Nothing says luxury and opulence quite like marble floors do. This sought after natural stone flooring material is the stuff dream homes are made of. Other than its visual appeal, marble also feels cool underfoot, something that is an added advantage during our Indian tropical summers.
However, maintaining marble flooring is quite different from regular tiles and even from other natural stone flooring. Special care must be taken while cleaning bathrooms with marble floors. In this short read, we’re going to give you some pro-tips on how to clean marble floors in bathrooms.
Why do marble floors require special care?
There are multiple reasons why marble floors require special care. Here are some of them.
- Leaving marble floors uncleaned over a long period of time can cause discolouration and permanent staining.
- Using the wrong kind of detergents to clean marble floors can damage it. This means all acidic and high pH cleaners are out. It is also dangerous to use cleaners manufactured for other stone floors, such as granite, since granite can handle more acidic detergents than marble can. Acidic cleaning agents cause dull spots on marble, called etching. This is impossible to get rid of.
How to clean marble
Clean up spillages immediately
Marble is porous in nature. This means anything that is spilled on the surface can cause permanent stains and discolouration. To avoid this, it is important that any spillage on your marble bathroom floor must be cleaned immediately.
Wash with hot, distilled water
While washing your marble floor, keep in mind that hot water works better than cold. As hot water allows you to clean out dirt, grime and grease from the bathroom floor more easily. Also, keep in mind that you ought to use hot distilled water, since hard water contains minerals and natural salts that could harm the marble.
Always use mild detergents
It is of utmost importance to keep the following points in mind while cleaning your bathroom’s marble floor.
- Never use acidic detergents or any bathroom cleaning agents with high pH levels, such as bleach, vinegar, ammonia or anything citric in nature.
- Instead, use a regular dish washing soap or any other pH neutral detergent. You also have specific marble cleaners in the market, such as GoMarb, that are affordable and easy to use.
Use soft materials for cleaning
Marble must always be handled using soft materials. Hard brushes of any kind and even vacuum cleaners are a big no-no when it comes to cleaning marble floors.
- Always use a soft cloth or a soft mop to clean the marble floor with a mild detergent and warm water. Then, use a soft mop and cool water to clean up impurities and dirt from the floor.
- Remember that you will need to keep changing the water you use every so often. This is because any solid impurities present in the dirty water could get stuck to the mop and scratch the floor.
Now that we know what it takes to clean up a marble bathroom floor, let’s take a closer look at the process.
- Begin by wetting the floor with warm water. You could use a wrung out mop or even spray the water onto the stone using a water spray. However, avoid soaking the floor heavily.
- Use a soft mop to apply the cleaning solution to the floor. Remember, always use a neutral cleaning agent and not an acidic detergent.
- Rinse the surface with clean water. Change the water periodically so dust and other solid dirt does not scratch the marble floor.
- Unlike other surfaces, marble floors do not dry out by themselves. Instead, the porous stone absorbs much of the water and the cleaning solution if they are allowed to remain on the surface.
- Some types of marble contain iron oxide, which is brought to the surface by excessive moisture, this could give rise to staining. To avoid this, dry out the wet floor using a dry, soft rag. Exchange the wet rag with a clean one as required.
While all stains on your marble bathroom floor may not be removable, some of them can be removed using special techniques. Let’s have a look at how stain removal on marble floors works.
- Most common stains on light colored marble floors are caused by organic materials, such as food wastes. These stains can be easily removed by applying a cleaning solution made up of 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia. However, keep in mind that you should not mix any other detergents into this solution, as the resultant chemical reaction can be toxic.
- The process involves pouring the solution on the stained area and letting it rest for between 10 and 30 minutes. Then, rinse the area with clean water and dry it with a soft dry rag. If you still have etch marks left behind, wet the spot again and apply a marble polishing powder. Use a damp cloth to buff it onto the stone and dry it.
- As for removing scuff marks, rubbing a tennis ball gently around the area helps lift the scuff marks off the floor easily.
Sealing the floor
The easiest and most convenient way to avoid stains on your marble bathroom floor is to use a marble sealer. There are plenty of sealers available in the market that you can choose from, and you only need to seal the floor once every three to five years, depending on foot traffic.
Create a cleaning schedule
Have a bathroom cleaning regimen that you stick to. While it is imperative that you clean up spills immediately to avoid staining, wash your bathroom floor once in a week following the process we’ve discussed above.
Before using any cleaning agents or sealers on your marble, always test it out first on an out-of-sight, inconspicuous corner first. That way, even if there is any damage or staining, it won’t be noticed as easily.
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