For centuries, marble has been treasured for its beauty and utility in equal measure. It’s a naturally occurring work of art with each piece of limestone being completely unique and unlike any other. The limestone slabs are transformed over time, through heat and pressure. Eventually becoming a more durable building material that is commonly used for flooring, walls, columns, kitchen counters, staircases, tables and fireplace mantels. Though, as celebrated as it is, marble is extremely porous and soaks in stains and grime very easily. It’s important to clean and polish your marble floor on a regular basis to prevent permanent damage. Here are a number of ways that will help you keep your marble in tiptop shape.
- Be sure to recognize the damage. Because each piece of marble has its own naturally occurring stains and swirls, it’s easy to confuse a manmade stain with that of the marble’s. So as carefully as possible, without scratching the surface of the tile, use your fingernail to determine whether the stain is removable or not.
- Determine the type of marble. There are two kinds of marble out there on the market today, natural marble and cultured marble. It’s also important to determine which of these your marble flooring is. This can be determined by a number of methods. The best way is to test the temperature of the marble with your hand. Natural marble is naturally cooler than the air around it, while cultured marble is around the same temperature. It’s important to note that natural marble scratches easily while cultured marble does not. In the case of natural marble, simply use a damp, warm cloth to remove stains. Add a little dish soap for more aggressive stains, but be sure to rinse thoroughly afterwards.
- Dry the surface well. After cleaning the marble with a warm, damp sponge or cloth, make sure you dry the surface well. It’s important to remove all surface dust or dirt so that the marble doesn’t scratch during the polishing stage.
- Polish the surface with baking soda. The most effective way to polish the surface of your marble floor is to use 3 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 quart of water. Apply the mixture to the stained area and let it sit for 4 to 5 hours. It’ll eventually dry out and leave a chalky looking residue on the tile. Once it’s dry, use a warm, damp cloth to rinse the surface of the marble. The baking soda should help to break down the grit and grime.
- Buff and seal the surface. Once the surface is dry enough, you can polish the marble with a chamois or microfiber cloth. Wipe in small circular motions and gradually make the circles larger and larger. If you have a sealant, be sure to use the instructions on the bottle as all brands vary in application technique.
In the case that the stain does not disappear, it’s important that you consult a professional. The good people at Finish Pro remodel and refinish marble surfaces at an affordable price, so it’s worth consulting them or checking out their website.