Daily Marble Floor Maintenance
Dust mop interior marble floors frequently using a clean non-treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to marble floors. Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt and grit that will scratch the marble floor. Additionally, they catch ice-melt salt which severely damages marble floors. Be sure that the underside of the mat or rug is a non-slip surface. Normally, it will take a person about eight steps on a floor surface to remove sand or dirt from the bottom of their shoes. Do not use vacuum cleaners that are worn. The metal or plastic attachments or the wheels may scratch the surface.
Frequent mopping will help prevent soil from penetrating the surface. Whenever possible, quickly blot spills, especially oil and grease, to minimize their absorption into the marble. The use of detergents not specifically formulated for marble floors is not recommended as they tend to dull polished stone and many contain chemicals that are best to avoid. Marble floors and countertops should only be cleaned with neutral pH detergents such as Revitalizer™ or All Purpose Stone & Tile Cleaner.
Specific Cleaning Problems
Marble floors are frequently stained by iron, bronze, copper, oil and grease, ink, tobacco and smoke. Always use the gentlest means possible to clean marble. Never attempt to remove stains or deposits by scraping, scouring or indiscriminately applying bleaching agents or harsh chemicals. Damage such as rust stains may not appear until months later. In addition, ALL acids are harmful to marble surfaces. Experienced marble cleaning contractors can select appropriate poultices (smooth pastes applied to the marble which dissolves the staining matter) for specific stains. For large-scale cleaning, honing, polishing and stain removal on floors and walls, consult with a professional.
If left unsealed, spills and everyday messes can easily penetrate the surface. The liquid eventually evaporates but the stain is left behind. Removal of oily stains is easily accomplished with StoneTech™ Professional Oil and Stain Remover.
Floor Finishes, Coatings and Waxes on Marble Floors
The application of coatings such as floor finishes and waxes on marble floors should be avoided. They will result in problems such as surface abrasion, expense and nuisance of chemical stripping required to remove finishes when their appearance becomes undesirable due to discoloration, spotting, and uneven wear. Additionally, topical floor finishes used on marble floors will simply tend to scratch and wear off. Use of such coatings simply turns an easy to care for marble floor into one that is very hard to keep looking its best.
Penetrating Sealers for Marble Flooring
Instead of coatings such as waxes, marble floors should be sealed with a penetrating sealer such as Bullet Proof™, Sta-Clene® or Impregnator Pro to prevent staining and reduce soiling. These sealers do not leave a surface film and act to reduce soiling and staining on the marble floor. Marble is very porous. The best way to prevent stains is to treat the floor with a protective sealer. The sealer fills in the pores and repels spills on the surface, allowing you time to completely wipe it away.
Periodic Professional Care of Marble Floors
Periodic honing and polishing of marble flooring by a professional will maintain the shine and more importantly, significantly inhibit resoiling and deterioration. Mechanical honing creates a smooth surface, polishing to bring the marble to a shine. This may be done every few years, depending on the wear the floor receives and the appearance you may want. Daily maintenance is crucial to the durability of the polished finish and saves money by reducing deterioration and the need for more extensive professional treatment.
DO’s and DON’Ts of Marble Floor Care:
- DO clean up spills immediately to minimize damage to your marble.
- DO put plastic trays under potted plants. The pot itself can stain the floor and dark stains are leached from the plant soil.
- DO put plastic or felt casters under wood and metal furniture feet. Metals will rust and wood will leach tannins.
- DO clean surfaces regularly with StoneTech Professional Revitalizer Cleaner & Protector or All Purpose Stone & Tile Cleaner.
- DO use StoneTech Professional Bullet Proof, Sta-Clene or Impregnator Pro Sealer to protect the marble floor.
- DO dust mop marble floor tile regularly.
- DO use door mats inside and out along with runners and area rugs on marble floors. These mats should be shaken or vacuumed frequently.
- DON’T wait to clean up spills on stone.
- DON’T use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub cleaners.
- DON’T use vinegar, bleach, ammonia or other general-purpose cleaners.
- DON’T use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
- DON’T use green, nylon scrubbing pads; they are harder than the marble and will scratch it.
- DON’T use thick, creamy cleaners; they will stick in the natural pores of the stone.
- DON’T use alkaline cleaners not specifically formulated for stone.
- DON’T use scouring powders and abrasives because they will scratch the surface of the marble floor.
- DON’T use rubber pads under rugs; the rubber contains sulfur. Also do not use rough fiber pads; they can scratch marble.
- DON’T use coatings such as waxes and floor finishes on your marble floor.