How to clean marble countertops to keep them flawless and preserved

How to maintain and deep clean marble countertops without damaging their surfaces

How to clean marble countertops
(Image credit: Blakes London / Neptune / Divine Savages)

The timeless appeal of marble countertops makes them a worthwhile investment for any kitchen or bathroom, and with proper maintenance, this luxurious material can last up to fifty years or more.

However, keeping your marble in good condition requires regular cleaning to avoid damage and ensure the longevity of your bathroom or kitchen countertops

Below, our cleaning experts have outlined the dos and don'ts to keep your marble surfaces looking flawless for years to come.

How to clean marble countertops

'Before using any new cleaning product or method, always test it in a small, inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility with your marble countertops,' advises Karina Toner, operations manager at Spekless Cleaning.

What you will need

can you fit an island in a galley kitchen, kitchen with tall dark blue cabinets, checked tile floor, pink cabinets, marble style island, galley shape

(Image credit: Blakes London)

To effectively clean your marble bathroom or kitchen countertops, you will need the following tools: 

  • Mild Dish Soap: Choose a pH-neutral, mild dish soap for gentle cleaning.
  • Warm Water: Use warm water to dilute the dish soap for cleaning.
  • Soft Microfiber Cloth: To avoid scratching the marble surface, opt for a soft microfiber cloth, like these USANOOKS microfiber cloths from Amazon
  • pH-Neutral Cleaner (Optional): For tougher stains, you can use a pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for marble surfaces, such as this Granite Gold cleaner from Walmart.
  • Soft towel or cloth: For removing loose debris and dust and for drying.

1. Prepare the surface

devol kitchens island with marble countertop and sink

(Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)

Before you start, clear the countertop of any items, debris, or spills to make the cleaning process easier. 

'Wipe the marble with a soft/damp cloth to remove any loose dirt and dust,' advises Paulo Filho, owner of Celestial Commercial Cleaning Service.

2. Mix the cleaning solution

Shaker kitchen with brown cabinetry, art deco style wallpaper, arched window, marble countertops, sink, wall lights and matching pendants light, table

(Image credit: Divine Savages)

Fill up a bowl or container with warm water, and then add a small amount of mild dish soap. 'If mild dish soap isn't effective, you can use a pH-neutral cleaner formulated for marble surfaces,' advises Karina Toner.

Use a ratio of around one tablespoon of dish soap or pH cleaner per gallon of warm water. This should provide enough cleaning power to remove dirt and grime without harming the marble surface. 

Karina Toner
Karina Toner

Karina is the Operations Manager at Spekless Cleaning, a trusted maid service based in Washington D.C. The team has over five years of experience providing top-quality cleaning services for both residential and commercial clients. Karina oversees every aspect of the business, ensuring that every client gets the same top-notch service and a spotless clean every time.

3. Clean the countertop

Marble sink with gold taps

(Image credit: Neptune)

Dip your microfiber cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution and wring out any excess water. Gently wipe down the entire surface of the marble countertop.

'Steer clear of abrasive sponges or brushes that can scratch the marble,' recommends Karina Toner.

Give extra attention to areas with spills or stains. Let the cleaning solution sit on the affected area for a few minutes for stubborn stains to help loosen them.

4. Rinse Thoroughly

Bar countertop with marble

(Image credit: Future)

Soap buildup could dull the marble's shine over time. So, Karina Toner suggests rinsing the countertops thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.

5. Dry the Surface

Kitchen countertop with lights under worktop

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

Use a dry, soft cloth to dry the marble surface completely, preventing water spots or streaks. Avoid air-drying, as this could leave water spots on the surface.

How to spot clean

multi level island with marble and seating low area

(Image credit: LH.Designs / Photography Lauren Taylor)

'For stubborn marble kitchen stains – like coffee or red wine – create a paste with baking soda and water,' advises Karina Toner. 'Apply this paste to the stained area, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit overnight.'

Then, gently wipe it off with a wet cloth and dry it with a soft towel. This method should remove the stain without harming the marble.

Top tip: In the future, instead of wiping spills, blot them with a clean cloth to prevent spreading and minimize absorption into the marble.

Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda, 4 lb | $2.73 at Walmart

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Baking soda is a fantastic multi-purpose cleaner. That's why we always recommend including pure baking soda alongside your <a href="https://www.homesandgardens.com/solved/essential-cleaning-tools-everyone-needs" data-link-merchant="homesandgardens.com"" data-link-merchant="walmart.com"">essential cleaning tools.

How to clean hard water build-up

Bathroom with green tiled walls, gold marble and marble countertops

(Image credit: Stephen Paul)

Hard water buildup can leave your marble looking dull and cloudy. To remove it, mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, such as this one, from Walmart

Spray the solution on the countertop and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off with a damp cloth. Then, dry the surface with a soft towel.

FAQs

What cleaners should you not use on marble?

'If you do need to disinfect your marble countertops, don't use bleach, ammonia, lemon juice, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide, as these can damage the marble and the sealer,' explains Corinne Segura, founder of My Chemical-Free House. 'You can use HOCL (Hypochlorous Acid) or alcohol to safely disinfect marble.'


'Lastly, let's not forget about the finishing touch - polishing. Use a stone polish specifically made for marble to restore its shine and luster,' advises Robin Aebischer, an interior designer and co-founder of BUYnBLUE.

'Apply the polish using a clean, soft cloth in a circular motion and buff it off with a dry cloth for a stunning finish. Depending on the type of marble and its finish, consider sealing the countertops every 6 to 12 months to protect against stains and etching.'

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past five years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including recipe articles, reviewing products, writing ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ articles. Lola now writes about everything from organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate student, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.