Before we get started learning how to clean marble floors, a quick primer on marble flooring will help lay the groundwork. Because marble is a natural material, it’s porous and usually protected with a sealant in high moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms. When it’s used in high traffic areas like hallways and living rooms, it can be sealed or unsealed.
Cultured marble is a synthetic material that closely resembles natural marble and is less porous because of the gel coat applied during manufacturing. The difference other than the lower cost of cultured marble is that natural marble will appear to have more depth while cultured marble will have a high-gloss finish.
Natural or cultured, marble has an unmistakable air of sophistication and elegance that can transform homes and offices. Marble flooring, countertops, and vanities are beautiful, durable, and relatively low maintenance. When you know how to clean marble floors like a pro, keeping them looking their best isn’t too tough. No, you’re not going to get away with a quick cleaning like you can with vinyl floors, but you can use these marble floor care tips to make the job easier.
Even though regular sweeping and dry mopping will keep your floors in good shape, marble floors can lose their luster and get stains just like hardwood floors and laminate flooring. Learning how to clean marble floors starts with choosing the best floor cleaner. Like most hard surface floors, marble flooring requires specific cleaners to remove dirt, grime, and other buildup. While you can find plenty of commercial marble floor cleaners, using inexpensive household items like vinegar to clean a marble floor can be just as effective.
What’s the Best Marble Floor Cleaner?
Knowing the best marble floor cleaner to use for your floors is critical for keeping them looking their best. Whether you have cultured marble or natural marble flooring, sealed or unsealed, the list of what not to use to clean your marble floors is important too. Using all-purpose cleaners, bleach, abrasive scrubbers, and even a regular mop could damage marble floors.
Another floor cleaner to avoid is any kind of steamer or steam mop. Because marble feels so solid and durable, it’s understandable if many of us have thought about steam cleaning to tackle the germs along with the dirt. Unfortunately, the constant heat of a steam mop could damage marble floors permanently.
Rather than using harsh cleaners and hot steam, use one of the following:
- Soapless cleaner with a neutral pH level
- Phosphate-free dishwashing detergent
- Stone soap formulated for marble floors
Any of these above floor cleaners will remove dirty buildup and most stains, as well as those pricey over-the-counter marble cleaners.
You can also use DIY floor cleaners with ingredients like distilled white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide on marble, but these should be reserved for removing stains. While these natural cleaners are safe and effective, used as a primary floor cleaner, they can corrode the marble and leave it looking dingy and dull. Now that we know the best marble floor cleaners to use, let’s learn how to clean marble floors the right way.
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Tips for Keeping Your Marble Floors Bright and Shining
Cleaning dirty carpets, your favorite shirt, and marble floors all have one thing in common—getting them clean starts with getting rid of stains. There’s nothing worse than drying down your freshly cleaned marble floor only to find an unsightly stain. To keep stains under control and make regular cleaning easier, follow along with these next tips.`
How to Remove Stains From Marble Floors
Getting stains on your marble floors is inevitable, but how you take care of those stains (and how quickly) can make all the difference in keeping your floors looking new.
Treat stains as soon as you notice them because the marble could absorb the stain deeper into the grain. Depending on if your floors are sealed, bright-colored stains could seep into the finish very quickly.
- Blot up any stains with a paper towel or clean cloth, then rub the stained area with white vinegar.
- Wash off the area with dish soap and water.
- Rinse the area with a clean, damp cloth, and dry the floor.
- Repeat this process multiple times as needed.
If you find a stain after it’s set, you’re going to need more stain-fighting power and elbow grease. Stains from food items, particularly coffee, tea, and fruit, can penetrate the marble and leave a nasty stain. Instead of vinegar, use hydrogen peroxide to treat these stains. Simply pour enough hydrogen peroxide to cover the stain and let it sit for 30 minutes. Wipe the area with a clean, damp cloth and buff the area dry. Voilà! Stain-free marble.
How to Clean Marble Floors The Right Way
For everyday dirt and dust, a good dust mop and a nylon broom are your best cleaning maintenance tools. Opt for either a natural fiber or microfiber dry mop, and an angled nylon broom with split ends for the best results.
Use the broom to clean your marble floors daily and break out the dust mop once a week to keep dust and dirt from scratching the marble and creating buildup. While some vacuum cleaners with a hard floor setting may be able to get the job done faster, there is always the risk of damaging your marble floors.
If you sweep your marble floors daily and dry mop them weekly, you can get away with a monthly deep cleaning and keep your floors looking beautiful all year long. Keep up with your regular marble floor maintenance and make these marble floor tile cleaning tips a part of your monthly cleaning routine.
While steam is a no-go for marble, hot water can still be used for monthly cleaning because the marble doesn’t stay heated long enough to cause damage. Boiling water is best but very hot will do! Save your skin and be sure to wear heat-resistant gloves when you’re pouring the hot water into your bucket. Because you can’t use harsh cleaners or abrasive scrubbers on marble, the hot water helps cut through the grime and buildup.
- Boil at least two quarts of distilled water. Use distilled water because the minerals in regular tap water can scratch and discolor marble.
- Pour the hot water into your mop bucket carefully.
- Use a microfiber or other soft mop head attached to a plastic mop handle. Wooden mop handles and metal hardware can scratch marble floors.
- Wet the floor down with a damp (not dripping) mop.
- Add your marble floor cleaner of choice from the list above.
- Mop the floor with your marble-safe cleaner and hot water. Avoid getting the floor too wet.
- Rinse your mop, then rinse your mop bucket and fill it with clean, cold water.
- Mop the floor again using clean water to remove the cleaner and dirt.
- Dry your marble floors by hand (or foot) using bath towels. If you let the floor air dry, the cleaning solution could absorb into the marble, and the moisture can create rust stains from the iron oxide found in marble.
How to Protect Your Marble Floors
Besides sweeping, dust mopping, and giving them a deep cleaning once a month, there are some other ways you can maintain your marble floors.
For shoe scuffs and other surface marks on marble flooring, a tennis ball is perfect for scrubbing them off safely. To keep your marble smooth and scratch-free, use felt pads on the bottom of furniture legs. You can also use doormats at all your home’s entryways to minimize the amount of dirt and dust from outdoors.
Sealing Marble Floors
If your marble floor isn’t sealed, consider doing the job yourself or hiring someone. A marble sealant seeps into the marble to form a barrier against stains and build-up. While you’ll still need to clean your sealed marble floor, the chore will be much easier and faster without having to scrub out the stains. Sealing a marble floor is also an easy DIY project for self-starters, and you can find plenty of choices for sealants at your local hardware store.
Now that you know how to maintain your marble floor’s shine and elegant look, what’s next? Our extensive library of field-tested housekeeping guides for every room in your home can help make your household chores faster and easier.
Whether you do the work yourself or let The Maids handle the house cleaning, we want you to enjoy a clean home more often with less work. Get your free estimate today and find out what we can do for you and your home with our affordable residential cleaning services.