Marble Care

Caring for your Marble Shower and Vanities

The use of marble in bathrooms, kitchens, etc. requires some special care.  Water is the number one enemy to marble and can cause irreversible damage.  For this reason it is important to properly seal and clean it.  This information will give you the knowledge you need to avoid any major disasters.

Marble Defined

Marble is commercially defined as any limestone that will take a polish.  Limestones, and therefore marbles, are composed of minerals of calcite or dolomite.  Marble in its purest state is white; colored marbles are the result of other minerals being mixed with the calcite or dolomite.

Now for those of you who don't really care what marble is made of, there are some other commonly recognizable characteristics:

  • Marble, no matter what the color, will usually have some type of veining running through it; the veins are usually different in color than the main color of the stone. There are, however, exceptions to this rule.  Some marbles, such as Thassos White will exhibit little or no veining.
  • Marble is relatively soft when compared to other stones, such as granite.  It will scratch very easily.  If you run a knife blade lightly across the surface of the stone and it leaves a scratch, you are very likely to be dealing with marble.  If you need to determine how easily it will scratch, pick an inconspicuous spot.  On dark marbles, these scratches will appear as light lines on the surface of the stone; on lighter-colored marbles it may be difficult to detect a scratch.
Think of Marble as a fine piece of wood furniture and take all the necessary precautions to protect it.  Place all of your perfumes, colognes, etc. on a tray with a soft cushion underneath.  Also, use a soap dish or tray and again with a soft cushion.  Everything placed on the marble should have a soft dry cushion underneath and should remain dry.  Always clean up spills immediately.  Clean the marble with a neutral detergent; most household cleaners are not neutral.  To be sure call the manufacturer of the product you want to use and confirm that it is recommeded for use on natural marble;  there is ususally an 800 # on the product container.  Then try it in an inconspicuous area first.  Wax your marble countertops with a clear paste wax at least once a month.....more often with heavy use.

Marble is also very sensitive to acidic chemicals.  Some shampoos, for example are acidic, and will leave a dull spot on marble.  It is extremely important to keep any marble surface out of contact with acidic materials.  Many bathroom cleaners will contain acidic ingredients.  Most products that contain acids will leave their ingredients listed on the label.  For easy reference the following table lists the acids you may find in such products;  avoid using them on or near any marble surface.


       Any product containing the following acidS should not be used on marble:
Acid Name                          Chemical Symbol
HYDROCHLORIC ACID                        HCL                     
ACETIC ACID                               CH3COOH    
SULFAMIC ACID                              SO3NH3            
PHOSPHORIC ACID                            H3PO4                    
SULFURIC ACID                               H2S04                  
OXALIC ACID                                H2C204                
      HYDROFLUORIC ACID                        HF                              
NITRIC ACID                                  HNO3                 
OTHER MISC ACIDS*                                                  
*Other miscellaneous acids are not only found in cleaners but are also found naturally in everyday substances such as: Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Tomato Juice, Pickle Juice, Orange Juice, etc.  Basically any type of acid will harm marble and therefore any substance containing acid, no matter how mild, should not be used.