Marble is a luxurious yet delicate stone that is often used in home construction.
It comes in a wide range of colors and is sourced from around the globe.
Whether you have marble floors, tabletops, or counters, it is important to familiarize yourself with safe and effective cleaning protocols.
The right cleaner and technique can keep your marble accents looking shiny and clean. Not only that, but they can help you avoid scratching or even cracking this fragile mineral.
What types of surfaces are marble
Marble is an extremely versatile material. While we often associate it with kitchen and bathroom countertops, it can be found in nearly any room of the house.
Thin cuts of smooth marble are often used as a decorative kitchen and even fireplace backslashes. It is also used as flooring, especially in entryways. Not to mention, it is often used in architectural elements like pillars, mantels, benches, and basins.
What do you need to keep marble surfaces clean and shiny?
There are a few supplies you will need to properly clean, shine, and preserve the look of marble surfaces in your home. These include soft cloths, non-abrasive sponges, water, chamois cloths, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and/or stone polish.
The Basic Steps for Cleaning Marble
Prepare the Surface
It’s important to thoroughly prepare the surface of your marble before you begin the polishing process. To do so, remove any dust, debris, and stuck-on grit that has accumulated on the surface of the stone.
Be sure to pay close attention to corners and grooves were debris can easily be trapped. To do this, dampen a soft clean cloth with warm water and a little dish soap.
Run the cloth over the surface of the marble, being careful not to apply too much pressure. Remember, marble scratches easily. Use small circular strokes to thoroughly clean an extended counter or floor.
Sweep the Floor
If you’re cleaning marble floors, sweep the surface to remove any dust and debris that has accumulated. Be sure to lift and clean under and around doormats, rugs, and furniture.
We recommend using a soft dust mop to perform this task. Stay away from vacuums and abrasive brooms that have the potential to scratch marble.
Mop the Floor
Establish a regular mopping schedule based on the amount of traffic on your floors.
Start by running a damp mop over the surface of the floors. This first step helps eliminate any grime you have missed with the broom.
Move the mop in a wide figure-eight motion to ensure even and thorough coverage across the entire floor. Ring out and rise the mop in fresh water.
Keep in mind that you may need to change the mop water to avoid mistakenly reapplying dirt. You can also use a pH-neutral marble cleaner to effectively eradicate especially stubborn dirt.
Apply an Ammonia Solution
While acidic cleaners are not well-suited for marble flooring, a diluted ammonia solution can help remove stuck on dirt and stains.
Still, it makes an effective floor cleaner when diluted with water. You can even mix it with powdered clay or baking soda to create a homemade poultice for removing stains.
Polish the Floor
Use a clean dry microfiber cloth or chamois to wipe away any remain soap scum and polish the surface of the marble. You may also use a store-bought marble/granite polisher to buff the surface of the stone.
Alternatively, mix together equal parts water and baking soda to create an inexpensive polishing paste. When applying polish, distribute a thin even layer over the surface of the floor. Allow it to dry for several hours.
Then, use a microfiber cloth and a small amount of warm water to wipe away the remaining layer of polish.
Remove Spots or Stains From Polished Marble in 3 Minutes:
To ensure the longevity and aesthetic richness of the marble in your home, you should clean the stone daily with soapy water and a nonabrasive cloth or sponge.
You should also take care to wipe away spills quickly, as many liquids can leave permanent stains in the porous surface. What’s more, keep acidic foods, like vinegar, tomatoes, and citrus fruits, away from the marble.
To protect floors from damage, invest in a few area rugs for high traffic areas. When accidents do occur, remedy them as quickly as possible and apply leave-on poultice that is appropriate for the stain.
Using Soap and Water
It’s fine to use soap and water on marble floors. Nevertheless, you should only use mild diluted dish soap. If you use too much soap, you’re going to leave behind unsightly streaks and film.
The following cleaners and sealers are specially formulated to clean and preserve stone floors and counters.
|GRANITE PLUS! 2 in 1 Cleaner & Sealer||Granite, Marble, Travertine, Limestone||Check price!|
|Black Diamond Marble & Tile Floor Cleaner||Marble, Limestone, Travertine, Granite, Slate, Ceramic & Porcelain tile||Check price!|
|TriNova Granite Cleaner and Polish||Countertops, Marble, Stone, Bathroom Tile Kitchen, Islands and More||Check price!|
|BISSELL CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner||Tile and Marble||Check price!|
|Stone & Tile Intensive Cleaner||Marble, Limestone, Travertine, Granite, Slate, Ceramic & Porcelain Tile||Check price!|
|Granite Poultice (1 Lb)||Marble And Granite Care Products||Check price!|
|Original ShamWow||Clean & polish practically any surface||Check price!|
|Kitchen + Home Super Chamois||For washing, waxing or buffing and will not leave behind streaks, water spots or lint||Check price!|
|TriNova’s Granite Sealer & Protectant||Clean Countertop Surface, Marble, Tile||Check price!|
|2 MB Stone Care MB11 Touch-Up||For spot polishing of most water stains or rings from polished marble, travertine and any other calcite-based stone||Check price!|
|Perox-C Plus Concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner||Light-colored marbles||Check price!|
GRANITE PLUS! 2 in 1 Cleaner & Sealer for Granite, Marble, Travertine, and Limestone
Granite Plus! is a pH-neutral marble cleaner with a built-in sealant.
You spray it on, let it settle for a minute, and then use a dry nonabrasive cloth to remove it.
It is worth noting that you don’t need to rinse the marble after using Granite Plus!
For the most part, it leaves granite looking shiny and clean. It’s suitable as a daily cleaner for both marble counters and floors.
A Better Way To Clean Your Marble Or Tile Floor:
Black Diamond Marble & Tile Floor Cleaner. Great for Ceramic, Porcelain, Granite, Natural Stone, Vinyl & Linoleum. No-rinse Concentrate (Quart)
Black Diamond is an eco-friendly and biodegradable cleaner. It’s a great choice for homeowners with pets and children.
Not to mention, the formula is extremely concentrated. You only need 2 to 4 ounces of the Stoneworks formula per gallon of water.
Simply apply it using a microfiber cloth and then pat dry for a clean streak-free surface. We even recommend putting the diluted mixture in a spray bottle for easy application.
This product is great for marble floors, counters, and other architectural elements. It even doubles as a tile and porcelain cleaner.
TriNova Granite Cleaner and Polish for Daily Use
The TriNova cleaner is a concentrated rinse-free marble cleaner that is both eco-friendly and biodegradable.
Like the Stoneworks cleaner, you only need 2 to 4 ounces of TriNova per gallon of water.
It is safe and effective on marble, other stone, ceramic, and porcelain surfaces. It deep cleans stones, leaving them shiny and streak-free.
For individuals looking for a quicker or more efficient machine clean, we recommend a wet/dry floor cleaner with delicate settings. Ideally, you want something that vacuums up debris and mops floors at the same time.
BISSELL CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner with Wet-Dry Function for Tile and Marble
The Bissell CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner has a microfiber mop function that is ideal for fragile marble flooring.
It also boasts a spinning brush with ample suction to remove dust and debris lingering on the ground.
The smart-touch controls enable users to release cleaning solution as desired. Not to mention, the dual tank system ensures the clean and dirty water never mix. As a result, you are less likely to leave behind grime and soap suds.
How to use CrossWave™:
If a liquid is left on the surface of marble for a long enough period of time, it may leach into the stone’s pores and leave behind an unsightly stain.
Many people choose to seal their marble to prevent this from happening. Yet, accidents still happen. Therefore, if you have marble floors or counters in your home, it is a good idea to keep a reliable stain remover on hand.
Stone & Tile Intensive Cleaner: Concentrated Deep Cleaner, Marble, Limestone, Travertine, Granite, Slate, Ceramic & Porcelain Tile. (1 Quart)
Stone & Tile Intensive Cleaner is an excellent product for deep cleaning marble surfaces.
It is a highly concentrated mixture that should be diluted with water before it is applied to a counter or floor.
While the company doesn’t list the exact ingredients, we can attest to its stain removing strengths.
Hydrogen peroxide is yet another safe and effective ingredient for removing stains from marble.
It serves as a natural whitener and is ideal for light-colored marbles.
We recommend using a concentrated hydrogen peroxide. Allow it to saturate the stain overnight. You can even cover the stain with a layer of plastic wrap to assure it is not disturbed.
You can also create a clean paste called poultice. A poultice is a paste-like cleaner that is capable of penetrating the marble’s pours to remove set-in stains.
You can make your own marble poultice with just a few household ingredients. To make one you need an active solvent as well as an absorbent white powder.
We recommend a simple mixture of water and baking soda. You apply the poultice directly to the site of the stain and leave it for up to 5 hours. Use a sheet of plastic wrap and masking tape to keep the poultice in place.
The solvent will penetrate the stain and draw the dyes out and into the powder, which you can effectively sweep away.
Granite Poultice (1 Lb) Maximum Deep Cleaning Stain Remover By Marble And Granite Care Products
Granite Poultice is a powder cleaner that is intended to be mixed with a small amount of lacquer thinner.
To work effectively, the poultice must be airtight and left for at least 24 hours.
It is extremely effective in removing a wide variety of stains on the surface of marble.
It’s all too easy to damage marble. In fact, harsh chemicals and rough cleaning tools can permanently etch the surface of the stone.
The Original ShamWow – Super Absorbent Multi-purpose Cleaning Shammy (Chamois) Towel Cloth
The Shamwow is an ultra-absorbent orange cleaning cloth. It is machine washable, all-purpose, and non-abrasive.
It is made from synthetic materials that are capable of holding lots of liquid.
We recommend using a Shamwow to dry or wet wipe the surface of granite.
Kitchen + Home Super Chamois – Extra Large 20 inches by 27 inches Super Absorbent
The SuperChamois is another cleaning towel.
It is similar to the Shamwow, as it can hold a large amount of liquid.
It is also made from synthetic materials and is machine washable.
It consists of ai-spun rayon with micropores that are designed to hold liquid spills. It is also ideal for dry wiping surfaces such as marble.
People typically seal marble surfaces to protect against aesthetic damage. Sealant helps prevent moisture from penetrating the marble’s pores. It may be applied once a year.
TriNova’s Granite Sealer & Protectant
TriNova Granite Sealer and Protectant is a concentrated formula that comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle It is made of a blend of polymers and does not contain dangerous chemicals.
As such, it can be used on both floors and counters.
Overall, it makes surfaces smoother and shinier. Not to mention, it prevents marble from being penetrated by liquids.
2 MB Stone Care MB11 Touch-Up
2 MB Stone Car Touch-Up is yet another marble polisher.
While it does not seal marble, it does help the stone revert back to its original luster.
You can apply the 2 MB with a microfiber cloth. I can be used daily.
How to remove an acid etch stain from your marble top – MB Stonecare MB 11.:
Tips and Tricks
Marble doesn’t have to be scary. While it is true that it damages easier than other stones, there are some simple things you can do to ensure the marble in your home is always looking good.
For one, always keep baking soda on hand. Baking soda is very inexpensive and can serve as an impromptu poultice. If you spill something on the marble, pick it up immediately.
Use a microfiber or cotton cloth to blot it up. Avoid rubbing it in. Then, apply homemade baking soda poultice to extract anything that may seep deep into the marble.
If you don’t have baking soda, you can always combine flour and dish soap to create yet another type of homemade poultice.
You should also seal your marble counters during and after installation. You don’t need to be an expert craftsman to apply a sealant. Water should bead when it is dropped on a sealed counter. If it doesn’t, it is probably time to reapply sealant.
Still wondering what substances and treatments are best for marble floors:
- Mop floors daily with a mixture of mild soap and warm water.
- Clean your floors with mild detergent or stone soap. Make sure these substances are designed with a porous stone in mind.
- Thoroughly rinse and dry the floor. Soap can accumulate on the surface of marble and leave behind streaks and scum.
- Always blot up spills soon after they occur. Ink, paint, acidic substances, and other liquids can permanently damage the aesthetic of your marble.
- Utilize non-slip mats, rugs, and runners to protect high-traffic areas.
Wondering what to avoid with marble floors:
- Acidic. Avoid using vinegar, lemon juice, or other acidic cleaners. These can etch the surface of the marble.
- Avoid bathroom cleaners, as many contain acidic compounds.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
- Never mix bleach and ammonia. These chemicals create toxic fumes when mixed together. I can even be lethal.
- Avoid using vacuum cleaners that are worn or have metal or plastic attachments. These can permanently etch the surface of marble floors.
How to Clean stains from Marble
It is important to note that not all stains are alike. In the next section, we’ll hone in on how to treat certain types of stains.
Oils tend to leave dark splotches on the surface of marble. Hydrogen peroxide is a great treatment for oil-based stains on light marble. Keep in mind that it has natural whitening abilities, so it’s best to abstain from using this on dark stone.
Meanwhile, acetone is great for oil-based stains on dark marble. Both substances work best when they are combined with baking soda to create a homemade poultice.
Organic stains are created by things like coffee, tea, foods, urine, and more. They can leave behind distasteful pinkish-brown stains. You can use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and diluted ammonia to help eradicate these discolorations.
Inorganic Metal Stains
Metal stains occur when iron, copper, or bronze come in contact with water and leave behind rust. These stains are brown or even green. You can try using a basic poultice on these stains, but they are extremely difficult to lift out of marble.
These stains typically occur outdoors or near houseplants, as they are from algae, lichens, and other green substances. We recommend using a mixture of diluted hydrogen peroxide to eradicate these green monsters.
To successfully remove ink stains from marble, you must act fast. First, first the surface with warm soapy water. Then, apply a cloth saturated with rubbing alcohol. Finally, use diluted ammonia to dab away any remaining dye.
Wondering how to remove paint stains? Use a small razor blade to carefully scrape off the paint. Keep in mind that you can permanently etch the surface of the stone by applying too much pressure.
You may also use lacquer thinner to loosen the paint from the surface but do so with caution.
Water Spots and Rings
Water stains are fairly common in marble. Use a fine grade steel wool to buff these stains away. We recommend a circular stroke pattern, as this is the most effective way to buff marble.
How to Successfully Apply a Poultice to Marble
Marble poultice has a magical way of eradicating tough stains. It penetrates deep within the marble’s pours to draw out discolorations. We will describe to you in detail how to make and apply a marble poultice.
Gather the ingredients you need to make a homemade poultice. If you are using a store-bought poultice, you can skip ahead to step four.
We recommend making a simple paste that consists of equal parts baking soda and mineral water. Both of these items can be found in most grocery stores and are rather inexpensive.
You can substitute the baking soda for another absorbent white material, such as flour. You will also need a ceramic bowl and spatula for mixing, plastic wrap, and masking tape.
Mix the mineral water and baking soda together till you get a dough-like consistency. Remember, the mineral water will draw out the stain and the baking soda will absorb it.
If you don’t have baking soda, you can use paper towels, talc, cotton balls, or another white absorbent material.
You may choose to use a liquid solvent, depending on the type of stain you’re removing. Commonly used liquid solvents are ammonia, acetone, and hydrogen peroxide. Refer to the information above when identifying and treating specific stains.
Apply the poultice directly to the stain. Make sure to apply a thick layer and cover the entire surface of the stain. You may wish to test your poultice in an inconspicuous area before treating a noticeable spot.
Cover the poultice with clear plastic wrap. Use masking tape to secure the entire perimeter of the plastic wrap to the floor. It works best if you create an airtight space for the poultice to work its magic.
Wait. Try not to be impatient. The poultice needs to sit for at least 24 hours to work its magic. Avoid disturbing the poultice.
After 24 hours have passed, you can remove the poultice. Then, wash the surface of the marble with warm water. If the stain is gone, the poultice has done its job.
If the stain is lighter, apply a second poultice as directed above. Repeat the process until the stain is no longer noticeable.
How to Clean a Marble Floor:
Final Thoughts on Cleaning Marble
Despite the rumors, marble is a highly durable and desirable stone to have in your home. While its porous nature requires a bit of extra attention, it’s certainly nothing to fret over. If stains happen, react quickly.
Clean your floors and counters regularly to avoid missing a treatable mistake. Stock up on marble-safe clothes, buffers, and poultices.
Or else, refer to the aforementioned ingredients to make a stain remover of your own. We assure you that the minimal maintenance is well worth it!