Marble floors are the most elegant accessory to your beautiful home. With the veining design and the glossy exterior, an ordinary house gets transformed into a royal one. However, keeping your marble floors clean is not as straightforward as the other cleaning processes for normal floors.
Marbles are highly porous which is why they can get damaged easily if not handled with care. Let’s read on to know the tips and tricks about how to clean marble floors.
What Is Marble Made Of?
Throughout time, marbles have been used for various purposes such as in sculptures of ancient Greece. They are softer to carve which is why they were in such demand as sculpture bases. Nowadays, however, marbles are used in residential and commercial buildings. They are available in a variety of colors such as red, pink, black, and more.
Marbles are metamorphic rocks that are typically formed from limestone and from other sedimentary rocks that are carbonated in nature. The heating of these carbonates recrystallizes the primary mineral grains which is why it is said that marble is made up of interlocking mosaic patterns of carbonate crystals.
Now, how do they have different colors? By the addition of impurities such as clay, silt, iron, and sand oxides. For instance, green-colored marble is made of limestone rich in minerals or dolomite which is filled with silica impurities.
Natural vs Cultured Marbles? Understanding Which Is Which?
Calcite is the composition of natural marbles that creates a natural vein within the tile
A finishing gel coat is applied on the surface as a sealant which makes it appear more glossy with uniform veins and subtle colors
The color and the veins on marbles are determined by the presence of minerals in the dolomite or limestone
The surface of cultured marbles is water-resistant, however, one must be careful while cleaning them as harsh chemicals can damage the protective coating and expose the marble
Natural marble, being pure, tends to be porous and so, marble dust and/or polyester resins are added to obtain the desired veins and colors during the manufacturing process
Cultured marbles are less porous compared to natural marble.
How to Clean Marble Floors?
Regular sweeping is the best way to keep your marble floors clean. However, remember to be careful with the tools that you use. Do invest in a dry mop or a dust mop. They are super easy to use with their long handle and an attached microfiber cloth which will attract and collect dirt, hair, and dust effectively. They are also soft and gentle on the marble surface. A flare broom can also be used for daily sweeping. Compared to unflared brooms, flared ones are softer. The bristle ends resemble split ends which pick up dust efficiently.
Pro Tip: Vacuuming on marble floors is strictly not advisable. Beater rolls are rough brushes that will cause scratches on the marble surface and damage it to the porous surface. If you use a vacuum even then make sure you set it to a setting for hard floors and use it lightly on the floor without applying pressure. A vacuum with rubberized wheels will ensure a smooth clean.
But How Do I Wash Marble Floors?
Marble floors can be kept clean without the use of any chemicals or hard scrubbers. Let’s check out what all tools you need.
- Hot water (distilled water is preferred)
- pH-neutral soap
- Clean water
- A cloth or a soft towel
- A soft mop (microfiber is preferred)
Following are the complete steps in detail:
1. Prepare The Water
Since rough brushed or harsh chemicals are to be avoided, your best bet is to use hot water to beat tough stains. Hot water can make its way through grease, dirt, and other such culprits that are sticking to your floor. Whether you use a cleaning solution or not, the water you are using must be hot that is boiled in a heater or a stove.
Distilled water is preferred as through the process of distillation various impurities such as minerals are completely removed. That leaves just H2O, pure water. This purity is what makes it trustable in not staining, discoloration, or damaging your marble floors. Distilled water can be bought from any grocery store or you could make it at your home.
2. Add Your Choice Of Cleaner
As mentioned before, marble floors are porous which is why they require mild detergents. You can opt for pH-neutral detergents that will be safe and mild to be used and have a minimal risk of irritation even if it spills on you.
Remember to read the manufacturer’s words on the label of the product that you choose to make sure that you add only the necessary amount of the cleaner into the hot water. If you possess a spray mop then you can buy specially made cartridges that come with a solution ready for safe use on marbles.
3. Mop The Marble Floor
Take your spin mop or a regular mop of your choice that comes with microfiber at its end. Spins mops are practically a lifesaver as you can easily wring the water out completely.
Start moping at the farthest point of the room and make your way towards the room’s entrance or exit. Remember to use short strokes as that’s what is best in marbles and do not forget to dip and wring your mop from time to time to avoid spreading dirt.
4. Rinse The Mop
When you are done with mopping the floor, it’s time to rinse the mop. For this, fill a bucket with cool and clean water and dip and wring the mop as needed. Mopping the floor a second time will remove any residue by the cleaning solution. It is also an effective way to get rid of all the remaining dirt or dust.
Pro Tip: Do change the water as often as needed, especially when it’s murky. This will make sure that there are no scratches or streaks that might be caused by debris present in the water.
5. Let The Floor Dry
You should let the marble floor dry because if it retains water then it could get damaged. Use a soft, clean cloth or maybe even a towel to wipe the floor. Switch this towel whenever need be.
Pro Tip: Use a floor squeegee with a clean towel wrapped around it to easily wipe large areas of the floor in one go. This technique will also save your knees and back from aching due to all the bending.
Tips To Keep Marble Floors Spic and Span
You do not want to damage the luxury you so lovingly added to your home. Therefore, do follow the tips given below to keep it away from substantial damage.
1. Clean Spills Immediately
As the marble floor is porous, it will absorb all standing liquids and standing water including stains and spills. When this happens, your beautiful marble floor will start to discolor.
The best prevention of this mishap is to clean the spills as soon as they happen. Take a damp cloth (which can be microfiber if you have any handy) and blot the spill. Begin blotting from the edges of the spill and work your way into the center so that the spill does not spread.
2. Never Air Dry The Floor
It can be fatal for marble floors if you air dry them as air drying means the marble floor is absorbing both detergent and water. This will stain or discolor the floor so always use a towel or a clean cloth to dry the floor after mopping. It’s also good if you use as little water as possible by wringing the cloth thoroughly.
This additional cleaning using cloth can make cleaning a marble floor a difficult process. However, it will give the best result to preserve the sensitive surface.
3. Use Only Mild Detergents
Remember to choose pH-neutral products while cleaning the marble floors as they are more gentle to the surface. But they do not remove tough stains when compared to alkaline and acidic products.
Vinegar, a commonly found household item is used to remove stains from various types of flooring such as hardwood and tiles. However, it is a strict no-no to be used on marble floors. Vinegar is an acid with a pH level of 2 or 3 which will surely damage the surface. Other commonly used cleaning products must be avoided on marble floors, they are,
- Citrus cleaners such as lemon or orange
- Ceramic floor cleaners
4. Remove Scuff Marks
Dragging furniture along the floor or stepping on the marble floors with sneakers or other such shoes on will leave scuff marks on the floor. This is one frustrating mark on your luxurious floor.
Most of the scuff marks come off when you mop but if there are a few stubborn ones then you can use a felt pad or a tennis ball. How? Apply some water mixed with a mild detergent to the pad and rub the floor along the grains. Your floor is now as good as new.
Pro Tip: Try to avoid rubbing the marble floor in circular motions as that may damage the floor.
5. Marble Sealer
Sealing the marble floors in your home is the best way to preserve them. Any creative DIYer can do it easily. Just buy marble sealers from your local store Home Depot or Amazon and begin the preserving process. A spray is ideal to use and will protect your marble from grease and spills.
Most sealers can be applied generously and you need to give them some time to penetrate the natural stone. After the said time you may either clean off or wipe off the excess. Some sealers however require to be resealed every 3 years while others last up to 5 years. If you are unsure of the sealing process, do not hesitate to contact a professional to help you out.
6. Mop Occasionally, Sweep Regularly
Dirt with large grains will scratch your beautiful marble floor and leave marks on them especially if they are being dragged by bare feet or shoes. Sweeping regularly with a dust mop or a soft broom will keep dirt, scratched, and dust at bay. Light vacuuming with only the appropriate machine will do wonders.
Be pleased to know that marble floors do not require mopping that often unless you have a pretty busy home with children and pets. So dusting once a month would be sufficient. Since marble is too sensitive to water, limited mopping will preserve the delicate surface.
7. Be Cautious With Baking Soda
For stubborn stains, you may use baking soda but please be cautious as it is a mild abrasive alkaline cleaner that need not be used with much force when used for cleaning. You can sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the stain on the floor and use a damp, soft cloth to rub it gently. DO NOT SCRUB. After rubbing, rinse the area with cold water which will neutralize the alkaline baking soda. Now dry the spot with a dry soft towel.
Repeat this process as many times as you want instead of leaving the baking soda on the floor for a long time as it will dull the glossy finish of the marble.
8. Cover Floor With Rugs And Carpets
To protect your beautiful marble floors place a few rugs or carpets on theme especially in high traffic areas to prevent wear on the floor. This practice will also limit dirt and dust. You may also use doormats at the entrance of your home to remind your visitors to wipe their shoes before stepping on the floor. It’s way better if they simply remove it.
Colorful carpets and rugs will be an excellent way to show your style and taste along with the elegance of marbles. Mix match different patterns and colors to create a pleasant atmosphere. These rugs will also keep your feet warm in winters as marbles tend to get cold.
The Bottom Line
Marble floors are an excellent choice for creating a tinge of luxury in your humble home. But cleaning and preserving them is a task that requires few cautions such as not using regular vacuum cleaners and harsh detergents. We hope the tips given above will help you in keeping your marbles as good and beautiful as new.