Mistakes To Avoid While Cleaning Terrazzo Floors
Terrazzo floors are made out of a combination of marble chips mixed with concrete. This style of floor became popular during the Venetian and Roman times as marble was often used for floors, furniture and sculptures. The stone masons would transport the scrap marble away and then use it, mixed with concrete, to create a different kind of marble floor that was polished with goat’s milk. Terrazzo floors, like marble, are not inexpensive and are relatively delicate and high maintenance. You will read below about the mistakes which you should avoid while cleaning the terrazzo floors.
Terrazzo Floors are Not Granite
Marble and granite are often confused as they look a lot alike. This same confusion is also often applied to terrazzo floors and granite. This is a huge mistake when you want to clean your terrazzo floors because, though similar or often lumped together, they are quite different. Terrazzo floors are much softer than granite. This means that terrazzo floors stain and wear more often than granite and cannot be cleaned in the same way.
Never Use Vinegar
Many people turn to using vinegar as a cleaner because it is an all-natural cleaner which is not toxic. Vinegar is great on most floors but should never be used on terrazzo floors. Vinegar is a very acidic product (which makes vinegar a great universal cleaner). The use of vinegar on terrazzo floors can cause dulling or etching of the surface which will be hard to bounce back from and would normally require a buffing and refinishing of the floor.
The KISS Method
In school they teach a method known as “keep it simple, student” which can easily be applied to cleaning terrazzo floors. There is a thin layer of wax on the floor which helps maintain the shine and with abrasive cleaning techniques you can remove this wax. The best way to clean a terrazzo floor is to use a dry and soft cloth that is lint-free. Wipe away the spill as there is no need to scrub, use water or other chemicals.
No Hard Scrubbing Materials Allowed
When there is a tough stain we are often found using harsh scrubbing pads like steel wool or hard pads to remove stains or scuff marks. Terrazzo floors are delicate in nature and will become much worse if you use any hard or rigid scrubbing materials. You will remove the wax sealer and most likely seriously scratch the surface of the terrazzo floor. The stiffest material you should ever use on your terrazzo floors is a sponge or a cloth. A great material to use is a chamois (shammy towel) as it not only dries your floor quickly but also polishes it at the same time.
A spill can happen nearly every day and you should not panic when it happens on your terrazzo floors. When a spill does occur you should clean the spill quickly to avoid staining or added surface wear.