A marble fireplace is a beautiful centrepiece that will quickly bring elegance and beauty to any home.
Unfortunately, the build-up of dirt, soot, and grime that occurs with use will soon diminish its shine unless a regular cleaning schedule is used.
You have to be extremely careful not to cause any damage to the stone when cleaning marble. Thankfully, this is straightforward with a little knowledge and the right cleaning techniques.
In this article, we will guide you through how to clean a marble fireplace using simple techniques that anyone can follow.
We’ll provide everything you need to keep it in top condition for years to come!
What Is the Safest Way to Clean a Marble Fireplace?
Marble is a beautiful material for a fireplace, but it is known for absorbing dust, dirt, and debris. If not cleaned regularly, this can permanently stain the marble and ruin your fireplace’s appearance.
It can seem daunting to clean a fireplace, but the process is very straightforward.
However, the best way to clean a marble one will vary depending on whether you are giving the stone a general clean or targeting a specific problem. All the information you need for both tasks can be found below.
General Cleaning for Marble Fireplaces
To keep a marble fireplace in top condition, you must do regular maintenance cleans. During the colder months, this is best done once a month. However, you can leave a bigger gap between cleans during the summer as the fireplace won’t be used as frequently.
Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to give your fireplace a general maintenance clean.
1. Prepare the area
When cleaning a fireplace, it’s not uncommon for loose dust and debris to transfer to any surrounding floors or pieces of furniture. This will make your cleaning job much more challenging, so preparing your workspace before you begin is a good idea.
The best way to protect your floors and furniture is to cover them with old towels or drop cloths so that any loose particles can’t come into contact with them.
It’s also a good idea to open your windows and doors while working so that you have some airflow through the room.
2. Remove dust and dirt
Once your workspace is properly prepared, you can start cleaning your marble fireplace. The first step in doing this is to remove as much of the accumulated surface-level dust and debris as possible. This will allow you to better clean the marble underneath.
We suggest wiping down the marble surfaces with a soft cloth or feather duster to loosen up as much accumulated dirt as possible. This can then be collected in a dustpan or vacuumed up.
3. Wipe down the marble
Now that all the surface-level debris has been removed from your fireplace, any remaining dirt or soot stains can be lifted using soapy water. If left for too long, these stubborn stains could cause permanent damage to the marble, so it is a good idea to target them immediately.
Simply combine equal parts washing up liquid and water to create a soapy solution, and then use a microfibre cloth or a soft toothbrush to work the cleaner into the stain. We highly recommend that you rinse your cloth throughout the cleaning process to remove any grime.
4. Apply a stronger cleaning solution (if needed)
If the stains on your fireplace won’t come off with soapy water, you should go in with a slightly stronger cleaner.
Apply this cleaner to the dirty parts of your fireplace using a soft sponge or a microfibre cloth until the surface has come clean.
Take care not to use an abrasive scrubber, which may cause scratches in the marble and ruin its elegant appearance.
5. Rinse and dry the fireplace
Once your fireplace is completely clean, it’s important that you rinse away any residue left behind from cleaning products.
Although the products mentioned are safe to use on marble, they may leave a sticky residue or cause the stone to deteriorate if left to sit for long periods.
To rinse your fireplace, run a clean, damp cloth over the marble surface until you are sure any residue has been removed.
Then dry the surface using a microfibre cloth. This will prevent any water marks from forming on the marble once the water has evaporated.
How to Remove Burn Marks from Marble
Over time, it is not unusual for a fireplace to develop smoke burns. Unfortunately, these will not come off using the cleaning method provided above—you need to treat the marks using a poultice.
To create this poultice, mix one part washing up liquid and two parts bicarbonate of soda to make a cleaning paste. This can then be applied to the burn marks in a thick, even layer and left for 24 hours.
After this time, use a microfibre cloth to remove the paste and see if the stains have disappeared. If they’re still visible, repeat the process until they have completely gone.
Removing Scratches from Marble Fireplaces
Marble is a very soft stone, and as such, it is easily scratched. Fortunately, it is possible to remove these scratches so that they no longer mar the surface of your fireplace.
There are two different ways of doing this, depending on how deep the scratches are:
- Light scratches: To remove light scratches from a marble surface, you can try to buff them out using a damp microfibre cloth. You may have to apply some pressure to the stone, but ensure you don’t scrub too hard, as this could further damage the surface. Once the scratch has faded, grab a new cloth and quickly dry off the surface.
- Deep scratches: If the scratches are fairly deep, your best bet is to buy a commercial marble polish. We highly recommend Antiquax Marble Wax, as its thick texture makes it ideal for filling in scratches. Gently apply it to the affected area with a soft cloth and use a circular buffing motion to slowly remove the etching.
How Do You Care for a Marble Fireplace?
Marble fireplaces can be hard to maintain when not cared for properly. Aside from regular cleaning, it is a good idea to follow the below care tips:
- Clean spills immediately: Marble is a highly porous stone, meaning it absorbs substances quickly. To avoid any stains on your fireplace, it is essential to soak up any spillages as soon as they occur, as this will give the liquid less time to sink into the marble.
- Use a sealant: Sealing a marble fireplace is a great way to protect it from damage and stains. Always follow the product instructions when applying a sealant to your fireplace, or contact a professional to do it for you.
- Spot test new products: Before using a new cleaner or sealant on your fireplace, doing a spot test on an inconspicuous part of the marble is a good idea. Apply the product as directed and avoid using it on the rest of your fireplace if discolouration or etching occurs.
- Avoid harsh cleaners: Harsh cleaners like bleach should never be used when cleaning marble. The chemicals in these products cause irreversible damage to your fireplace, even if it has been sealed. This includes discolouration, dulling, etching, and pitting of the surface.
Hannah is a freelance content writer with a passion for cleaning. She worked her way around Australia by cleaning hostels in exchange for free accommodation and used her cleaning skills to bag her a job as a chalet host for a luxury ski company in France.