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Marble was not originally used for floors; its origin is traced back to ancient Greece, where people primarily used it for sculptures. These days, marble is found in many homes, both new and old, as walls or sculptures and as floors! But as beautiful as marble looks, it is porous! Marble is like a sponge, and it quickly absorbs substances such as oil, dirt, grime, and whatnot!
But, don’t be intimidated! Marble is not as hard to clean as you think. It’s a lot easier when you know the right methods! If you follow the simple steps given in this article, even the dirtiest marble floor can look brand new.
Before we dive in, we need to know the nitty-gritty of it. Marble is made of calcite which is a sedimentary rock, and its color can range from almost white to black depending on its iron content. Above all, the real question is about the type of marble you have!
Natural Vs Cultured Marble
It is important to know which kind of marble is used on your floors before you clean them. If you’re thinking of installing marble floors, you will be faced with a choice of natural vs. cultured, and this is an important decision as the two types are very different. Both of them have their pros and cons!
Natural marble is made by leaving the stone as it is and harvesting it from the source. These rocks can be of various types, some unique and rare! The disadvantages include that they are expensive to buy (duh!) and if damaged, there’s no getting them back to their natural state. This kind of marble is very porous and thereby not recommended for kitchens or bathrooms. If you do decide to install it in these places, use a high-quality sealer to safeguard the stone.
On the other hand, cultured marble is made by mixing calcium carbonate – a common mineral and chemical agent. It’s more of a blend than the natural marble. While it doesn’t have that rare, luxurious feel to it, it can be easily fixed if there’s damage! Because of the water-resistant surface, cultured marble is a popular choice for luxurious bathrooms. It is also commonly used on vanity tops.
Now that we know the types of marble, let us discuss the process of cleaning them!
Regular Cleaning And Wiping Dust/Dirt
Regular cleaning will prevent all kinds of dust and dirt from building up over time, especially if you live in areas with high humidity. However, you need to be extremely careful about what you use to clean your marble floors.
We would suggest you invest in a good dust mop or a dry mop that is simple to use and has a long handle with a microfiber cloth at the end. The microfiber attracts and captures dirt, dust, and hair effectively while being gentle on the surface. If you want to sweep the floor daily, you can use a flared or a brush broom. Flared brooms are soft and gentle, and pick up dust quite quickly.
One thing you should steer clear of is vacuum cleaners. While they do pick up dirt, if not used correctly, they can leave scratches on the marble flooring. If you do wish to use a vacuum, be sure it is on a hard-floor setting so that it cleans using little pressure on the floor. To guarantee a smooth ride, get a vacuum with rubberized wheels.
But this is all about what you should use to clean marble floors every day! What about when you end up spilling something and have to wash the floors? Worry not! Read along to know!
Washing Your Marble Floors
If you’re worried that you spilled something and now the floor is filthy, don’t be. It’s pretty simple to wash your marble floors! Here’s all that you need to do to make it squeaky clean again:
Step 1: Prep the Water
You don’t have to actually prepare the water, but just picking a bucket and filling it with water won’t do. To wash away stubborn stains, you need to use hot water. Cleaning your floors with hot water is an excellent method to remove dirt, grease, and other debris.
You can choose to boil your water on the stove or use a microwave to heat it. If microwaving, we would recommend you do so in intervals and check the temperature after each interval.
Step 2: Add Cleaner To It
Now, this is one of the essential steps of this guide. Since a marble floor is extremely porous, a harsh or acidic cleaner can damage the stone. The pH level of any diluted cleanser must never fall below 2.5 as it could cause etching and staining that will be impossible to remove!
So what do you use then? We recommend using a neutral cleaner; certain cleaners are made to treat marble or a mild detergent. They’re also safe on your skin in case you end up spilling them – so it’s two birds with one stone. Follow the directions given on the back of the product you chose and add it to your hot water.
Step 3: Mop The Floor
Well, what follows now is the part where your muscles will need to work. Take out your mop and start swishing the hot water all around your marble floors! Make sure you do it thoroughly.
The most efficient way is to use spin mops as they clean the hard-to-reach places on your marble floors while also drying up quickly. Start at the rear end of the space and work your way toward the entrance or exit. On marble, short strokes are ideal and you should overlap as you go.
Step 4: Wash With Clean Water
If you were thinking that one wash is enough, then you’re wrong! Once you’re done cleaning the floor with detergent and hot water, it needs to be washed with clean water. The process is the same – take out your mop and swish around until there’s no more dirt or debris.
After you’re done, get a fresh cloth and wipe away all of the excess water from your marble floors. If you fail to do so, it’ll leave stains and spots. Doing it a second time may not seem important to you, but it helps remove any residue from the cleaning solution. Don’t forget to change the water once it starts looking dirty.
Step 5: Dry It Off!
Now, this step is just as important as the others – drying off your marble floors. If you don’t, then it will leave an awful and slippery film on them, which will cause people to slip. All you have to do is use a soft clean towel to wipe the floor and remove any excess water.
How To Maintain Marble Floors
Before we end this guide, we’d like to share a few ways you can avoid damage and maintain your beautiful marble floors. After all the pain of cleaning them, it is only right to take some actions to ensure they remain clean!
1. Wipe Spills Instantly
The first and easiest rule of all is to wipe any spills as soon as they happen. Remember, liquid can leave stains on your marble floors since they absorb it so it’s best to clean them off before the liquid seeps through. If you wait, then there’s a chance you’ll be able to remove it, but it will require some scrubbing and heavy-duty cleaners.
2. Try Steam Cleaning
Steam cleaning is a great way to keep your marble floors clean without the need for any chemicals or other potent agents that are bad for the stone. For this purpose, you can take advantage of steam cleaners which are relatively easy to use. All you have to do is put in the solution, and the steam will do the work.
3. Use A Mild Detergent
We don’t recommend using heavy-duty detergents or chemicals that contain ammonia. Instead, stick to neutral pH cleaners that are neither too acidic nor too alkaline.
4. Use A Marble Sealer
Using a marble sealer is excellent for your floors as it’ll provide them with extra protection against stains and scratches. Sealers come in both oil and wax forms; the former is used to penetrate the stone, while the latter fills in hairline cracks to make it even stronger.
So what are you waiting for? Ensure that you follow every point in this article to maintain the graceful beauty of your marble floors. If taken care of in the right way, marble floors can undoubtedly be the center of attraction in your house! Happy cleaning!