How to Clean Marble

Cleaning Marble

Marble is a beautiful stone that can add a touch of elegance to any room.

Whether used in floors or as countertops, marble requires regular care in order to keep its look.

Because marble is prone to staining, it is very important to maintain a regular schedule of care, including daily and weekly cleanings as well as applying polish. While regular care is required, the good news is that caring for marble is not difficult and takes just a few minutes a day.

Important Facts to Know Before Cleaning Marble:

Marble is a very soft stone that stains, etches and cracks quite easily.

Never use a cleaner with an abrasive element when cleaning marble. Also, because of how easily marble stains and etches, it is very important that all spills be wiped up immediately.

The surface is delicate and will be etched and permanently damaged if exposed to acidic or alkaline substances. Even the weakest of acids, such as is found in orange juice, tomato juice and pickle juice will etch the finish permanently.

Alkaline cleaning solutions are the direct opposite of acids and will etch the surface just the same. Bleach, ammonia and some detergents are highly alkaline.

NEVER allow any type of spill to sit on marble. The porous surface can be etched quickly and the etching is permanent. Etching makes the surface look dull and removes the shine. If you run a fingernail across the surface it will feel bumpy and coarse vs a smooth and glass like finish on undamaged marble.

The number one thing to remember is to use cleaning products that are pH neutral. Plain water is pH neutral. Only use a cleaning product if it says it is safe for marble. That is- the solution is pH neutral, neither alkaline or acidic. In all cases check the product label before using anything.

Daily Cleaning:

For daily cleaning, no cleanser is required. Simply wipe the surface of the marble with a wet cloth or damp mop and then use a shammy to wipe away the excess moisture. You can add a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent (no more than that) to the water for your daily cleanings.

Weekly Cleaning:

I happen to know a professional in the marble installing and polishing business. According to a pro, the best way to clean and shine marble is to use plain warm water with a few drops of murphy oil soap. Wipe the entire surface with a sponge, cloth or mop and dry the surface with a clean towel or a shammy. Murphy oil soap won’t damage the floor or countertop and it gives the marble surface a nice shine.

This is what we use to clean marble. (In case you didn’t know, we are not just a cleaning tips website, we are a real house cleaning company.) If you don’t elect to use plain water, use just a few drops of murphy oil soap in a gallon of water like we do.

Sealing and Polishing Marble:

Not only will keeping the marble sealed and polished help it to continue looking beautiful, but it can also help to prevent scratches, etching and staining. Marble should be sealed every 6 months or so. (more frequently for heavily trafficked areas.)

Sealing and polishing will not remove stains or damage from etching on the surface. The only was to repair the damage and restore it’s beautiful shine is to have the marble ground down and re-polished by a marble professional.

After the marble has been cleaned thoroughly, apply a good quality marble polish/sealer. Work in small sections, applying the polish with a clean cloth. Next, use a shammy cloth to buff the polish into the marble and remove any residue.

For marble floors, use a marble sealer to prevent staining and consider placing area rugs in areas that get the most use. The rugs will not eliminate the need for regular cleaning and polishing, but will help to prevent scuffs, cracks and stains.

Cleaning and polishing your floors using the above tips will help to keep the marble in your home as beautiful as the day it was installed.