Marble is a stunning and elegant natural stone formed under the intense heat and pressure from the Earth’s core. Marble is a timeless, classic choice for flooring that’s sure to increase your property value and make your home look amazing.
However, it’s porous and softer in comparison to other materials like porcelain or granite. This means you’ll need to be extra careful when cleaning and maintaining your marble floors to avoid damage.
Using improper cleaning solutions or harsh chemicals can result in etches (surface corrosion). This shows up as a mark lighter than the original marble, which is how you can distinguish them from stains. Thankfully, minor etches and scratches can be removed by buffing them out with stone cleaning powder.
What Not to Use
Marble is formed from high-alkali minerals, which makes it especially vulnerable to acid. Avoid spilling acidic foods or clean them up right away. The following should never be used on marble surfaces:
- Lemon juice
- Highly acidic cleaners
Instead, use alkali cleaning solutions, such as:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Neutral water
- Soap & water
It’s important to use the proper cleaning materials on marble to avoid causing scratches. Marble’s surface is sensitive, so avoid sharp and rough materials at all costs. You should only be using soft materials to clean your marble floors, like chamois cloths and dust mops.
Do not use:
- Dry erasers
These are too abrasive for marble’s sensitive surface and can cause damage. Only ever use soft cloths or mops on marble surfaces and use them gently.
Prepping the Surface
Take the shade of your marble into consideration before cleaning it with ammonia or hydrogen peroxide, which can have a bleaching effect on darker marble. Test cleaning solutions before applying them to the entire floor.
You’ll need to start with a neutral solution like water or a marble cleaner that is pH balanced. It is not advisable to use stronger solutions unless it is absolutely necessary. After you’ve finished cleaning the floor, neutralize the pH of the floor by flushing with water and then dry it.
Before cleaning, gently remove dust and dirt with a dry soft cloth or dust mop. Don’t wipe the floor too harshly or you risk scratching the marble. Dust is prone to accumulating in room corners and doorways, so be extra meticulous in cleaning these surfaces.
After sweeping, mop the floor to ensure there are no remaining traces of dirt. Don’t use acidic cleaners to mop the floor, instead opt for water or a non-acidic cleaner that’s safe to use on marble. Change the mop water with fresh water if it becomes discoloured from dirt.
How to Clean Marble Floors
At Sydney Tile & Stone Care, we recommend using a professional cleaning solution made for use on marble such as Aqua Mix. However, if you want to do a DIY version, this is how to do it.
Make a dilute ammonia solution by combining 1/2 cup of ammonia with 1 gallon of warm water. Ensure you use this in a well-ventilated area. Do not soak the floor with the cleaning solution. Wring excess water from your mop or damp cloth before washing the floor.
Then, dry the floor with your towel to prevent the risk of watermarks and rust stains. In cases where deep cleaning is warranted and a stronger solution is needed, you can alter the diluted solution measurements by combining 2 tablespoons of ammonia with a quart of water.
Alternatively, you can mix baking soda into the ammonia/hydrogen peroxide to make a paste and then flush the floor with water thirty minutes later to neutralize the pH.
Stains can be difficult to remove from marble because marble is highly porous and absorbs the stain. For stubborn stains, cover the stain with a paste made of 50/50 water and baking soda and then cover it with plastic wrap and tape down the edges. Allow this to soak for 24 hours and then wipe it away gently with a warm, damp cloth.
Lighter coloured marble can be treated with hydrogen peroxide, but this will bleach darker marble. If you have stains on dark marble, dip a cotton ball in acetone and wipe it away, then follow that up with a wipe from a clean, damp cloth. This should be sufficient because darker marble is more resistant to stains.
How to Achieve Shine
Because marble is prone to damage, it is not recommended to polish marble. However, you can still achieve a shine by using a chamois cloth to remove excess water or cleaning solutions from the marble.
To get the floor even shinier, make a paste of 50% water and 50% baking soda. Once it dries, remove the residue with more water and a chamois cloth.
Alternatively, you can make a polishing powder out of ground-up white chalk and sprinkle it over the cleaned and dry marble. This can be buffed in circles with a chamois cloth.
Marble is a beautiful and worthy investment flooring to have in your home. However, it can be difficult to maintain, clean, and polish. At Sydney Tile & Stone Care, we offer marble floor polishing services so you don’t have to worry about using improper products and damaging your floors. Contact us today for a professional cleaning and polish.