How do you Disinfect a Bathroom Marble Countertop?

iloverpinkosesMarch 26, 2012

We had one installed the other day and I just realized, gee, how are we to clean this?? We were given limited choices and we liked the look of the marble.

It is polished. Can I not put a curling iron on top of it? What if we splash water on the counter and run out of the house and forget to wipe it up?

It's already silconed in - and was expensive - pls give advice for maintaining one in a bathroom. I want to disinfect it w/o ruining it.


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Soap and water work just fine. You shouldn't expose it to direct heat, but most curling irons have little legs to keep from coming into direct contact with the counter. They are also not nearly as hot as a boiling pot of water etc.

A splash of water won't hurt the marble. Depending on how well it is sealed, lengthy exposure to water may result in temporary darkening of the stone. It returns to normal once it dries.

Marble has been used for thousands of years, so it isn't like you have to walk on eggshells around it. Just read one of the million marble care FAQ's on the internet or ask the stone shop for their recommendations.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:10AM
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Kathy Rivera

I asked this on the kitchen forum b/c we also just installed marble in the bath and I didn't know what to use. One person suggested scalding hot water. Another said she confirmed that 7th Generation wipes are marble friendly and has been using them with no problems for quite some time.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:38AM
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I don't mean this to sound snarky, but why do you want to disinfect your marble countertop? Were you eating from your countertop, I could understand, but I assume you aren't. When you say "disinfect" I assume you mean literally kill any germs that could be living on the surface. Unless you disinfect all the hard surfaces in your home, and quite regularly, there is no germ free home, nor does there need to be. Germs are a natural part of our lives, and, truthfully, they don't live very long on cold surfaces. IMO we Americans have been sold a bill of goods by cleaning product companies that it is even possible to disinfect our homes. It's not. You can disinfect a faucet, but as soon as someone uses the faucet, or touches the door handle, or whatever surface you've just cleaned, it's no longer disinfected.

Here is a link that might be useful: How long do bacteria live on surfaces

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 11:59AM
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I guess that I'm snarky too, because I also didn't see the reason to disinfect the counter, unless you are preparing food directly on the marble - which would be odd in a bathroom

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 12:12PM
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Kathy Rivera

If someone is having a bout of a stomach virus - with who knows what flying into the air - you better believe I am disinfecting every single surface in that bathroom so no one else gets it!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 1:25PM
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7th Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner is supposed to be (sealed) natural stone safe/friendly. I use it in our Bathrooms. Our niches are lined with polished White Thassos marble and they still look perfect.

You can use bleach and water, but I avoid using bleach to clean surfaces in my home--I tend to brush against it and bleach spot my clothing!

Alcohol-water spray (with or without my favorite essential lavender oil) disinfects, too, and is safe to use on stone.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 2:49PM
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Germs on surfaces are only a problem if one touches a surface and then gets the germ on one's hands and then the germ is introduced into one's body. But even so, germs don't live very long on cold, hard surfaces like marble countertops. What germs really like is moist wet and soft surfaces, human skin, washcloths, sponges, etc. Too, people are most contagious before they even know they are sick so there is really not a chance to prevent the spread of illness by disinfecting. Good old handwashing and keeping the sick person as isolated as possible can work.

I love how human beings think they can master the microbial world. Germs and illnesses persist regardless. And, ironically, the use of anti-bacterial soapand the like only makes the germs/bacteria resistant and grow stronger. MRSA anyone? We are all living in denial if we think we can master bacteria and microbes.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 2:52PM
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Kathy Rivera

I understand the issue of over-washing/anti-bacterial overload/etc. And we don't fret about anti-bacterial in our home in general. But even the article you linked says germs can live on hard surfaces for a few hours. And yes, "only a problem if one touches a surface and then gets the germ on one's hands and then the germ is introduced into one's body." It's super easy to explain that concept to my 2 year old.

You can try to isolate all you want, but in the case of a stomach virus, you make it to the bathroom closest! Would you suggest we just leave the room closed off for 2 hours so the germs can die on the cold marble and sink faucet handles before they can spread? What if you have only one bathroom? You really never think there is a time when someone might need some germ-killing cleanser in a bathroom????

Well, some of us do think it might be needed and it's nice to know what will keep our marble looking beautiful.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 7:34PM
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I agree about wanting to disinfect surfaces, after having had the swine flu go through the family (DS and I simultaneously) a few years ago despite vaccine. Sorry I don't have any advice to offer other than ask the stoneyard or search online. I would stay away from bleach and alcohol with marble, though. Safest bet might be a gentle dishwashing detergent (just the suds, don't flood with water since marble is porous), and wipe dry.

If the marble is sealed you might not have to be quite that fussy, but I'd ask the manufacturer of the sealant if you have the name.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:15PM
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Cat mom- I like the idea of using the alcohol-water spray...especially with the essential lavender oil! That sounds clean, fragrant and rather elegant, all at the same time :)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:25PM
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I started using it one-two years ago (a bunch of old-timer kitchen forum folks swore by alcohol-water for their granite--it took me a few years to give it a try myself!). I use it on my granite and on a whim, tried it on my SS appliances (after scrubbing off every trace of the oil-based cleaner I had been using previously). Works well, is easy enough to mix up, and with the addition of the lavender oil (which is naturally anti-bacterial/microbial), smells very fragrant!

An EPA doc said I could use as little as 10 percent (or even less?) alcohol to water, and it would still work as a disinfectant, but I use closer to 30-50% alcohol to water (I like the evaporation/de-greasing property at that ratio). When I mentioned lavender oil to him, the doctor very enthusiastically endorsed that addition to my mixture--not only for the anti-bac, but because he also loves the scent!!!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 11:12PM
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