Terrazzo floors are made by combining marble chips and natural stone chips using a cement binder. As such, terrazzo flooring has high maintenance requirements- just like marble. To maintain the shiny finish on your terrazzo surface, regular cleaning and periodic deep cleaning is necessary.
To clean it, prepare the floor, dust mop it to remove any dust build-up. Take a toothbrush and baking soda paste to get rid of any grout stains. Scrub and rinse with clean hot water. Wipe dry the floor with a soft cloth or microfiber pad.
If you’re looking for details on how to properly clean your terrazzo flooring, you’ve come to the right place. This blog guideline offers a step-by-step description of how to clean your terrazzo flooring- including how to deep clean terrazzo using a steam cleaner.
Does cleaning make terrazzo shine?
Yes, deep cleaning terrazzo floors at least biannually helps retain the high-gloss finish. It helps to get rid of the tiny dirt and soil particles lodged inside the deep pores of the cement part of the terrazzo. Regular cleaning by sweeping and mopping also helps maintain the shine on terrazzo floors by getting rid of surface-level dust, sand, and debris.
However, if the dirt has been left to build up over time, even a deep cleaning procedure may not fully restore the shine on your terrazzo surface. For such instances, we recommend staining, sealing, and polishing the surface after cleaning for a satiny finish.
See more on How to Stain Terrazzo Floors.
How to Clean Terrazzo Floors (steps)
Regular terrazzo cleaning involves sweeping and dry-mopping. Deep cleaning on other hand, entails scrubbing and wet-mopping terrazzo floors with a neutral commercial cleaner. You may also decide to hire a professional terrazzo cleaner to do the work for you.
Here’s an elaborate procedure for cleaning terrazzo flooring:
Step 1: Get rid of all loose dirt
Loose dirt particles that collect on the surface of the terrazzo can cause the surface to have a lackluster appearance.
To get rid of such surface-level dirt and debris, sweep the terrazzo floor using a broom-such as Swopt or get a dry mop. Daily sweeping is recommended as a regular terrazzo maintenance procedure.
See more on Best Dust Microfiber Mop
Step 2: Mop to eliminate dust build-up
The next step after sweeping is wet-mopping, which eliminates deep-lying dust particles on the terrazzo floor that have accumulated over time. The process involves mixing warm water with a terrazzo cleaning solution in a bucket.
It’s advisable to stick to such commercial terrazzo cleaners, as they’re usually neutral and won’t cause any permanent damage to your terrazzo surface. Avoid using acid or alkaline-based cleaners as they’ll cause surface etching on your terrazzo.
To clean the floor, dip your mop into the bucket containing the cleaning solution, then go over the entire floor. To avoid streaking your terrazzo floor, we recommend mopping over the floor in uniform strokes.
For a deeper cleanse, you should let the cleaning solution stay on the floor for about 20 minutes before rinsing. The warm water will easily penetrate the porous terrazzo grout to remove the deep-seated dust particles. You should then finish off the process by rinsing the floor- using only the mop and clean water this time to prevent sticky floors.
Read More on How to clean Sticky Floors after Mopping
Step 3: Get rid of grout stains
If the cement-based grout part of the terrazzo looks dull/discolored due to staining, you’ll need to remove the stains during cleaning. You can easily create a stain removal paste for terrazzo flooring by mixing baking soda with a little amount of water. You can then apply the paste onto the stained terrazzo surface using an old toothbrush.
For tougher grout stains, after working the paste into the grout using a toothbrush, allow the paste to sit on the terrazzo surface for about 15 minutes before rinsing. Alternatively, you can use an electric floor scrubber.
Step 4: Rinse the Terrazzo floor
It’s important to rinse the whole floor after wet-mopping and scrubbing it. Rinsing prevents the dirt particles from reabsorbing into the terrazzo through the pores in the cement-based grout.
We recommend rinsing using clean, hot water to prevent film buildup due to residue from the terrazzo cleaning agent and baking soda. Alternatively, you can use a wet vacuum to suck up all the residual water from the terrazzo surface.
Can you steam clean terrazzo floors?
Yes- you can steam clean your terrazzo floor to eliminate both deep-seated dirt and stains. Steam cleaning is not only a terrazzo cleaning method, but also a floor sanitization procedure. Before steam cleaning a terrazzo surface, you’ll need to prep the area by removing all furniture and sweeping away debris. After prepping the room, you can then set up and use the steam cleaner as detailed below:
Setting up the Steam Cleaner
Fill up your steam cleaner water container with at least two cups of water. Distilled water is preferable to tap water. You’ll want to avoid overfilling the container, as this will cause direct spillage on your terrazzo surface. Also, desist from filling up the water container with cleaning solutions, as these may clog up and cause permanent damage to the steam cleaner.
Use the Steam cleaning machine
Plugin Steam Cleaner to your mains and switch it on. Once the machine gives you the green light that it’s ready to use, press the steam release trigger to start cleaning the terrazzo surface. Meanwhile, slowly and uniformly pass the cleaner over the entire floor surface. You shouldn’t stop at any single spot for more than 15 seconds.
Once you’ve gone over the whole floor, press the steam-release trigger again to stop the release of steam. If there’s residue buildup at a certain spot after you’ve done cleaning, it could be that you stayed at that spot for a few seconds too long. To get rid of such residue, wipe the affected spot using a vinegar-drenched towel.
Can you use vinegar on terrazzo?
It’s not advisable to use vinegar on terrazzo as it causes etching and dulling of the surface. Terrazzo is made using a concrete binder which is porous. It’s this concrete part of the terrazzo that absorbs the acidic vinegar, causing staining and etching.
To clean a terrazzo surface without damaging it, we recommend using a pH-neutral cleaning agent such as Black Diamond Stoneworks Floor Cleaner instead.
Many new homeowners faced with the task of terrazzo maintenance for the first time often end up making terrazzo cleaning mistakes that cause permanent damage to their smooth and shiny flooring. Don’t let this be you!
Below are some tips on the mistakes you should avoid making when cleaning terrazzo surfaces:
- Don’t use abrasive equipment like steel wool or coarse scrubbing pads when cleaning terrazzo as they’ll cause etching.
- Don’t use granite floor cleaners on terrazzo, as these two types of flooring are not as similar as people assume them to be even if they look alike. Instead, go for a terrazzo floor cleaning solution.
- Avoid using Vinegar on your terrazzo floor. The acidic properties of vinegar will cause dulling or etching of the terrazzo floor surfaces.
- Always clean the accidental spills as soon as possible to avoid staining, discoloration or accelerating surface wear and tear.
Tip: Hiring a Professional–You may also hire a professional to clean and make your terrazzo floor shine.