How to Clean Marble Floors: A Step by Step Guide

Harold K. Hardesty
Harold is a Flooring Specialist at TheHouseWire, educating people on the flooring by writing guides about the topic. He is a well-seasoned flooring specialist with experience in the industry for nine years.
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Updated April 27, 2023

Get Your Marble Shining Like A Work Of Art!

Get Your Marble Shining Like A Work Of Art!

How to clean marble floors

Marble floors add an elegant touch to any floor. From bathroom floor to kitchen countertops, granite of marble surfaces are extremely durable. 

They need however good care and regular cleaning to keep them looking good. 

Here we’ll walk you through how to clean marble floors with just a few household cleaning items, such as a bucket and mop. And we’ll explain how to remove stains and polish marble.

How Often To Clean Your Marble Floor

According to the Marble Institute of America, the best way to maintain your marble floors is to dust mop frequently.

But how often is “frequently”? Well, it depends on how much traffic you have moving through that room.

So, here are some guidelines:

  • High traffic areas: If there are lots of people walking or you have pets, you should vacuum or dust mop daily. In addition, you should use a wet mop once a week.
  • Medium traffic areas: With this level of traffic, you only need to use your vacuum or dust mop two days a week. And then use your wet mop once every two weeks.
  • Low traffic areas: In these areas, just dry mop one day a week and wet mop once a month.

What You’ll Need

General Cleaning


Stain Removal


01 Sweep or Vacuum

First, remove all the dust and dirt from your marble floors to prevent scratching. Dirt particles are abrasive, and they are the most damaging thing for natural stone marble flooring.

For this step, the best tools are a clean, dry mop or a vacuum cleaner. But you can also use a soft-bristled broom if you prefer.

If you use a vacuum cleaner, make sure that the appliance is in good shape. If parts are worn, the wheels or attachments could scratch your marble floors.

02 Remove Stains & Spills Immediately

The best way to remove stains is to tackle them immediately. Since marble is a porous stone, spills on the floor can soak into the marble the longer they stay on it.

As well, when cleaning marble floors, you should always blot instead of wiping. If you wipe, you can spread the stain.

Once you’ve gotten most of the spill off your marble floors, you should wash the area with a very dilute solution of mild soap and water. Then, rinse the soap off with more clean water.

And you can complete this process several times if necessary to get your marble floors clean.

Finally, use a soft cloth to dry the spot.

Specific Stains

If you can still see the mark, try one of these methods for common tough stains:

  • Oil-based stains: Oily stains come from things such as cooking fat, tar, cosmetics, or grease. To get rid of these, try using a household detergent, liquid cleanser, acetone, ammonia, or mineral spirits.
  • Organic stains: This kind of stain includes things like food, tea, coffee, leaves, bark, tobacco, or bird poop. For these, mix a few drops of ammonia into 12% hydrogen peroxide, and clean the spot with that.
  • Biological stains: Biological stains are from living things, such as moss, mildew, algae, lichen, or fungi. To get rid of these spots, make a cleaning solution of a gallon of water plus ½ cup of ammonia, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. (And never mix your chemicals, particularly ammonia and bleach!)
  • Ink stains: If you have light colored marble, use hydrogen peroxide or bleach to clean your floors. And if you have darker stone, use rubbing alcohol, acetone, or lacquer thinner.


If you prefer, you can make a poultice. This involves mixing your chosen chemical with an absorbent compound.

A poultice is a great solution because it will help pull the stain out of the stone, rather than allowing the chemical to penetrate.

So, to do this, choose an absorbent and mix in your chemical. Then spread a thick layer of the poultice over the stone.

Next, cover the spot with a piece of cling film, and make a few air holes in the top. And let it sit for 24 hours so that the mixture can dry out – and work its magic.

When it’s dry, use a plastic scraper to remove the poultice. Then, wash the area with a neutral cleaner, like dish soap.

Finally, use a soft cloth to wipe the stone dry.

03 Wash the Floor

To keep your beautiful marble floors in great condition, you should wash them every so often.

For this, just use plain water and a pH neutral (7) cleaner.

If you can, use a cleanser that doesn’t contain soap. This will help prevent films or streaks.

However, you can use mild dishwashing soap that’s phosphate-free or a stone soap if you want. But you’ll need to make sure you rinse it off thoroughly.

As well, always test your cleaner in an inconspicuous area to make sure that it won’t affect your floor.

Next, when choosing a mop, the best option is a soft mop with a microfiber cloth head. You can also use a cotton string mop, but it won’t work quite as well.

And we don’t recommend using a sponge mop because they’re not good on stone.

To mop, first use clean water to moisten the marble. Then dilute the cleaner according to the label.

Apply the solution or soapy water. And use a circular motion with overlapping strokes to clean the surface.

And if it’s vertical, such as a bathroom wall, start from the bottom and move upwards.

04 Rinse and Dry

Next, use plain water to rinse off your marble floors. And make sure you get all of the soap or chemical residue off.

For this, you should change your rinse water often so that you’re not just spreading the cleaner around.

Then for drying marble floors, use a soft cloth to remove as much water as possible. Don’t leave any standing water. This will create watermarks or rust stains. Finally, let the area air dry.

05 Polish

If you see little etch marks, scratches, or spots on your marble floors, you may want to polish them. Polishing will also give you a glossy finish.

To do this, put some water on the spot. And then sprinkle marble polishing powder on top.

Using a damp cloth, rub the powder into the marble. Or, if you have a polisher or drill with a buffing pad, you can use that.

Keep working until you see a beautiful shine on your clean marble. But if you have a lot of very deep etch marks, you may need to hone the surface.

How To Keep Marble Floors in Top Shape


Stay Away From Acids

Never use an acid (such as lemon juice or white vinegar) on your marble. And this includes any type of commercial acidic cleaner, too.

Marble is made mostly of calcium carbonate, and acids will start to dissolve this material.

In general, only use products that say they are specifically made to clean marble. For instance, don’t use glass cleaner.

As well, stay away from abrasive or harsh cleaners, like a soft or dry cleaner.


Don’t Add Coatings

And while it may be tempting to use a DIY wax or coating on your marble floors, it’s not a good idea.

Those substances look really good at the beginning. But over time you can see scratches and dull spots.

And they’ll even attract dust and dirt like a magnet, making your floors look bad.


Avoid Steam Cleaning

In addition, never use a steam cleaner on your floors. The high temperature of the steam makes the marble expand, and when it cools, it will contract.

These changes in the stone can cause cracks, spalling, or damage your sealant.


Consider a Sealant

One way to protect your floors is to add a marble sealer. But check with the manufacturer of your marble floor first, to see if it’s a good idea.

In some cases, a sealant can protect the stone from everyday wear and tear. But in others, it can change the look of the floor and even make the stone less durable.


Remove Standing Water

If there’s snow, ice, or pooling water on your floor, try to remove it as soon as possible. These can make your floor really slippery and dangerous.

So keep your mop or shovel nearby during bad weather!


Use Rugs or Mats

Put a mat or small rug at your entryway to help collect grit, dirt, and dust. This will help keep these particles outside, so they won’t scratch the surface of your floor.

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