Who can resist the look and feel of a genuine marble fireplace? Marble as a natural stone is a striking and popular look for any hearth or surround. But in order to keep it at its best, you do have to bear in mind a few pointers about care and attention of this kind of surface. Here are some of the most important factors you’ll want to think about with marble.

Marble is nothing if not hard-wearing and resilient. That makes it a perfect material for creating a fireplace that’s intended to last for years to come. Along with its heat-resistant properties and the way it can be carved into architectural shapes, it carries echoes of the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome. So when you choose marble for your fireplace, you know you’re getting a stone with impressive presence and top quality durability.

However. The ancient Greeks and Romans probably didn’t rest their mugs of Starbucks coffee on their marble mantelpieces. Why? For one reason, because as good as marble is with heat, it can easily pick up stains if you’re not careful. If you do spill something that leaves a mark, it’s best to clean it up as soon as possible with something pure like warm distilled water, using a soft damp cloth that isn’t dripping wet. When you’ve finished cleaning, dry the surface really well or you might leave a stain from the water itself. Act fast, so there’ll be less time for the stain to penetrate the stone, which will make it harder to remove.

There are cleaners that are designed to remove stains from marble. So if your first attempt with water fails to bring the marble fireplace back to its pristine condition, you could give a specialist product a go. Just make sure you try it out on a patch that's out of sight first of all, to ensure it won’t cause any damage.

Never use soda, or vinegar on marble, as these could erode the surface of the fireplace. The same goes for limescale removing products. Stick to water or something that’s designed and marketed for the job.

When you’ve cleaned your marble fireplace surround thoroughly, it’s worth giving it a finishing treatment using a good marble wax. You’ll have to start with a completely dry surface, and you’ll want to polish the residue away until the sheen returns. When it does, you’ll find yourself very impressed once again with the effect. Freshly waxed marble is a sight to behold.

Now, if you find you have a persistent stain that will not come out whatever you try, there are a number of potential fixes that involve chemicals and blades and steel wool, depending on if the stain is oil-based, or metallic, or water, or whatever. But make sure you do your research, to avoid causing any further damage to the marble. You could really regret it otherwise.

Finally, some basic rules for everyday use. Only place your drinks on a coaster. Never eat near the fireplace. Enforce these rules for everyone else in your household too. And give it all a gentle dust now and then when you’re passing. That’s how to treat a marble fireplace in the way it deserves.