Methods Of Cleaning Dirt On Marble

Procedure code:
Tacoma Union Station Courthouse/Tacoma, Wa - Gsa/Pbs
Last Modified:




    A.   This procedure includes guidance on cleaning honed and
         polished marble surfaces by machine buffing or using
         liquid cleaners or mild detergents.

    B.   Safety Precautions:  When working with chemicals, workers
         should wear protective clothing including goggles, face
         shields, gloves, etc. in compliance with governing
         federal safety codes and regulations.

    C.   See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
         reviewed along with this procedure.  These guidelines
         cover the following sections:

         1.   Safety Precautions

         2.   Historic Structures Precautions

         3.   Submittals

         4.   Quality Assurance

         5.   Delivery, Storage and Handling

         6.   Project/Site Conditions

         7.   Sequencing and Scheduling

         8.   General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)

         These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
         this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
         along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
         Preservation Officer (RHPO).


    A.   Mock-Ups:  Prior to start of general marble cleaning,
         prepare the following sample panels on building where
         directed by RHPO.  Obtain RHPO's acceptance of visual
         qualities before proceeding with the work.  Retain
         acceptable panels in undisturbed condition, suitably
         marked, during cleaning as a standard for judging
         completed work.

         1.   Demonstrate materials and methods to be used for
              each type of cleaning and resurfacing for each type
              of marble surface and condition on sample panels of
              approximately 10 sq. ft. in area.

         2.   Have manufacturer's representative present when the
              sample work is being done and when the sample work
              is being inspected for approval.

         3.   Test adjacent non-marble materials for possible
              reaction with cleaning materials.

         4.   Allow waiting period not less than 7 calendar days
              after completion of sample cleaning to permit study
              of sample panels for negative reactions.



    A.   BASF-Wyandotte Corporation
         Chemical Specialties Division
         1609 Biddle
         Wyandotte, MI  48192

    B.   ProSoCo, Inc.
         755 Minnesota Avenue
         P.O. Box 1578
         Kansas City, KS  66117
         800/255-4255 or 913/281-2700

    C.   Eastern Marble Supply Company
          P.O. Box 392
          Scotch Plains, NJ 07076


    A.   Liquid Marble Cleaner:  A water-soluble non-acidic
         chemical cleaner manufactured specifically for
         restorative type cleaning of polished and honed marble
         surfaces.  Cleaner shall contain no abrasives, grease,
         lye, or other caustic or corrosive ingredients, such as
         "Sure Klean Liquid Marble Cleaner" (ProSoCo, Inc.) or
         approved equal.


         Cleaning Detergent:  A mildly alkaline phosphorous-free
         biodegradable liquid soap.


         Household ammonia and distilled water

    B.   Cleaning Compound for Buffing a Honed Finish:  An
         abrasive cleaning compound, containing no caustic or
         harsh fillers, manufactured specifically for restorative
         type cleaning of honed marble surfaces such as "Wyandotte
         Detergent" (BASF-Wyandotte Corporation) or approved


         Polishing Agent for Buffing a Polished Finish:  A finely
         ground buffing powder manufactured specifically for
         restorative type polishing of polished marble surfaces,
         such as "Marbalite #52" (Eastern Marble Supply Company)
         or approved equal.

    C.   Clean, potable water


    A.   Buffing pads for Polished Finish:  Fiber brush pads
         manufactured specifically for restorative type polishing
         of polished marble surfaces


         Buffing Pads for Honed Finish:  Synthetic pads
         manufactured specifically for restorative type cleaning
         of honed marble surfaces

    B.   Soft natural bristle brushes (DO NOT USE WIRE BRUSHES OR
         STEEL WOOL)

    C.   Circular buffing machine (for floors)


         Hand-held buffing machine (for surfaces other than

    D.   Mop and bucket (non-metallic)

    E.   Sponges

    F.   Clean, dry cloths



    A.   Protection:  Prevent chemical cleaning and stain removal
         solutions from coming into contact with other surfaces
         which could be damaged by such contact.

    B.   Surface Preparation:  

         1.   Prior to cleaning, remove cellophane tape, masking
              tape, etc. from surface.


    NOTE:  Perform each cleaning method indicated in a manner
    which results in uniform coverage of all surfaces, including
    corners, moldings, interstices and which produces an even
    effect without streaking or damage to marble surfaces.  CLEAN

    A.   Cleaning Honed Marble:

         1.   Machine buff with a cleaning compound (see
              Materials, Section 2.02 B. above):

              a.   Thoroughly wet honed marble surface with hot

              b.   Sprinkle cleaning compound onto surface.

              c.   Buff surfaces using a large circular buffing
                   machine with a synthetic pad for floors or a
                   hand-held machine for other surfaces to lift
                   dirt build-up.

              d.   Treat edges and corners of surfaces not
                   accessible with the hand-held machine.

              e.   Thoroughly rinse surfaces with clean, clear
                   water to remove loosened dirt and standing
                   water.  Change rinse water frequently and
                   repeat rinsing as required to completely
                   remove water and dirt residue from surface.

              f.   Repeat process as to achieve the desired

              g.   Dry surfaces with clean, dry cloths or dry mop
                   floors after rinsing to prevent streaking.


         2.   Follow procedures in Section C. below.

    B.   Cleaning Polished Marble:

         1.   Machine buff with a polishing agent (see Materials,
              Section 2.02 B. above):

              a.   Mix polishing agent with water to create a
                   paste compound as recommended by manufacturer.

              b.   Apply paste mixture to surface and buff using
                   a hand-held machine with a fiber brush buffing
                   pad.  Treat areas of approximately 9 sq. ft.
                   at a time, first running the pad horizontally
                   and then vertically across surface.

              c.   Repeat process as necessary to achieve the
                   desired appearance.

              d.   Final polish by first wetting with clean water
                   followed by running a clean buffing pad across
                   the  surface until dry.


         2.   Follow procedures in Section C. below.

    C.   Cleaning Either Honed or Polished Marble:

         1.   Apply a liquid marble cleaner to the surface (see
              Materials, Section 2.02 A. above):

              a.   Apply cleaner to honed or polished marble
                   surface using a stiff bristle brush.

              b.   Allow cleaner to remain on surface for period
                   recommended by chemical cleaner manufacturer
                   taking care not to allow cleaning material to

              c.   Sponge rinse surface thoroughly using clean,
                   clear water to completely remove dirt and
                   cleaner residue.  Change rinse water

              d.   Repeat process as necessary to achieve the
                   desired level of cleanliness.

              e.   Wipe the surface with a clean, dry cloth to
                   prevent streaking.


         2.   Apply a mild detergent solution to the surface (see
              Materials, Section 2.02 A. above):

              a.   Mix mild detergent with warm water to create
                   cleaning solution -OR- mix 1 ounce soft soap,
                   1 quart warm distilled water and 1 ounce
                   household ammonia.

              b.   Thoroughly wet the honed or polished marble
                   surface with hot water.

              c.   Apply cleaning solution with a cloth, sponge
                   or soft-fibered brush.  Wash in small
                   overlapping areas.

              d.   Sponge rinse surface thoroughly using clean,
                   clear water to completely remove dirt and
                   cleaner residue.  Change rinse water

              e.   Wipe the surface dry with clean, soft cloths
                   to prevent streaking.

                         END OF SECTION
Last Reviewed 2012-02-24