Rubbing alcohol has many uses around the house but with marble being somewhat delicate, can you use rubbing alcohol on your marble floor, wall, or countertop? In this article, I’m going to share with you my research on what using rubbing alcohol can do for your marble.
So can you use rubbing alcohol on marble? Rubbing alcohol is excellent for use on marble surfaces because rubbing alcohol is non-abrasive and has a balanced pH value that makes it safe for use on marble. You can use rubbing alcohol to clean your marble surfaces, disinfect them, and deodorize them without causing any damage to your marble.
To learn more about using rubbing alcohol on your marble surfaces, keep reading this article.
1. Rubbing Alcohol Is Non-Abrasive
There is a lot of liquids that may look safe for cleaning things around the house but can be very abrasive. Although these substances may be liquid they may be abrasive due to them being acidic or having particles that could damage marble surfaces when used on them.
While abrasive cleaners remove the need for “elbow grease”, they are not necessary and suitable when it comes to natural stone surfaces like marble.
Rubbing alcohol is a great example of a non-abrasive substance you can use on your marble or granite any time of the day without damaging the surface of your natural stone.
2. pH Balance Neutral
Another important thing to consider when choosing things to use on your marble, granite, or other natural stone surface is the pH value of that particular substance.
The pH scale measures how acidic or basic (alkaline) a substance is. The pH scale usually ranges from very acidic (0), to very alkaline (14).
So substances with a pH value of 7 are neutral and are classified as suitable for use on natural stones like marble and granite.
However, pH values between 6-8 are mildly acidic and slightly alkaline and may also be considered appropriate for use.
Generally, water will have a pH-neutral balance and is generally considered one of the safest things you can use on your marble and natural stones.
A pH-balanced or neutral substance means that the substance is not acidic or alkaline. pH-balanced substances usually do not change both the physical appearance and the structural integrity of the items they are applied on. These sorts of substances are often safe for natural stone surfaces like marble.
Generally, the pH value for rubbing alcohol will vary depending on the dilution factor or the particular brand of the rubbing alcohol. That is, rubbing alcohol can be either slightly acidic, alkaline, or neutral.
The pH of rubbing alcohol is usually between 6 and 8 making it safe for use on natural stones like marble and granite.
3. Alcohol Is An Excellent Cleaner And Disinfectant
One of the best things rubbing alcohol is generally known for and often used for is disinfecting things. Indeed rubbing alcohol is an excellent disinfecting agent and it is very safe for use on marbles because it will not etch, stain, or remove the seal on the surface of your marble.
While etch marks and stains are among the most dreaded damages that could happen on marble, another thing you wouldn’t want happening to your marble is its seal coming off.
Because some rubbing alcohol sometimes may come mildly acidic, most people worry about tearing down the protective seal on their natural stone surfaces.
However, you do not need to worry! Marble seals are usually very solid and can withstand rubbing alcohol application.
Even if you’re unsure about the seal on your marble surface (as in, if a seal has not been put on your marble surface for some time) and you still would want to disinfect your marble surfaces anyway, you can simply dilute equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol, spray it on the marble surface, leave it for about five minutes, rinse it off, and then dry it with a clean microfiber cloth.
There are several ways of making use of rubbing alcohol to disinfect marble and other natural stone surfaces. The way I personally do it is by using soapy water together with rubbing alcohol. Here’s how I go about disinfecting my marble using rubbing alcohol;
- Rubbing Alcohol or Isopropyl alcohol
- Warm water
- Mild or gentle dish soap
- Spray Bottle
- Clean microfiber cloth or terrycloth towel
Make a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Add 2-3 drops of mild dish soap into the warm water.
Dampen your microfiber cloth with warm soapy water and wring it out. Now begin to wipe down the surface of the marble.
This will help to remove any dirt, debris, spills, or crumbs from the surface of your marbles.
To avoid streaks on your marble, use a dry microfiber cloth to dry and buff the surface of the marble as thoroughly as possible after cleaning.
Now that the surface of your marble is prepared, disinfect using rubbing alcohol.
My go-to rubbing alcohol are those 70% isophrophl alcohol that comes in a spray bottle.
I disinfect my marble by squirting the rubbing alcohol onto the surface and then leave the rubbing alcohol to sit on the surface of your marble for about 5 minutes.
Now use clean water to rinse the surface of the marble and then use a dry clean microfiber cloth to dry and buff the marble surface.
Because rubbing alcohol is generally safe for marbles, I disinfect my marbles from time to time using this exact method and have never had any adverse issues.
While most of the antibacterial soaps on the market will work great, if you would want to effectively disinfect your marble surfaces against germs and viruses like COVID-19, then using isopropyl or rubbing alcohol with mild dish soap will come in handy.
In addition to effectively disinfecting your marble surfaces, rubbing alcohol is an excellent disinfecting agent that will not etch, stain, or cause any damage to your marble countertops, floors, or walls.
Plus it is a very simple and affordable solution that is super easy on the environment when compared to other abrasive cleaning chemicals that cause serious damages to natural stone surfaces.
4. Rubbing Alcohol Is Great For Deodorizing Marbles
There are many things around the house that can be used to remove bad odor from various places around the house like vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and rubbing alcohol.
Among the above mentioned, baking soda and rubbing alcohol are the safest deodorizers for your natural stone surfaces like marble.
While the best way of keeping your marble surfaces void of any smells is by keeping them clean, using rubbing alcohol on your marble surfaces from time to time is a great way to maintain a nice smelling surface.
This is because rubbing alcohol is good for killing odor-causing bacteria on the surface of marble and other natural stone surfaces.
Marble like most natural stones are highly porous so it tend to absorb whatever it comes into contact with including liquids and smells.
When you use rubbing alcohol on your marble, it can quickly go into the pores of your marble (especially if not sealed) and within a few minutes evaporate taking with it any funky smells that might have been lingering on your marble.
You can deodorize your marble surface by simply squirting a few drops of rubbing alcohol over the surface of your marble and then wiping it off with a dry clean cloth.
You can even make it a lot more effective by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil into a spray bottle with the rubbing alcohol and you will have the best smelling natural stone surface.
Cons Of Using Rubbing On Marble Or Natural Stone Surfaces
Generally, using rubbing alcohol is safe and does no harm to the marble, granite, or natural stone. However, a lot of the downsides to using rubbing alcohol on your marble will have to do with it’s effects on you as a user.
So here are a few caveats to using rubbing alcohol. It is important to add that these downsides can be easily taken care of if the right safety precautions are taken into consideration.
1. Rubbing Alcohol Is Toxic When Ingested
The issue of rubbing alcohol being toxic when ingested is something that needs to be taken a lot more seriously in my opinion. Rubbing alcohol is nothing like hydrogen peroxide which small amounts when ingested, will not cause harm.
According to the National Capital Poison Center, even small amounts of rubbing alcohol can be very toxic when ingested.
So you would want to make sure that anytime you use rubbing alcohol to clean or disinfect your marble countertops, walls, or floors, you would want to use clean water to rinse it out to remove any rubbing alcohol residue.
This will help to keep your kids and pets safe from being poisoned. Also, you would want to keep rubbing alcohol out of children and pets’ reach when not in use since it can be easily be mistaken for water.
2. Rubbing Alcohol Has Strong Smell
While most people and pets absolutely hate the smell of rubbing alcohol, others generally do not mind the smell. Well just so that everyone is comfortable within your space, you would want to make sure the place you’re applying the rubbing alcohol is well ventilated.
This is because rubbing alcohol evaporates very quickly and will sometimes create potentially harmful fumes when it gets into contact with the marble.
So make sure to open all windows and doors as much as you can when using rubbing alcohol to clean or disinfecting your marble surfaces.
3. Rubbing Alcohol Is Flammable
Rubbing alcohol is highly flammable due to its alcohol content. One of the common places you will often have natural stone installations such as marble and granite will be the fireplace, kitchen, and some window sills.
If you would want to use rubbing alcohol around these spots, you need to make sure the fireplace is not lit or has lit candles. The same goes for the kitchen. Mixing rubbing alcohol and fire is definitely not a good idea and you need to take a lot of precautions.
Important Things To Know Before Applying Rubbing Alcohol On Marble
1. Make sure your marble surface has been sealed before applying rubbing alcohol.
Marble like most other natural stones is very porous and the fact that rubbing alcohol is safe for it doesn’t mean you would want the rubbing alcohol to seep into the marble whenever you use it. You need to test your marble surface to see if it is indeed sealed or not.
You can put a drop of water on the surface of the marble to see if the water gets soaked into the marble. If it does, then the marble surface may have not been sealed or the seal initially put on has worn out.
But If the water droplet beads up after a few minutes, then you have a well-sealed marble surface.
2. Use Non-Abrasive Sponges or Applicators
By now we all know marble does not fare well with harsh cleaners with very high or very low pH levels. In the same way, you also do not want to use abrasive sponges to scrub or wipe the surface of your marble.
What you should be using is either a lint-free towel, washcloths, kitchen cloths, or microfiber cloths for your day-to-day cleaning routines on your marble or natural stone surfaces.