Marble fireplaces are a great addition to any home, adding a touch of classic tradition and creating a jaw-dropping, eye-popping feature, but they can start to look a bit dull and lifeless over time if they’re not maintained properly. Although you may think that dust is the only real enemy of a marble fireplace, that’s not entirely true. If you take a good look at your fireplace, you will no doubt notice a few black soot marks on the marble, and, if you’re the sort of person who enjoys sipping a cup of hot cocoa in front of a roaring fire, you may even find a few mug stains, too. Some people are nervous about cleaning marble fireplaces, but there’s really no need to be. Here’s everything you need to know to get that marble fireplace clean:
Cleaning a working fireplace can get a little messy, so be sure to place down some sheeting to deal with any escaping ash. Adding used coffee grounds to the ash will limit the amount it can billow up, as well.
Cleaning Soot and Other Stains from a Marble Fireplace
If you want to learn how to clean marble fireplace mantles, then the first thing you need to know is that marble is a very porous material, which means it tends to absorb any liquids used on the surface. Traditional cleaning products and harsh chemicals, when absorbed into the core of the marble, can damage the integrity of the stone, and could damage or crack the surface. For this reason, it’s best to use a specialist marble cleaning product, one that is specifically designed to clean marble.
The second thing you need to know is that any abrasive materials – either cleaning products or rough cloths or brushes – can ruin the marble’s finish. Many of the more modern marble fireplaces are well- coated, which means they’re largely immune to mild abrasives, but if you’ve got a historic marble fireplace, you’ll want to avoid damaging the surface so that it not only continues to look great, but also so that it retains its value. Here are some great tips for cleaning valuable marble:
First, use a very soft cloth, preferably a microfibre cloth, to remove any surface dust and dirt from the fireplace. This will make it easier for you to see any stains, and to determine which areas you really need to focus on. Look for soot stains and mug stains in particular.
To remove any stains on the marble, start with a soft, clean cloth that’s been dipped into distilled water – water that’s been boiled to have any impurities removed , and then allowed to cool. (You can also purchase distilled water from a shop.) These impurities could affect the surface of the marble, so the purer the water, the better. Lightly wipe the dampened cloth along the fireplace, paying particular attention to stained areas.
If water by itself hasn’t been successful in removing all of the stains, you can use a specialist cleaning product designed for marble. Remember to read the directions before using and to test any product or method on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure the cleaning solution doesn’t damage the marble.
What to Avoid When Cleaning Marble Fireplaces
There are many items we may have in our homes that we use as all-purpose cleaners – those wonder products that seem to miraculously clean just about everything. However, many of these are unsuitable for use on marble fireplaces. Here are some items you may want to avoid using to clean marble:
Where do you buy your dishwasher tablets?
Baking soda – it’s an abrasive which could ruin the marble’s finish.
White vinegar – it’s an acid which can etch the surface.
Limescale removers – they contain high levels of acid.
The act of cleaning a marble fireplace is actually very simple – it’s just a chore that gets a bad reputation because it can be tricky to know what works and what doesn’t. Now that you’ve got the know-how, give it a go!