How to Clean Marble Floors?

Published on November 12, 2018

Keeping marble floors spotless is a skill and an art form you can perfect! Click To TweetMarble is a form of metamorphic rock and is typically used for sculpture and for luxury building materials like tiles and flooring.Pure white marble is very rare, and more typically found with recognisable swirls of colours. This is formed with impurities within the marble, such as clay, silt and sand. Marble is a stunning and very expensive eye catcher in luxury households so knowing how to clean and maintain it correctly is extremely important.

Here we can help you understand how to keep the most elegant marble floors clean.

What is the risk of improper marble floor cleaning?

Not only is marble an extremely valuable and expensive material – it is also very prone to stains and it will wear easily. As a highly porous stone, it is therefore extremely important to keep on top of any stains or spills immediately, and also keep it treated in the right ways to decrease risks of difficult stains and wear and tear.

Marble Cleaning Tips and Tricks:

  • If the table is marble, ensure you use coasters to protect from alcohol or citrus stains. When placing heat onto the stone, use a heat proof mat before placing the object onto the surface
  • Dust regularly with a dry dust mop. Dirt and grit are highly abrasive and can damage natural stone.
  • You can place mats or rugs inside an entrance to help stop a dirt, sand or grit coming onto the stone surface.
  • Ensure when using a vacuum cleaner that metal, plastic or wheels are not used as this can scratch the floor.
  • With any spills, blot the spill, don’t wipe as this spreads the liquid. Flush the area with water and mild soap and rinse several times. Dry the area completely. Repeat as many times as required.

Step by Step Guide to Cleaning Marble

  • Always clean with a neutral cleaner, or mild liquid detergent.
  • Ensure you don’t use strong concentrations as this might mark the stone.
  • Follow the guidelines on any products you are using.
  • For floors use a clean rag, and on other surfaces a soft cloth is ideal.
  • Always rinse the surface after first cleaning to ensure that soap is fully removed and then
    dry with a soft cloth.
  • Always change the water regularly.
  • In wet areas (for example in bathrooms), you can use a squeegee after each use.
  • For outside areas, patio, pools you can flush with clean water and use mild bleach to
    remove any algae or moss, but make sure you always clean with fresh water and dry (if possible) after cleaning.

What type of cleaning product?

There are many different types of products which are suitable for using on stone. Be aware that products which contain lemon, vinegar or any type of acid might etc or dull calcareous stones. Any cream or scouring powder or tools could also scratch certain stone.

Remember any kind of acid (often found in rust removers) will attack the silicate in the stone. Mixing ammonia and bleach is highly dangerous as it creates a very toxic and lethal gas. If you have any doubts about the product do not use it. Marble is expensive to replace.

Sealing Stone

This is a typical practice to give the stone a more resistance to staining. It doesn’t stop stains from happening but it adds an extra layer of protection to the stone. If you want to apply a sealant you can do so (if you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines) but remember if applying near food areas to select non-toxic sealants!

Dealing with Stains

First, identify the stain. Ask yourself: Where is the stain? What is the shape? What is the colour?
Oil based: (cosmetics, cooking oil, milk etc). This type of stain could leave to discolouring and darkening the stone. You should chemically dissolve the stain. Clean with mild detergent, spirit or acetone. Then wash the area with clean water and dry.
Organic: (coffee, tea, urine, bird dropping etc). Inside it may cause a pinkish-brown stain. If the stain is outside the sunlight should bleach the stain. For internal cleaning a good way to clean is to use 12% hydrogen peroxide, and possibly a few drops of ammonia.
Metal: (rust, iron etc). Typically these will be orange or brown. Rusty stains are really tough to remove and it may cause permanent staining. Use a poultice to remove the stain.
Paint: A very difficult substance to remove as heavy stains would require paint stripper which contains heavy acid. Light stains could be scraped off carefully with a razor blade. If you have to use paint stripper do so with care.
Water spots or stains or scratches and nicks: You can take a piece of 0000 steel wool and buff carefully.
Fire and Smoke: For example fireplace marble might be stained. You can buy smoke removers which are often a quick way to clean carefully and protect the stone.
Biological: (algae, moss etc). You can use 1⁄2 a cup of ammonia or bleach and 5 litres of water. REMEMBER do not mix bleach and ammonia.
Ink: (pen, ink). On dark stones a good solution is to clean with acetone. On lighter stones you can use bleach or peroxide.
Etch marks: If the stone has etched but no stain, it is recommended to contact a professional stone restorer and do not attempt to re-polish the etched areas.

How can you perfect this skill?

Having a step to step guide as provided above is handy, but with any cleaning skills, especially with difficult materials, practise makes perfect. Training gives you the opportunity to practise all of these skills in the comfort and safety of a training environment.

Here you can ask lots of questions, observe the trainer and potential other students, learn from each other and make lots of mistakes – so you will not make those mistakes when working in your principal’s house!

Investing in good housekeeping training where they give you lots of space for practical assignment and practise is extremely worthwhile – it will give you more confidence in your job, and also more qualified skills to impress your principal. This can also be handy when you are looking to apply for new jobs!

At Polo & Tweed we run regular Housekeeping training courses in small group settings. You can find out all about it here, or feel free to give us a call and we can explain all about how our training can make a difference for you!

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