Marble tile has long been associated with luxury and beautiful design, so if you recently installed it in your home, you want to make sure the look lasts. Fortunately, marble is one of the most durable materials around, as proven by the ancient Roman temples made out of marble that still stand today. It’s good to be aware, though, that marble is susceptible to damage from irritants, such as acidic substances and metal. As such, it’s important to follow a regular maintenance regimen to keep your marble tile installation looking shiny and new. Check out these simple tips for maintaining your marble entrance, bathroom or backsplash:
Cleaning marble tile
Keeping your marble tile clean will help extend its life, as dirt and spills can mark your tile. Use these tips when cleaning your marble to help it keep its natural luster:
Step One: Dust mop
Rather than using a regular broom to sweep up dirt and debris, use a dust mop on your marble tile floors. The mop should have a soft and fluffy head that traps dust – microfiber dust mops are a great choice. This method prevents debris from grinding into the stone while you work. Make sure to mop weekly and as needed in between; if you let dirt and grit build up on your floors, minute scratches can occur on the surface and become noticeable over time.
Step Two: Vacuum with care
Using a dust mop to clean marble floors is the safest way to remove dirt and debris from. However, if you want to vacuum, make sure the wheels are intact and no rough edges will scratch the floor. What’s more, do not use metal attachments.
Step Three: Select a pH neutral soap
“Use a mild soap that has a neutral pH.”
When it comes time to wet mop marble tile floors or clean a marble shower surround, make sure you use a mild soap that is pH neutral. Acidic substances can corrode marble, so avoid harsh cleaners or anything that is acidic, like cleaners that contain lemon or vinegar. You can find neutral cleaners at your hardware store, and use them whenever you need to wash your marble tile.
Step Four: Use a soft cloth
Don’t use a scrubby sponge to clean your marble countertops. Instead, stick to a gentle cloth. Avoid steel wool, as metal can scratch marble. A soft cloth is perfect for cleaning counter tiles and backsplashes.
Step Five: Remove standing water
When wet mopping marble tile, make sure to wring out the mop enough so it doesn’t slosh excess water onto your floor. Additionally, once you’ve finished mopping, wipe down the surfaces with a cloth to help them dry as a way to prevent water spots.
While marble is durable, it can become stained. To prevent this, clean up spills immediately, especially if the liquid is acidic. However, if your marble tiles become stained, you may be able to remove it. Here’s how:
Oil-based, organic or mold
If your tile is stained by an oil-based product, organic materials (food, tea, etc.), or mold, scrub the area with water, a gentle cloth and a cleaning solution. The solution should have one of the following: bleach, ammonia, mineral spirits or acetone. Note that you should never mix these chemicals together, as doing so can produce a lethal gas. Instead, only use one substance.
Whether from nails or metal objects sitting on your marble tiles, rust can mark the stone. Clean it by using a poultice. Regularly check areas where metal touches your marble, as rust can be extremely difficult to remove. The sooner you notice and clean it, the better.
Use lacquer and a thin blade to gently scrape off any paint that may have landed on your marble tiles. Be very careful not to scratch the stone. For thick paint, use a commercial “heavy liquid” paint stripper, which you can find at a hardware store.
Properly protecting your marble tiles will reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do. Regular dust mopping should be part of your maintenance routine. In addition, do these things:
Use coasters and trivets
“Always use coasters on marble tile counters.”
If you have a marble tile counter, always use coasters under your glasses, especially if you’re drinking alcohol or acidic beverages (like orange juice). That way, if the liquid drips over the edge of your glass, it won’t fall on the marble.
When pulling hot foods out of the oven, place them on a trivet rather than right on your marble counter. Marble can withstand heat, but protecting it from oven-hot food is still recommended.
Keep rugs or mats by all your entryways so you can wipe your shoes off when you come inside. This will help minimize the presence of dirt and debris that may scratch marble tile floors. What’s more, you can keep a rubber mat underneath metal objects. That way, a metal coat rack or indoor flowerpot won’t leave stains on your marble surfaces.
Clean spills immediately
Should you spill on your marble tile, use a paper towel to clean up the liquid. Then, use gentle soap and water to clean the area. Finally, dry off your tiles. This will prevent stains and is especially important if you spill acidic food or drink.
Marble is a durable stone that has lasted through the ages, and it can look magnificent in your home for years to come if you use these care and maintenance tips.
Do you have any other tips for keeping marble tiles looking clean?
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