How to Polish Marble

Three pears on a marble counter
What You'll Need
Gentle cleaner
Ground chalk or marble polisher
Diamond polishing pads or a micro-fiber cloth

Marble is a soft, porous stone, causing it to be prone to staining.You should polish marble every couple of weeks or monthly to keep it sparkling clear and shining. After cleaning, polishing will remove any residue and restore the marble to mint condition. Follow these instructions for polishing either with natural products or with a manufactured marble polisher.

Marble Maintenance Tips

Never use abrasives, like steel wool, on marble. They are harsh and can damage the surface. Also never use cleaners with acidic ingredients or bleach. Clean up spills immediately, especially from vinegar, tomato products, lemon, and coffee.

Step 1 - Choose Cleaning and Polishing Products

marble floor with inlay

Always clean marble before polishing with a gentle or organic cleaner. Cleaners manufactured specifically for marble can be purchased; however, a couple tablespoons of baking soda per quart of water or dishwashing liquid works well also. Polishers specifically made for marble can also be obtained; avoid polishes with acrylic or polyurethane finishes. There are also products made for specific colors of marble. Read the labels carefully before purchasing a manufactured polish. An inexpensive alternative to manufactured polishes is chalk, which should be ground into a powder before applying.

Step 2 - Wash before Polishing

Clean before polishing with your preferred cleaner, allowing the floor to air dry for a couple of hours before beginning to polish.

Step 3 - Begin from the Middle

marble flooring and light grey wall

Whether using chalk or a chemical polish, start from the middle. If using chalk, dampen a micro-fiber cloth then dip into powdered chalk. If using a chemical polish, place a dime-sized amount onto the middle of the floor to start with.

Step 4 - Buff in Circles

Using a cloth or polishing pad, buff in circles. Move slowly to the right, then the left. Come back to the middle, working your way up then down. If you are cleaning a large room, work this way in small sections. Add more polish or chalk as necessary.

Step 5 - Allow to Dry

If using a chemical polish, marble should be beautifully clear after it air dries. If not repeat polishing several times. If using chalk, after several hours of air drying, wipe the marble down with a damp, clean cloth. Then, go over again with a dry cloth. After removing any chalk residue, the marble should be clean, clear and sparkling.