How to clean marble floors

Marble floors have been bringing elegance and beauty to many homes for hundreds of years. The beautiful texture of marble blends perfectly with decorating styles from mid century modern to Art Deco. Even though marble is extremely durable you should still make sure you are properly maintaining it and regularly cleaning it in order to protect it and keep it looking good for longer.
Dust and loose dirt are enemies of marble since they can cause miniature scratches on its surface. Even though most marble surfaces are sealed, it is important that all spills like mud and food or drink spills (especially acidic ones) as soon as they occur. You should dust your marble floors at least twice a week. Deeper cleaning of the marble is only required once a month.

An important thing to remember is that marble is a calcareous, alkali stone that reacts with a lot of acidic substances. The reaction between the two can cause permanent discolouration. Harsh chemicals like ammonia or bleach can mar the finish of the marble. In general, avoid harsh, abrasive cleaners, as well as any acid-based products, such as vinegar and lemon juice.

Daily cleaning of marble floors

1. Wipe stains immediately – Even if your marble floor is sealed, you should make sure all spills are wiped as soon as they occur. Even with the protective sealant, any acidic messes like fruit juices, or soft drinks, will cause etching to the surface of the marble when left for longer. Muddy footprints should also be wiped immediately in order to prevent the embedded dirt and grime from scratching the surface. Use a damp microfiber cloth to remove solids and blot liquids. Avoid smearing them around – that will only make the stain bigger. Use a dry microfiber cloth to dry the area completely.
2. Remove dust – Dry dust your marble floors at least 3 times a week (of course, that depends on the amount of people living in the house, as well as the amount of dust accumulated in it). Use a dry dusting mop to get rid of dust and loose soil. Do not use any type of dusting or cleaning sprays on the mop.
Avoid sweeping your marble floors with stiff-bristled brooms, and do not use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar (even though it is great for carpets, it may scratch your marble floor).

Deep cleaning of marble floor

Deep clean your marble floor at least once a month or more often if needed in high-traffic areas.
1. Dry mop first – Always use a dry mop to remove loose soil and dust from your floors. If you skip this step, you will end up dragging excess dirt and dust around with your damp mop.
2. Mix a cleaning solution – In a bucket, mix a solution of water and pH neutral soap. Check the instructions on the product’s packaging to make sure you are mixing the correct ratio. Fill a second bucket of plain water. You will use it to rinse the floor.
You can choose to use a special soap, designated for marble, or simply add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the water.
3. Mop and rinse – Dip a soft cloth, or a microfiber cloth in the cleaning solution. Wring well until it is slightly damp. Work in small areas and rinse the microfiber cloth as it gets dirty. When you are finished with the cleaning process, dip the cloth in plain water, wring it, then go over the whole area. Make sure you remove all soapy residue – that way you will ensure your marble will not become yellow and dull.
4. Treat stains – If you did not manage to remove all stains with the mop, try those tips:
• Scuffs: Use a dry tennis ball to gently scrub the scuff.
• Ink stains : Saturate a cloth in rubbing alcohol, place it over the ink stain and leave it for a few minutes. Blot at the ink stain until it is gone. Repeat this process if needed.
• Organic stains : Saturate a cloth in hydrogen peroxide, place it over the stained area and let it sit for about 10 minutes. When done, remove the cloth and wipe the area away with plain water. Repeat if needed.
• Oily stains : Blot away as much of the oil from the surface of the marble as possible. Use a solution of warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid to treat the stained area (the degreasing agents in the dish soap will help dissolve the grease in the stain). If there is still some oily residue on the marble, sprinkle the surface with cornstarch and leave it in place for a few hours or until dry. Keep refreshing the cornstarch as it becomes greasy. Repeat until the stain is gone and wipe away the powder when done.