Marble is a beautiful natural stone that is popular for both counter tops and flooring. Marble tiles are also very popular for walls in bathrooms and kitchens. Marble is not as hard as some people believe, it is prone to scratches and can even absorb many stains.
If you try to clean your marble with some type of commercial cleaner, read the label carefully. Some cleaners contain acids which will remove the polish off of the surface of your marble if it’s left sitting on the marble for long periods of time. Cleaners that are labeled non-streak that have a high alkaline content will also damage the finish.
The best way to clean marble is with a mild detergent that has a neutral pH level. Sweeping and vacuuming can take care of most of the every day cleaning needs of marble flooring. If you are going to try a commercial cleaner, try it in a hidden spot to make sure it’s not going to damage the tiles before applying it to the entire area.
Hard Water Deposits
If you have hard water and have marble kitchen counters, a marble bathroom vanity or tub, then eventually you’ll have to deal with hard water stains. Since harsh chemicals could just damage the marble, one of the best ways to remove the water scale is by using a straight edged razor blade. Just take your time and make sure to keep the blade flat against the marble when you’re scraping of the deposits.
If you’re not real confident in using a razor blade on your beautiful marble vanity, try buffing the spots with a real find grade steel wool. Ammonia will dull the finish on marble if used too much, but you can use a half cup of mild ammonia and a gallon of warm water and a soft brush to remove water stains.
To clean rust off of marble, you’ll need a commercial rust remover and some powdered whiting. Whiting is available at most paint and hardware stores. Make a paste combining the two and cover the stain with a thick layer. Use some plastic wrap to cover the paste and take it to the area to keep the moisture in the paste mixture. Let it set for around 15 minutes and the rinse the area with water and dry it with a clean towel. If the stain isn’t completely gone, repeat the process.
Coffee, tea and tobacco can all leave a unsightly brown stain on marble. Sometimes the stain can be removed simply by soaking it with a 20% solution of hydrogen peroxide. If not, make a paste with some of the whiting and peroxide. Cover the stain and then seal the spot with plastic wrap and tape it down. After around 24 hours you can check the spot to see if the stain is gone, if it’s not, leave the paste mixture in place for another 24 hours.
No matter how careful you are, from time to time you’re going to end up with a scratch on your marble, especially if it’s marble flooring. Start out Using a coarse grit sandpaper and work your way up to a 320 grit. Use moderate pressure sanding back and forth, to reduce the amount of friction, frequently sprinkle some water on the area. Once the scratch is gone, use from 400 to 600 grit sandpaper to smooth the area. Mix some water and rottenstone and rub the area with a felt pad, polish with a clean, soft cloth.
The oils found in lotions, hand creams and other items such as butter can leave stains on marble. If the stain is fresh, immediately cover it with a fine powder to absorb the oil. Whiting can be used, but corn starch will usually work just as well. Let the powder sit for awhile and then brush the area to remove it and apply more powder to the area.