How to Clean Marley Floors: A Complete Guide for Dance Studios

How to Clean Marley Floors

Marley floors are a popular choice for dance studios due to their durability and versatility. However, to ensure the longevity and safety of these vinyl dance floor surfaces, proper cleaning and maintenance are essential. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning Marley floors, from daily maintenance routines to deep cleaning techniques. Whether you’re a dance studio owner or a dancer looking to maintain your home practice space, these tips will help you keep your Marley floors in pristine condition.

Understanding Marley Floors

What are Marley floors?

Marley floors are vinyl dance floors that are often used in professional dance studios and performance spaces. They are named after the Marley Company, which first introduced this type of flooring.

How to Clean Marley Floors

Marley floors offer a smooth, non-slip surface that is suitable for various dance styles, including ballet, contemporary dance, and jazz. These floors are made from high-quality vinyl that provides the right amount of traction for dancers while allowing for smooth movements and turns.

Benefits of Marley floors for dance studios

Marley floors offer several advantages for dance studios. Firstly, their smooth and resilient surface allows dancers to perform intricate footwork with ease. The non-slip properties of Marley floors help prevent accidents and injuries, making them a safe choice for dancers of all levels. Additionally, Marley floors are durable and can withstand the demands of daily dance rehearsals and performances. They are also easy to clean and maintain, which helps to keep the dance studio environment hygienic and professional-looking.

Daily Maintenance for Marley Floors

Sweeping and dry mopping

To keep your Marley floors in optimal condition, it’s important to establish a daily maintenance routine. Start by sweeping the floor with a soft-bristled broom to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris. This step is crucial as it prevents the dirt from scratching the floor’s surface during the cleaning process. After sweeping, use a non-abrasive dry mop or microfiber cloth to pick up any remaining particles and leave the floor clean and free of dust.

Removing scuff marks

Scuff marks are a common issue on Marley floors, especially in high-traffic areas. To remove scuff marks, you can use a non-abrasive cloth or tennis ball and gently rub the mark until it disappears. If the scuff mark persists, dampen a cloth with a diluted floor cleaner and try again. For larger areas with multiple scuff marks, using a microfiber mop can make the process more efficient.

Avoiding excessive wet mopping

While wet mopping is necessary to maintain the cleanliness of your Marley floor, excessive wet mopping can potentially damage the floor’s surface over time. It’s best to wet mop your Marley floor every two to three days, depending on its usage. Use a mild detergent degreaser specifically designed for dance floors and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct dilution ratio. Wet mop the entire floor evenly and allow it to air dry before allowing any foot traffic.

Weekly Cleaning Routine

Wet mopping with dance floor cleaner

In addition to daily maintenance, a weekly wet mopping routine is essential to remove any stuck-on dirt, oils, sweat, lotions, or other residues. If your Marley floor is heavily used, you should wet mop it two to three times a week. For lightly used floors, wet mopping once a week is sufficient. Prepare a solution of dance floor cleaner and warm water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Using a mop, apply the solution evenly to the floor, working in small sections. Avoid saturating the floor with excess liquid, as this can damage the vinyl surface. After mopping, allow the floor to air dry completely before resuming any dance activities.

Removing stubborn stains

Occasionally, your Marley floor may develop stubborn stains that cannot be removed with regular cleaning. To tackle these stains, use a specialized stain remover or a diluted solution of floor cleaner specifically formulated for Marley floors. Apply the solution to the stained area and gently scrub with a non-abrasive brush or cloth. Rinse the area with clean water and dry it thoroughly. It’s important to address stains as soon as possible to prevent them from setting into the vinyl surface.

Drying the floor properly

Proper drying is a crucial step in the cleaning process to maintain the quality and appearance of your Marley floor. After wet mopping or spot cleaning, ensure that the floor is completely dry before allowing any foot traffic. Excess moisture can seep into the seams of the Marley floor and cause damage over time. To expedite the drying process, use fans or natural ventilation to circulate air in the dance studio. Avoid using excessive heat or direct sunlight, as this can potentially warp or discolor the vinyl surface.

Deep Cleaning Marley Floors

Frequency of deep cleaning

In addition to regular maintenance, deep cleaning your Marley floors at least twice a year is recommended to remove any built-up grime and restore the floor’s original luster. The frequency of deep cleaning may vary depending on the usage and condition of the floor. If your dance studio experiences heavy foot traffic or if you notice a significant decrease in the floor’s quality, more frequent deep cleaning may be necessary.

Renting an automatic floor scrubber

Deep cleaning Marley floors involves using an automatic floor scrubber. Renting a suitable floor scrubber from a reputable cleaning equipment rental company is an efficient way to tackle this task. Before using the floor scrubber, ensure that the machine is compatible with Marley floors and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for operation. The floor scrubber will help remove dirt and grime from the floor’s surface, leaving it clean and rejuvenated.

Using a heavy-duty floor cleaner

To deep clean your Marley floors, use a heavy-duty floor cleaner or a professional-grade cleaning solution specifically designed for vinyl dance floors. These cleaners are formulated to remove stubborn stains, dirt, and residue without damaging the vinyl surface. Dilute the cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it to the floor using the automatic floor scrubber. After scrubbing the entire floor, rinse it thoroughly with clean water and allow it to dry completely before resuming dance activities.

Cleaning Tips for Specific Dance Styles


Ballet dancers often wear soft ballet shoes or pointe shoes, which can leave residue on the Marley floor. To clean ballet shoe marks, use a non-abrasive cloth or tennis ball to gently rub the marks. If the marks persist, use a diluted floor cleaner or specialized stain remover and gently scrub the affected area. Regularly removing ballet shoe marks will help maintain the cleanliness and appearance of your Marley floor.

Tap dance

Tap shoes can leave scuff marks or residue on Marley floors due to their metal taps. To remove tap shoe marks, follow the same process as removing scuff marks. Use a non-abrasive cloth or tennis ball to rub the marks gently. If necessary, use a diluted floor cleaner or stain remover to tackle stubborn marks. Regularly cleaning tap shoe marks will prevent them from accumulating and affecting the floor’s surface.

Contemporary dance

Contemporary dance often involves floor work, which can leave sweat and oils on the Marley floor. To clean sweat and oil residue, use a diluted floor cleaner and mop the affected area. Make sure to rinse the area thoroughly with clean water and dry it completely. Regular cleaning of sweat and oil residue will help maintain the grip and safety of your Marley floor.

Best Practices for Marley Dance Floors

Implementing a “shoes off” policy

To minimize dirt and debris on your Marley floor, consider implementing a “shoes off” policy in your dance studio. Encourage dancers to remove their street shoes before entering the dance area to prevent outdoor contaminants from being tracked onto the floor. Providing designated areas for dancers to store their shoes will help maintain the cleanliness of the dance studio and the Marley floor.

Using high-quality dance shoes

Using high-quality dance shoes is crucial for preserving the integrity of your Marley floor. Different dance styles require specific types of shoes, such as ballet slippers, tap shoes, or jazz shoes. Ensure that dancers are wearing appropriate dance shoes that are clean and in good condition. Inspect the soles of the shoes regularly, as worn-out or damaged soles can leave marks or residue on the Marley floor.

Avoiding food and drinks on the floor

To prevent spills and stains on your Marley floor, it’s important to establish a policy against consuming food and drinks in the dance area. Remind dancers to finish their snacks or drinks outside the dance studio to minimize the risk of accidental spills. This practice not only helps maintain the cleanliness of the Marley floor but also ensures a safe and hygienic environment for dance rehearsals and performances.

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Maintaining the Subfloor

Importance of a properly maintained subfloor

The subfloor plays a crucial role in the overall quality and performance of your Marley floor. It provides stability, shock absorption, and evenness to the dance surface. Regularly inspect the subfloor for any signs of damage or unevenness. Addressing subfloor issues promptly will prevent them from affecting the durability and longevity of your Marley floor.

Checking for any damage or unevenness

Inspect the subfloor for any visible damage, such as cracks, warping, or moisture issues. These issues can compromise the stability and integrity of the Marley floor. If you notice any damage, consider consulting a professional contractor or a dance floor specialist to assess the situation and recommend appropriate repairs or replacements.

Repairing or replacing the subfloor if necessary

If the subfloor is significantly damaged or uneven, it may require repairs or replacement. Consult with a professional to determine the best course of action based on the specific condition of your subfloor. Properly maintaining the subfloor will ensure the longevity and performance of your Marley floor.

Cleaning Products to Avoid

Common household cleaners

Avoid using common household cleaners on your Marley floor, as they may contain ingredients that could damage the vinyl surface. These cleaners can leave residue or create a slippery surface, compromising the safety and appearance of the dance floor. Instead, opt for specialized dance floor cleaners that are specifically formulated for Marley floors.

Bleach and harsh chemicals

Bleach and harsh chemicals should never be used on Marley floors, as they can discolor the vinyl surface and cause long-term damage. These chemicals can strip away the floor’s color and compromise its flexibility, leading to brittleness and cracking. Stick to mild detergents or cleaners recommended for vinyl dance floors.

Oil-based cleaning products

Avoid using oil-based cleaning products on your Marley floor, as they can leave a residue that creates a slippery surface. Oil-based cleaners are not suitable for dance floors and can affect the traction and safety of the surface. Instead, use non-abrasive cleaners specifically designed for Marley floors.

Safety Precautions

Using non-slip mats or rugs

To enhance safety and prevent slips or falls, consider using non-slip mats or rugs in high-traffic areas or near entrances. These mats provide additional traction and absorb moisture, reducing the risk of accidents on your Marley floor. Place these mats strategically to capture dirt and debris before it reaches the dance area, minimizing the need for frequent cleaning.

Proper storage of dance equipment

Properly storing dance equipment, such as barres, props, or portable dance floors, can help protect your Marley floor from potential damage. Avoid dragging heavy equipment directly on the Marley floor, as it can scratch or puncture the surface. Use protective mats or pads when moving equipment or consider investing in equipment with non-slip rubber feet to prevent floor damage.

Regular inspection of the dance floor’s surface

Regularly inspect the surface of your Marley floor for any signs of wear, tear, or damage. Look for scratches, tears, or areas of discoloration that may affect the floor’s quality or safety. Promptly address any issues by following the appropriate cleaning or maintenance procedures or consulting with a professional if necessary.

Professional Cleaning Services

Benefits of hiring professional cleaners

If you prefer to leave the cleaning of your Marley floor to the experts, hiring professional cleaning services can be a convenient and effective option. Professional cleaners have the knowledge, experience, and specialized equipment to deep clean Marley floors without causing any damage. They can also provide recommendations for proper maintenance and help prolong the lifespan of your Marley floor.

Finding a reputable dance floor cleaning company

When choosing a professional dance floor cleaning company, look for reputable providers with experience in cleaning Marley floors. Ask for recommendations from other dance studios or perform a thorough online search to find reliable and trustworthy cleaning services in your area. Check customer reviews and testimonials to ensure that the company has a track record of delivering high-quality services.

Cost considerations

The cost of professional dance floor cleaning services may vary depending on factors such as the size of your dance studio, the condition of your Marley floor, and the frequency of cleaning required. Request quotes from multiple cleaning companies and compare their services and prices to make an informed decision. Remember that investing in professional cleaning services can help prolong the lifespan of your Marley floor and ensure a clean and safe dance environment.

FAQs about Cleaning Marley Floors

Can I use a steam mop on my Marley floor?

No, steam mops should not be used on Marley floors. The high heat and moisture from steam mops can damage the vinyl surface and compromise the quality and appearance of the floor. Stick to the recommended cleaning methods using mild detergents or specialized floor cleaners specifically designed for Marley floors.

How often should I disinfect my Marley floor?

The frequency of disinfecting your Marley floor depends on its usage and the specific requirements of your dance studio. If your floor experiences heavy foot traffic or if you’re concerned about maintaining a hygienic environment, disinfecting the floor two to three times a week is recommended. For lightly used floors, disinfecting once a week should be sufficient.

Can I use vinegar to clean my Marley floor?

No, vinegar should not be used to clean Marley floors. While vinegar is a popular natural cleaning agent, it is not suitable for vinyl surfaces like Marley floors. Vinegar can cause the vinyl to dissolve and damage the floor’s appearance over time. It’s best to use specialized floor cleaners recommended for Marley floors.


Proper cleaning and maintenance are essential for preserving the quality and safety of Marley floors in dance studios. By following the recommended daily, weekly, and deep cleaning routines, as well as implementing best practices for floor maintenance, you can ensure that your Marley floor remains in optimal condition for years to come.

Regular inspections, the use of appropriate dance shoes, and avoiding common cleaning product mistakes are all key factors in maintaining the quality and appearance of your Marley floor.

By taking these steps, you can create a clean and safe dance environment that allows dancers to perform at their best.

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