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Marble is a premium flooring material that many homeowners prefer to install during a new construction or renovation project. It is a type of natural stone that is known for its beauty and appeal, but it can be scratched and damaged in other ways when it is not properly cared for.
Unfortunately, these damages often occur while homeowners are cleaning their marble floors. By learning the proper way to clean your marble floor, you can protect it from damage while creating the pristine living environment that you need.
Understanding Marble’s Unique Properties
While marble floors feel hard to the touch, they are actually a softer type of stone that is relatively porous. The stone’s natural properties make it susceptible to damage from stains, scratches, and etching. Generally, this flooring material is sealed immediately after installation. The sealant will wear off over time. Most sealants should be re-applied annually for the best results. When the sealant has worn off or when the floor is subject to severe forces, damage can be problematic and severe.
Dirt particles and other types of hard debris can scratch marble tiles when they are stepped on or when they are dragged across the floor by furniture and other items. Because dirt and debris will fall on the floor daily, your marble flooring should be swept frequently. A hard floor vacuum may seem like a smart alternative to a broom, but a soft-bristle broom is a safer option.
In addition to daily sweeping, all moisture should be removed from the floor as soon as possible. The porous nature of the stone will absorb water and other liquids quickly. This can lead to permanent staining.
Monthly Deep Cleaning Requirements
Sweeping the floor daily removes the superficial dirt, but deeper cleaning is needed periodically to create a truly immaculate home environment. Unfortunately, many of the cleaning agents that you may use to clean other hard surfaces in the home can damage or destroy marble floors. For example, the acidic properties of vinegar can lead to erosion and etching on the marble’s surface. You understandably need to clean the floor with something stronger than water, so choose a cleanser that has a neutral PH. You can find a phosphate-free cleanser or a stone soap that is specifically designed for use on the marble at local stores and online. It is always a good idea to test any new cleaning product in an inconspicuous area before applying it across the entire floor.
The cleaning process for marble is slightly different than the process for many other types of floors. Marble flooring should never be excessively wet and should not be exposed to even moderate moisture for an extended period of time. Therefore, the cleaning process begins when you lightly spray clean water on the floor using a spray bottle. The soap or cleaning agent that you select should be applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The next step involves rinsing the soap off of the floor, such as by wiping it down with a clean, damp mop. Immediately after rinsing the soap off, you should dry the marble floor with a clean, soft towel.
If you are cleaning a large surface area, you should work in sections. Completely wash, rinse and dry a small area before you move on to the next section. By doing so, you will minimize the length of time that the marble tile is exposed to moisture.
Other Tips to Clean and Safeguard Your Marble Flooring
You can minimize your floor’s exposure to damage by following a few steps. For example, you can add several area rugs to space. Another idea is to implement a no-shoes-allowed policy in your home.
Annually, your marble floor should be resealed. Before you take this step, however, take time to buff the etches and scratches out of the surface. Special scratch removal products are available specifically for use on marble tiles. While the instructions may vary slightly from product to product, you can generally expect to apply the product directly to the etched area and to scrub it by hand for a minute or two until the etches are removed. Once the floor is smooth and clean again, follow the sealant’s application instructions on the label.
Marble flooring is a beautiful upgrade that can add luxurious style to any home. While it requires special care to prevent unnecessary damages, these steps are relatively easy to take now that you know what they are. Now is the time to assess your current cleaning supplies and products and to make any necessary purchases to prepare for your next cleaning session.