How To Clean Marble Tiles Without Etching The Tiles

Marble Floor Cleaning Tips

By Troy Cantini

It is important to have realistic expectations before cleaning marble tiles. While cleaning marble tiles may make them look better there are often other issues present with the marble that is causing it to have and unsightly look. Scratches, a dull finish and etch marks in the marble may look like dirt and stains but these types of blemishes will not go away with just a cleaning alone.

Marble tiles are sensitive to acidic based cleaning products so it is important to only use alkaline based cleaning solutions when cleaning marble. Acidic based cleaning products will damage and etch the marble surface. It is also important to only use an alkaline cleaning product designed for cleaning stone tiles. Many non-tile specific alkaline cleaners can be caustic to marble and dull the polished finish of the marble.

You should first mix the tile specific alkaline cleaning product with hot water per the manufacturers instructions. Apply this cleaning solution to the marble and allow it to dwell there for at least 20 minutes. Use an extremely soft scrub pad to scrub away the dirt and contaminates from the surface of the marble. Avoid using aggressive scrub pads when cleaning marble. Marble is a soft, sensitive stone that can easily be scratched with aggressive scrub pads. You will probably have to scrub the individual grout lines to get the grout lines clean.

Do not use any type of steel wool or extremely abrasive pads that will surely scratch the soft marble surface.  Only a soft white scrub pad should be used when cleaning marble tiles. After you have emulsified the dirt and contaminates with the cleaning solution and a soft scrub pad then you can use a mop to rinse away all the remaining dirt and excess cleaning solution from the marble tile surface. Then dry the surface with a towel or clean cloth to obtain a streak free shine.

After you have cleaned your marble tile surface you may notice that the grout is still not as clean as you had hoped for. With marble tiles the grout can be extremely difficult to get clean. Often times narrow unsanded grout lines are used in marble tile installations and this type of grout can be extremely difficult to get clean. No acidic product should be used on the grout and excessive scrubbing of the grout lines could damage the surrounding marble tiles. It may be necessary to re clean the grout lines with the alkaline cleaning solution. If the grout lines still do not come clean it may be necessary to remove the stained grout and regrout the marble tile grout to restore the grout to its new looking condition.

You may also notice that the surface of your marble tiles has become dull and lifeless.  It may look dirty but it actually may have become scratched, worn and dull over time and may need to be polished. A stone restoration professional should be called to use diamond pads to polish the surface of the marble. Scratches and etch marks in the marble can only be removed with diamond polishing pads and a trained professional. If you try to polish your marble yourself you run the risk of permanently damaging the surface of your marble.

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