from your knife blade’s scratches. It’s a simple yet practical solution that will benefit you, your knives, and your countertop.
4. Pots and Pans
Unlike engineered quartz and solid surface, you can put hot pots and pans directly on your marble countertop without worrying about warping, breakage, and discoloration. As it is formed from extreme heat itself, marble is resin-free, making it resistant to high temperatures.
But, of course, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, right?
After all, although heat won’t damage your marble, it can get scratched by the setting or sliding of your pots and pans over the counter. It can also sustain burn marks from doing so.
When cooking, always use a trivet or a hot pad under any hot pot or pan. It helps prevent such a problem from happening and saves you the trouble of getting it fixed.
5. Generic Cleaning Products
It sure is tempting to use generic cleaning products on your marble countertop, but be wary as it can seriously damage your natural stone without even realizing it. Most, if not all, of these products are too acidic for marble. As such, they, too, can stain or etch your natural stone’s surface.
Across the web, you’ll find many online articles recommending the use of warm water and mild soap in cleaning your marble countertop. But we beg to differ. Over time, soapy water accumulates on your countertop’s surface and dulls its shine with repeated use.
Use only a high-quality stone cleaner to keep your marble countertop in tip-top shape. Not only will it help you save a lot from repair and restoration, but it also helps you avoid the hassle of replacing a damaged counter.
6. Personal Care Products
Leaving your toiletries on your marble countertop or vanity top may not seem like a problem at first, but sooner or later, this habit can have a damaging effect on your stone’s surface. Personal care products, such as toothpaste, lotion, and mouthwash, can stain or etch your marble permanently when left overnight.
If you wish to put these items on your vanity top, we recommend placing them in a decorative tray or basket, like they do in hotels.
7. Heavy Stuff
Marble is a highly durable natural stone, which is why many assume that it can easily bear the weight of heavy objects. Marble, however, is not a flexible material. When too much weight is placed on a particular spot of your marble’s surface, it can crack or, worse, cause your cabinet and counter to crash down instantly.
Thus, it is always best to avoid placing heavy objects on your countertop, especially near the sink’s cutout. Also, make it a rule to never, ever sit or stand on top of it. Should you need to change the light bulb, pull out a chair instead.
Similarly, knocking your counter with a heavy object, like a ceramic crockpot, can chip its edge. To avoid such accidents, always take extra care when using heavy items near your kitchen countertop.
Should You Worry About Using Marble?
Marble is a beautiful countertop material that adds elegance and sophistication to any kitchen. Though they require extra care and maintenance, marble countertops provide a luxurious appeal that you won’t find in any other material. Every slab is one of a kind, with natural imperfections that merely adds to its charm.
If you think this premium stone is the perfect material for you, you really shouldn’t hesitate having it in your kitchen. Just ensure that you’re willing to put extra effort in keeping it always clean and dry.
If you would like to discuss your options, we’d love to help. Our team of experienced, professional installers are here to help you with your project—from material selection to turnover. With a wide range of stone selections from our slab yard, there’s bound to be one that’s perfect for your home.
Find the Perfect Countertop for Your Kitchen
Drop by any of Stone Depot‘s branches in Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Iloilo City today and check out the various stone colors we offer. Our granites, marbles, and engineered quartz are available in various slab dimensions so you’ll surely find the piece(s) that’s fit for your requirement. Not only will you be able to get the stone that matches your interior, but you’ll also be able to save a lot for your project.
See you at our slab yard!