Cleaning Specific Marble Surfaces
The above recommendations work for pretty much all marble surfaces, but there are a few specifics to keep in mind depending on the location of the marble in your home. Many of these tips rely on prevention, which will keep you from having to spend hours cleaning.
How to Clean Marble Floors
Marble as a flooring material is most prone to scratching, so your job here is to remove dirt, grit, or sand as soon as possible. Start with a clean, dry dust mop to get up the bulk of the dirt. You can use a vacuum cleaner, but make sure any parts of the vacuum that come in contact with the floor (for example, the wheels) are in good condition so as not to etch the marble. For caked-in grime, you can use a steam cleaner, but always be sure to dry each area of marble after you steam it.
Area rugs or doormats placed at entrance and exits are a good idea to prevent tracking dirt across the floor in the first place. It’s also a good idea to put any furniture on pads or coasters to prevent scratching or gouging.
How to Clean Marble Countertops
Countertops can pose a special challenge because cooking often involves using acidic ingredients. Always use a cutting board, and consider investing in silicone mats to act as a barrier between spills and the countertop. Again, clean spills immediately, especially if they involve acidic liquids like lemon juice, vinegar, or tomato juice. While marble is heat-resistant, you’ll still want to use trivets under hot pans, pots, or dishes.
How to Clean a Marble Table
Tabletop marble is subject to many of the same risks as countertop marble. Always use coasters under beverage containers, whether hot or cold, and clean up spills as soon as they happen. You’ll even want to wipe away spilled water with a clean, dry cloth to prevent a film from forming.
How to Clean a Marble Shower
When it comes to marble in the bathroom, your job is to prevent soap scum. Use a squeegee to scrape water and soap off the walls of the shower every single time you use it. This will prevent soap from damaging the marble’s finish. You can use a steam cleaner here, too, to remove any stubborn grime, but be sure to dry or squeegee the area immediately afterward.
Removing Stains from Marble
At some point, there’s probably going to be a spill that you don’t get to in time, and the marble will begin to stain. Once you’ve cleaned the spill, go to work on the stain as soon as you can. Stains from organic materials like coffee, wine, food, or pet urine are best treated with a solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of ammonia. An oil-based stain like milk, cosmetics, or cooking oil should be lifted with acetone or mineral spirits and then rinsed away.
An ink stain can be bleached off of lighter-colored marble or removed from darker-colored marble with lacquer thinner or acetone. You can also use lacquer thinner very carefully to remove small spills of paint, but keep in mind it may etch the marble.