08 Mar How to Maintain Your Granite or Marble Hearth
A marble or granite hearth can be a wonderful way for homeowners to add beauty and style to their property. However, like any beautiful investment, the right stonework requires regular maintenance and care to continue looking its best. After all, something as simple as a water ring from a glass could be enough to leave stains if you’re not ready to clean your surface as quickly as possible.
Often, a marble or granite hearth will act as more than just a focal point for a room. It can also be a place where people display their possessions or gather for a conversation. Since your hearth is more than just a decoration, here are a few tips on how to protect and maintain it.
1. Clean Spills Instantly
The easiest way to avoid a disaster with a marble or granite hearth is to clean up spills as soon as they happen. The porous surface of a granite or marble hearth can mean that stains happen quickly when someone accidentally knocks a glass of water or wine over. Hopefully, your hearth won’t be exposed to an excessive number of spills, particularly if you ask your visitors to keep their drinks elsewhere. However, it’s important to remember to soak up a spill with a clean cloth or sponge whenever they happen.
2. Stick to the Basics
Because your marble or granite hearth won’t be exposed to as many potential stains as a marble worktop or a granite floor, you should find that cleaning is usually a simple process. Generally, all you’ll need to do is make sure that you wipe down the surface with some warm water and a cleaning cloth when you’re tidying your home.
Simply dust over the surface with a dry piece of fabric, then gently scrub at any stains you might notice with warm water. A small amount of dish soap might help to remove stubborn stains but remember to rinse it away thoroughly before you dry the surface again. A good buffing with a soft piece of a material can also help to restore granite or marble to its original shine.
3. Know the Value of Baking Soda
If for some reason, there’s a stain on your granite hearth that you’re struggling to remove, such as a particularly stubborn piece of soot, or something sticky, then you might need to use something more specialised than dish soap. Remember that you should never use harsh chemicals or bleach with your marble or granite surfaces – no matter how frustrated you feel with a tricky mark. These substances can corrode the stone and damage your beautiful natural finish.
A baking soda poultice can be a good alternative to harsh cleaning solutions. Simply mix a small amount of water with baking powder until it creates a thick paste. Spread it over the stain, and apply a clean cloth, then wait for the cloth to dry. Once the poultice has set, pull the cloth away from the stone and you should lift the stain with it. Then, all you need to do is carefully wash away any residue.
4. Consider Using a Sealant
A sealant can be a great way to protect your marble or granite hearth from unnecessary damage. While the tips above will help you to clean your stone after its already been stained, a sealant can be a proactive method to stop stains from setting in the first place. Your marble or granite supplier may be able to suggest a reputable sealant that you can use. You can also ask them for advice on how to safely apply it.
Remember, before you apply any sealant or treatment to your marble or granite hearth, do a spot test first. On an inconspicuous area, apply the treatment as directed and wait to see if any discolouration or etching occurs.
5. Hire a Stone Care Professional
Finally, the simplest and most effective way to ensure that your marble or granite continues to look its best for as long as possible is to access the help of the experts. If you try all the tips outlined above, and you still think that your hearth doesn’t look as good as it did when it was first installed, then a stone care professional might be able to help.
Experts in the stone maintenance world will know all the tricks and secrets to removing stains from any marble or granite component in your home, without harming the look or texture of the stone.