Marble and limestone are both relatively soft calcium-based stones. This makes both marble and limestone susceptible to scratching, and at risk of etching by acidic or alkaline spills or chemicals.
Top tips for Cleaning Marble and Cleaning Limestone
With marble and limestone, it is particularly important that you do not use any cleaning products unless they clearly state that they are safe for use on marble. If it doesn’t say “can be used on marble”, don’t use it. Also avoid abrasive chemicals and cloths, which will scratch.
Slique recommends that all marble and limestone surfaces are protected: sealing marble or limestone with a Stain-Guarding treatment will limit stains; while polishing with a Barrier-Coat Polish can isolate marble or limestone from damage.
Cleaning Marble or Limestone – regular cleaning
- Vacuum / wipe
- Damp clean
- Spot clean (if necessary)
Vacuum or wipe the marble to remove loose dust and grit from the surface. Check your vacuum head edges and wheels to make sure there are no sharp pieces that could scratch the marble or limestone.
Clean using a microfibre mop or cloth dampened with warm water (no chemicals are necessary when using good-quality microfibre, as the fabric is 99.9% antibacterial which is a much better result than can be achieved with most cleaning chemicals available). The microfibre will ‘grab’ the surface and lift off most daily grime. Use some pressure to work the microfibre – floating it lightly on the surface will not be so productive!
Spot clean any spills, marks or stains using a neutral pH chemical such as Slique Cleansing Fluid. Do not use any chemical unless it clearly states “safe for use on marble and limestone”. Avoid highly acidic, highly alkaline, or abrasive chemicals. Read the label carefully, and test a small area first to make sure it is safe to use. DO NOT USE Ajax, Bam, Spray’n’Wipe, or scourer pads. After spot cleaning, rinse the surface lightly with clean water.
For floors, we recommend Slique Cleansing Fluid.
For benchtops, we recommend Benchtop Cleaner + Sealer.
DO NOT leave to dry naturally – dry using an old towel or a clean, dry mop.
Cleaning Marble or Limestone – intensive cleaning
Vacuum or wipe tiles to remove loose grit from the surface.
Scrub a small area (about 3-4 square metres) using a light solution of a cleaner safe for use on marble or limestone, such as Slique’s Heavy Duty tile cleaner. Your local tile shop will have something suitable for tile cleaning home use. Use a soft brush or broom to work the solution into the pores of the marble or limestone. Continue to complete small areas until the entire surface has been scrubbed.
Leave the solution to work for several minutes, then scrub again.
When the solution has lifted out the dirt, remove the liquid and dirt using an old towel or clean, dry mop.
Pour clean water over the surface to rinse.
DO NOT leave the surface to dry naturally. Use a clean cloth or mop to soak up any water.
Cleaning Marble Benchtops and Countertops in kitchens
- Immediately wipe up any spills from fruit juice, alcohol or food. These can etch the surface and leave unsightly marks.
- Wipe clean excess water on the surface. Dry the surface using a tea towel or cloth.
- When preparing food, protect the stone from all food and drink. Cut on chopping boards, NOT directly on the stone. Do not let juice or liquids from the chopping board drip into the stone.
- Avoid drips from dishwasher detergents and powders. Dishwashing liquid safe for use by hand to wash dishes are generally safe for marble and limestone, but dishwasher powders are not.
Cleaning Marble Bathroom Vanities
- Immediately wipe up any spills from cosmetics, mouthwash, toothpaste, soaps and shampoos etc. These can etch the surface and leave unsightly marks. Store all containers in a tray (glass or stainless steel) that will capture and spills or drips.
- Do not leave cleaning agents stored on the vanity.
- Do not leave toilet or shower cleaners stored in the bathroom within reach of guests or cleaners who may not be aware of the potential for damage. The presence of cleaning agents suggests they can be used to clean the benchtop!
Taking care of your Marble Shower
- If possible, use non-acidic shampoos, soaps and body washes.
- Every day after your shower, use the shower to rinse off any soap residues and then squeegee the marble dry.
- Immediately wipe up any spills from soaps and shampoos. These can etch the surface and leave unsightly marks.
- Store all containers in a tray (glass or stainless steel) that will capture and spills or drips.