One of earth’s natural wonders, marble is created when limestone breaks down and recrystallizes under intense heat and pressure in the center of the earth. According to Prohousekeeping.com, that’s how marble gets its beautiful appearance, but also it’s fragility.
In order to keep your marble tiles in pristine condition, they just need a little extra TLC to keep up their shine and resilience. Let’s take a look at the best ways to do that.
The Best Defense is a good offense
One of the most successful ways to prevent damage to the porous nature of marble flooring is to halt dust, sand, and other gritty materials your family and visitors may bring into your home on their shoes. Encouraging everyone to remove their shoes before coming in will help to reduce these kinds of debris from damaging your flooring.
In many households, taking off your shoes at the front door is common practice, and you may want to provide slippers to your guests just for this purpose (especially if they are not prepared to go shoeless). Alternatively, you may want to place a rug or runner at least in the main entranceway. Either way, no cleats in the house!
Another defensive move can be to clean up spills right when they happen. Marble is a soft, porous natural stone, which can absorb liquids quickly. Dark and/or acidic liquids like coffee or wine are especially prone to causing stains, so it’s important to have towels on hand to take care of any spills ASAP. Acidic liquids can eat away at your sealant, and increase your maintenance needs.
If you find there was a stain from a spill that was missed, you can spot clean the stain with a soft cloth dipped in a cleaning solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia.
For a more extensive cleaning, let’s go over the steps, and how to make your own cleaning solution, since acidic cleaner is not appropriate for marble.
- Prep your floors
- Start cleaning your marble surface using the daily cleaning method above, paying particular attention to doorways, corners, and other areas where dust and grime may accumulate.
- Even when using a dry mop, brushing in one direction will help minimize any damage to your floor.
- Initial wet mop
- Use a wet mop, and a bucket with plain tap water, to clean any remaining dirt from the floors before adding a cleanser.
- You can also use a gentle cleaner designed for marble surfaces.
- Change the mop water as needed to stop any dirt from creating smears.
- DIY cleaner
- According to Prohousekeepers.com, you may use a solution of .5 cup of ammonia to 1 gallon of warm water
- Don’t forget to use ammonia only in a well-ventilated area — allow the ammonia odor to dissipate before reentering the room
- Make sure you wring your cloth or mop well before using it to clean the floor
- Extra-strength cleaning
- If you need a stronger cleaner, Prohousekeepers.com says to combine 2 tablespoons of ammonia with a quart of plain water, or mix baking soda with ammonia or hydrogen peroxide to make a paste.
- Apply the solution gently (no scrubbing) so you don’t scratch the marble surface
- Rinse the area thoroughly with warm water after 30 minutes to neutralize the pH and ensure all the cleaning solution is removed
- Immediately after the cleaning — Use a soft towel to dry the floor. This will prevent any hard water stains from forming and remove any residual cleaning solution.
Now you can show off your clean marble floors (and your hard work) to your family and friends! There are no shortcuts in maintaining marble tiles, but they are worth the beauty they bring to your home.
For additional upkeep, utilize marble polish and marble cleaner to add extra shine. Marble polish and cleaner can be purchased online or at your local hardware store.
If your flooring is not aging as well as you had hoped, it may be time to reseal your natural stone, and possibly bring in the professionals. Your floors are a well-used investment in your home and they are worth taking the time to maintain the best way possible.
If your floors aren’t as shiny as they used to be or are starting to wear poorly, please allow us to assist you in protecting your investment.