Marble is a naturally beautiful stone that increases the appeal of anything in one's home, whether it's a bathroom floor, kitchen counter, or as décor artwork. In nature, its life begins as limestone, a calcite-based soft stone that metamorphoses and recrystallizes under extreme heat and pressure, resulting in the magnificent stone known as marble. Being soft in nature, an artist can easily carve into the marble to showcase his skills. It is porous and hence it can be polished very well. It is also a translucent stone that has the ability to diffuse light and induce a natural glow in the statues. Due to these properties, it is considered the best stone for creating artwork.
The same properties that make it attractive and convenient to work with also make it vulnerable to a variety of triggers that can erode it. This is why marble works of art require special care and maintenance on a regular basis. Let us take a look at how to take care of marble statues and handicrafts.
- Avoid using acids (including vinegar) and powerful cleaning products that typically contain acids. Because marble is composed of calcite (calcium carbonate), it reacts with acids and produces carbon dioxide gas.
- Also, do not use any bleaching products or strongly alkaline products to clean marble.
- Before starting the cleaning process, make sure to use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and soil from the surface of the marble statue or handicraft item.
- For general cleaning, use mild neutral pH-balanced surfactant. Dissolve 1-2 teaspoons of this mild detergent in a gallon of water and dip a cotton cloth or sponge into the soapy water and wipe over the marble statue to remove dirt and surface debris. Rinse the statue thoroughly with distilled water and pat it dry with a towel.
- Use a fine, soft-bristled brush to remove a dulling layer of dust and grime from the marble statue, but avoid scrubbing it with a hard brush.
- Remove any oily or waxy residues with white spirit or xylene gel.
- To remove tough stains (since marble is porous, stains tend to sink into it) from marble art, either use commercially available poultice or make your own at home using hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, or powdered clay (fuller’s earth or bentonite).
- Mix hydrogen peroxide at 12% strength with enough baking soda or powdered clay to make a thick paste and apply it over the stained surface. Wrap it in plastic wrap and tape it in place. Allow the paste to dry for 24 hours or more till it dries. Once dry, scrape it using a spatula or a plastic knife carefully. Use distilled water to rinse off any residue from the poultice and wipe it dry. Repeat the process if needed.
- Finally, use a coat of sealant to preserve marble statues and handcrafts that are available from any home improvement store. Also, avoid touching marble art repeatedly with bare hands as it can cause yellowish-brown stains by absorbing natural oil from the skin.
Using the above mentioned points, we can easily maintain the beauty of marble statues and handicrafts. At the Star Murti Museum, we offer a variety of marble idols and handicrafts authentically handcrafted by our Indian artisans for your temple and home décor. You can check out our website. We also sell our products on famous online shopping stores like Shopify, Amazon, Flipkart, and Indiamart.