How to Clean Terrazzo

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Terrazzo is an ancient flooring method which became popular again because caring for it is easier than other flooring types. This type of flooring is also less expensive than other similar types. Terrazzo flooring mixes marble chips with cement, which is then polished. The marble does not absorb stains, but the cement unfortunately does. It is important to ensure that any stains are removed quickly from a terrazzo floor. Other than caring for spills immediately, terrazzo requires only sweeping and regular mopping to maintain its luster.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom or dust mop
  • Bucket
  • pH neutral floor cleaner
  • Wet mop
  • Soft cloth or buffing mop
  • Sweep the terrazzo floor to remove any loose dirt or dust. You can also vacuum with a bare floor vacuum cleaner if one is available. Once the floor is wet, the dirt will be more difficult to remove.

  • Use a solution of plain water and a pH neutral floor cleaner to mop the floor. The pH scale refers to how alkaline or acidic a substance is. Acidic and alkaline cleaners will each harm both the marble and the cement portions of the terrazzo. Vinegar for example is highly acidic and should not be used, even diluted with water. Neutral floor cleaners are available wherever you purchase cleaning supplies, but be sure to read the label careful to ensure that it is indeed a pH neutral cleaner. Allow the water to sit on the terrazzo for several minutes to ensure it dissolves all of the ground in dirt. This requires the floor to be very wet so that the surface does not dry before you are ready to rinse the dirt away.

  • Rinse the terrazzo floor with clean water. This may require several rinses to remove all of the dirt from the floor, so be prepared to empty and refill your bucket with fresh water.

  • Buff the terrazzo floor when dry with a soft cloth or a buffing mop to restore the shine. You can also use a mechanical buffer if you have one, but it is not necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid using oil-based cleaners as they will stain the cement.
  • Test new cleaners in an inconspicuous location before using them for the first time.
  • Wipe up spills immediately so they do not stain your terrazzo.
  • Clean your terrazzo flooring regularly.
  • Keep all cleaning solutions out of eyes and away from children and pets.

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