With a variety of eye-catching colors and veining, marble floors have become an epitome of luxury and a beautiful addition to any home. Marble has turned out to be a popular choice for bathrooms, shower stalls, countertops, and even floors. Not only does it transform a space, but it is also shiny and durable, making it a dazzling and long-lasting alternative to wood, ceramic, linoleum and carpeted floors.
Whereas marble offers an ideal touch of sophistication and elegance to any bathroom, it still calls for special care to keep it in mint condition. Just like all natural stone, this delicate and porous stone requires to be cleaned carefully and regularly in the quest to prevent erosion and staining. In this ultimate guide, we explore special techniques on how to clean marble floor tiles in bathroom and maintain their timeless beauty.
Recommended Cleaning Equipment & Supplies
- Broom or dry mop
- White towel
- Baking soda
- Ammonia or mineral spirits
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Dishwashing detergent
- Soft cloth/soft-bristled scrub brush/non-abrasive sponge
- Water bucket
- Marble cleaner
- Masking tape
- Plastic wrap
- Stone sealant (optional)
How to Clean White Marble Floor in Bathroom – Steps to Follow
Sweep and dry mop the floor
The first step to cleaning marble tile on your floor is to thoroughly sweep or dry mop the floor to get rid of surface dust, dirt, crumbs, or loose tile. While vacuuming might appear to be the quickest way to remove this kind of mess, using a dust mop is the most recommended way to clean the tile. A vacuum cleaner with metal attachments and worn wheels is likely to scratch the marble floor surface.
If you must use a vacuum cleaner on marble tile, make sure it has no metal attachments and the wheels are not rough or scuffed in any spots. Try to remove all grit and dirt before moving on to the next step. Otherwise, leftover dirt and grit are abrasive materials which could scratch the marble surface when mopping.
Prepare your cleaning solution
Pour 1 quart of hot distilled water into the bucket and add 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Mix it with a generous squirt of dishwashing liquid and stir to blend. Experts recommend using hot water to cut through grime and minimize the need for stronger cleaning agents that could harm marble.
For best results, use distilled water that is free of minerals and impurities. You can also use a commercial stone cleaner as an alternative, but carefully follow the instructions on your commercial cleaner to avoid damaging the marble tile. For every 1 gallon of water, we recommend adding 1-4 fluid ounces of marble cleaner to achieve the desired results.
Mop the marble floor
You can mop the marble floor using a soft cloth, soft-bristled scrub brush, nonabrasive sponge, or any other untreated mop. Dip the sponge or brush into the soapy water and gently (but thoroughly) scrub the floor in short, overlapping sweeps. Keep the mop clean during use by rinsing it in plain water.
Empty and refill the bucket the moment the water becomes dirty. Emptying and refilling the container is important because a dirty mop may contain sediment that can scratch the marble. Worse still, a dirty mop may create redundant streak marks on the marble floor.
If you prefer using a commercial stone cleaner, first wet the marble surface with plain water. Then, use a spray bottle to apply the cleaner onto the stone’s surface according to the manufacturer’s directions. Scrub the floor using a soft mop, wringing it out frequently to prevent the water puddles from forming on the floor.
On the same note, be sure to change out the dirty water with fresh as needed. After mopping, rinse the surface thoroughly with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth. It is very important to dry the marble floors after every cleaning or spot treatment session. The reason is that some marble is comprised of iron oxide, which may react with water on the surface leaving behind rust stains.
Remove stubborn stains
For oil-based stain (like grease or cosmetics) on your marble tile, we recommend using a soft liquid cleanser to remove it. A gentle household detergent is the perfect choice for fresh stains. For older and more stubborn stains, use ammonia or mineral spirits.
Dilute your favorite cleanser (ammonia or mineral spirits) with hot water, and then apply it to the affected spot with a soft cloth. Using a clean and damp cloth, wipe off the cleanser and dry the marble with a clean towel. You may also scrub the stain with a clean cloth dipped in the cleaning solution – but be gentle to avoid scratches.
Different stains require different treatment approaches. The most common culprit on white marble is organic material (such as coffee, tea, food, and fruit stains). The most effective cleanser that can completely banish such organic substances is hydrogen peroxide.
In a mixing bucket, add 12% hydrogen peroxide to a few drops of ammonia and pour a generous amount of the solution to cover the stain. Allow the solution 10-30 minutes to work on the stain then flush with plain water. You may also wipe off the hydrogen peroxide with a clean, damp cloth and dry the surface with a clean towel.
If etch marks are visible on the tile, wet the surface before applying marble polishing powder on it. Then, use a damp cloth to buff it onto the stone. Finally, allow your marble floor a few hours to fully dry.
Caution: Only use hydrogen peroxide to clean a light-colored marble tile as it can bleach dark marble tile. Also, while hydrogen peroxide is safe to mix with ammonia, avoid mixing it with other cleansers as a toxic reaction may occur.
Apply a poultice
For extra stubborn or overly old stains, you may need to get them off the marble tile with a poultice. This is a thick, paste-like cleanser whose potency can act on the most stubborn stains on marble floors. Before applying poultice, clean up and wet the affected area with distilled water.
Then, cover the area with approximately ¼ to ½ inch thick layer of poultice and secure the plastic wrap over the poultice to make it airtight. You might want to use the masking tape to secure the edges of the plastic wrap to ensure no air pockets are left in the poultice. Let it sit for 1-2 days under the plastic wrap so that it can penetrate the marble pores and banish the stain.
After about 48 hours, the poultice should have completely dried and hardened. Remove the masking tape and plastic wrap to expose the poultice. Moisten the hardened poultice with ¼ cup of water and remove it with a wooden or plastic spatula.Rinse the surface thoroughly with warm water and wipe away the liquid with a sponge or cloth. Poultice helps penetrate the pores of marble and pull out the most stubborn stains embedded into the tile. This technique has been used for decades as an effective stain removal method against marble stains. You can apply a commercial stone sealant to the marble floor to prevent future stains.
How to Keep Marble Floor Looking Brand New After Cleaning:
- Wipe up spills as soon as you spot them to avoid staining or discoloring the marble
- Cover the marble floors with rubber mats to protect them from stains, discoloration, and other damages
- Seal the marble floors with a specially formulated product after every 2-3 years to limit stains
- Clean the marble floors with a mild detergent at least once a week
- Use PH neutral cleansers or hot water and a mild detergent on marble bathroom floors to keep them beautifully clean and shiny
Knowing how to clean marble tile in bathroom is a perfect way to keep it looking good and durable. Our ultimate guide shows you exactly how to clean marble tile floors in bathroom and remove awful scuff marks the right way. These simple rules will certainly help you maintain the unique elegance and beauty of marble.