Marble is a popular choice for flooring, shelf tops, stairs and even decorative items. Most interior designers now use marble generously to deck up houses and this white stone sure lends an impressive and elegant look to the entire house.
However, marble used in flooring is subjected to daily wear and tear and used carelessly in almost all houses. With time marble floors lose sheen, shine and the luster.
Most often people use ordinary floor cleaners or even detergents and in some drastic cases disinfectants like phenyls to clean to floor. All these cleaning agents may cause more harm to the marble floor than doing good for it.
We spoke to our team of interiors designers and house management experts on the issue. They share tips on how to clean the marble floor and most importantly how to maintain the marble floor. Read them:
The Routine Cleaning
The first and foremost thing for marble floor is to clean it on daily basis. It may sound odd but many households have both husband and wife working and may have grueling work schedules, then routine cleanliness takes a backseat.
In some houses the tenants can be a bunch of bachelors or paying guests, who will obviously not care so much about daily mopping and cleaning. In such cases dust keeps accumulating on the floor and with time the tile locks and corners become yellowish and gradually become dull.
Daily upkeep of marble floor is not a big deal. For regular cleaning, a mop with warm water is enough. Once a week you can add mild detergent to the warm water. One important thing is to ensure that after mopping, the floor should be left completely dry.
Marble is porous stone and can get damaged very easily. Water marks cause stains in marble making the situation more difficult. Hence drying the marble floor completely is as important as cleaning it.
Do not use any chemical to dry the floor, instead let the floor dry on its own. Also ensure that mopping doesn’t make the floor too wet, otherwise it will become difficult to wipe it dry.
A person can easily slip on a wet marble floor and get seriously injured as well. An intelligent thing to do is that after mopping with water, wipe the floor with dry, soft cotton cloth. That will take care of extra water or any marks left unattended.
The second important thing to do with marble is to get rid of stains as soon as they occur. If stains remain on marble for long, they can impact the coloring and even corrode the surface of marble, causing irreparable damage.
As soon as you spill coffee, tea, oil, butter, juices, colas, colors, lotions, creams, paints, ink, soda, food or other thing causing a stain, make sure to remove stain immediately with hydrogen peroxide.
Dip a cloth in hydrogen peroxide and keep on stain for a while. This is commonly available in market and commercially used widely to dye hair.
Oil marks can be more difficult to get rid from marble. Corn starch can be useful in this situation. Spread starch powder evenly on the oil mark and wipe gently with tissue paper.
Repeat this process over and over again. If the faint oil mark still remains, try washing the floor with mild warm soapy water and mop it completely dry.
There are more chemicals like ammonia that can be used to get rid of stubborn oil marks but these should be handled with care as such chemicals can be inflammable. One should use such chemicals with proper understanding of chemical behavior and exercise precaution while handling them.
Restore the Shine
Most interior designers recommend that once in a couple / triple of years a marble floor should be cleaned thoroughly and polished. This is more like a soothing action for the floor, which helps in restoring its sheen.
There are a variety of floor cleaners available in the market, however prefer to use a cleaner that is mild. Strong cleaners may corrode the marble, causing microscopic dents in it and yellowing it forever.
Begin cleaning with mild soapy warm water. In case you feel a thorough cleaning is required – like after Diwali or Holi, or a birthday party when you’ve had many people walk in and many things thrown on the floor – then go for the cleaners.
Do not go for acidic cleaners, instead prefer neutral pH cleaners that don’t harm the floor.
There are situation when marble floors look scratchy or even show uneven surface. This is the time to call professional help.
We have shared some of the best known methods to keep your marble shining forever. We hope that you put these tips in action and keep your marble floor clean and sparkling for long.