The expert advice

Complete guide to the maintenance of cotto

29 May 2024

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The cleaning and treatment of a cotto floor requires special attention and a thorough knowledge of a number of specific techniques. It is certainly a distinctive and resistant material that, however, requires a particular maintenance: the preparation of cleaning and finishing treatments and the choice of the right products are absolutely decisive to make the exterior or interior cotto keep its beauty and its color in the time. We suggest some practical tips for the maintenance of the cotto floor

Cotto: what is it?

 Cotto is a durable and rustic material, ideal for indoor and outdoor flooring, which requires specific treatments to maintain its beauty over time.

Suitable for both indoor and outdoor surfaces, cotto is the best material to resist the wear of time and the weather. However, being porous, it tends to absorb liquids and moisture, which is why it is necessary to subject the floor to an appropriate conservation treatment. The treatment may be more or less complex but is essential for the cotto to maintain its integrity over time.  

The regular maintenance of the cotto floor involves the use of gentle detergents, specific to its different characteristics: cotto with smooth surface or rough texture. We discover how to treat damaged cotto, how to brighten its colour and how to keep it in the best possible condition.  

How to treat the cotto floor

There are many treatments specific to the maintenance of the external and internal cotto, each with specific functions and benefits. Here is a brief overview of the main ones:

Water-repellent protection

One of the main problems of cotto is the rising moisture, which can cause dark spots and efflorescence and structural damage. We from Marbec we offer water-repellent treatments such as IDROWIP, TIM, TON25 e TON PLUS, which protect the material by reducing water absorption and at the same time allow the clay to be breathable, preventing the formation of dark spots and efflorescences.These water-repellent treatments reduce water absorption and allow the material to be breathable, preventing the formation of dark spots of moisture, maintaining its structural integrity and aesthetic beauty. This protection is mainly intended for external cotto surfaces.

Stain protection

Stain protection is crucial, especially for frequently used cotto floors. Products such as TUSCANIA OIL, an oil-waxy impregnation, and EXCEL PLUS, a colourless protective with great hydro-oil repellent properties, offer an effective barrier against stains, facilitating routine maintenance.

Anti-wear and anti-dirt finish and cleaning

Maintenance of untreated cotto can be challenging due to its rough surface. Treatments such as IDROFIN MATT and LUCIDO make the floor easier to clean, thanks to the application of these “sacrifice” waxes that protect the bottom treatment.

Aesthetic taste

Marbec treatments allow you to customize the aesthetics of cotto, with the possibility of obtaining natural effects, toned or wet according to the water repellent anti-stain that you choose to apply. As a first step, you can use the water-repellent anti-stain treatment with: TIM (natural effect), TON 25(tonalized effect) and TON PLUS(wet effect), which are water-based, odourless and easy to apply. After that, you can proceed to the application of PRIMAMANO NEUTRA or RAVVIVANTE, a leveling primer whose purpose is to prepare the surface for the application of IDROFIN LUCIDO or MATT finish, which protects the base treatment, increases the aesthetic taste of the material and facilitates the ordinary cleaning of the floor.

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Treatments for outdoor use

Even in the case of external floors, you can customize the desired effect according to the water repellent anti-stain you choose to apply (TIM, TON25 or TON PLUS). The subsequent application of PAV05 is intended to counteract wear and dirt, give a pleasant aesthetic effect to the surface and facilitate the ordinary cleaning, preventing the formation of algae and mould on the material. These water-based and easy-to-apply treatments improve the cleanability of external materials and guarantee long-lasting protection.

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Essential steps for the maintenance of the treated cotto

Maintaining your cotto floor, treated in optimal conditions, requires a thorough routine. We present a comprehensive guide on essential steps, useful products and tools to use to ensure effective treatment.  

First, it is essential to use specific detergents for the treated cotto and to avoid products such as bleach, alcohol, decerents and acids. These, being made with rather aggressive formulas, can seriously and irreparably damage the protective treatment of the cotto. Bleach and alcohol, in particular, may dissolve the floor finishes and compromise the surface structure of the material. Decerants and acids, on the other hand, tend to remove its protective layer, exposing the cotto to damage, stains and deterioration.

To ensure that the protective finish and the quality of cotto remains intact, it is necessary to use specific detergents, such as those of the Marbec line. Formulated to effectively clean the material from dirt and stains, they guarantee the maintenance of cotto preserving its beauty and durability. Regular maintenance with specific products is therefore essential to protect the investment made in the treatment and installation of this valuable material.

Routine cleaning

For the ordinary cleaning of treated cotto, it is important to use detergents that do not compromise the surface treatment. Marbec offers several excellent options:

  • FLORA: this universal cleaner is ideal for all types of floor wash, both internal and external. FLORA is a concentrated product that can be diluted in water, offering an excellent yield: with one liter of product, you can perform up to 100 washes on a floor of 100 square meters. It is perfect for frequent cleaning and keeps the floor in excellent condition without attacking the surface.
  • DETERBRILL: specifically formulated for internal waxed and polished cotto, it is a product that allows a deep cleaning, leaving the surface shiny. This detergent is also concentrated and, properly diluted, allows up to 20 washes to be carried out on a floor of 100 square meters with one liter of product.
  • ECOMARBEC: suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, it is ideal for those who prefer a low-impact detergent and free of perfumes. In addition, it is perfect for those who are allergic or sensitive to allergenic fragrances and aromas. Being a concentrated product like the others, it can be used with the same measures.  
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Maintenance of the cotto floor with waxes

The waxes of maintenance (opaque or glossy) are applied periodically, since the daily use of the floor causes consumption (“sacrifice” finishes). Applying the wax over and over again over time helps to keep the finish of the cotto shiny and protected.

Deep cleaning and maintenance of cotto

1. Frequency of application of maintenance waxes: the water-repellent finish of cotto tends to wear out over time, so it is important to apply regularly maintenance waxes to maintain the protection and appearance of cotto:

  • REFIX MATT or LUCIDO: recommended for internal use, to be applied every 4-6 months in high traffic areas such as kitchen and living room.
  • PAV05: suitable for outdoor use, to be applied once a year or every two years in the spring.

2. Extraordinary cleaning: if your cotto has been unmaintained over time, an extraordinary cleaning is necessary. Use UNIPUL, then reapply IDROFIN (MATT or LUCIDO) to restore the finish. For the cleaning of the external cotto, you can use PAV05:  a product with specific protection against the elements.

3. Complete removal of a degraded treatment (de-waxing): if the treatment is particularly degraded, use SGRISER: it is a strong de-waxing product designed to remove the old wax that can be applied through a buffer or disc. For the more stubborn stains, use VIACEM: a specific buffered acid for cotto, suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Once the cotto has been dewaxed, a new initial treatment cycle must be carried out.

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Following these steps and using the recommended Marbec products, you will be able to keep your treated cotto clean, protected and in excellent condition over time. Regular care not only preserves the beauty of the floor but also ensures its longevity, allowing you to enjoy its splendor year after year.

Treated cotto: common problems and challenges

Among the common challenges in cleaning and maintaining the treated cotto floor we definitely find the alteration of the beauty and durability of the material. How to deal with the problem? Follow our advice.  

  1. Stains of coloured substances: stains of coloured substances such as wine, coffee and leaves are among the most frequent problems. To remove them use the products of the Marbec line for interior:
  • SMACCHIO LIQUIDO or SMACCHIO POLVERE: These products are effective in removing surface stains without damaging the treatment of the cotto and are specific for the maintenance and cleaning of the interior cotto.  

How do I use it? apply the product directly on the stain, following the instructions on the label. Leave on for the recommended time and then rinse with clean water.

2. Saline efflorescence: saline efflorescence is manifested by whitish deposits on the surface of cotto. This phenomenon is due to the migration of soluble salts through the material. To solve this problem:

  • Use a saline efflorescence specific product (acid descalers such as DELICACID or VIACEM) and follow the application instructions. After cleaning, it is important to rinse and dry the surface.

3. Algae and mould: In very humid outdoor environments, algae and mould can form and affect the appearance of cotto (surface blackening). To remove this problem use the following products: 

  • Alganet: apply ALGANET previously diluted in water (preferably hot). This product allows the removal of stubborn biological fouling (encrusting), reducing the need for hard extraordinary cleaning.

How do you use it? apply the diluted solution of ALGANET on the cotto surface and leave to act for the time indicated. Then rinse thoroughly with water.

Preventing the degradation of treated cotto

The maintenance of cotto, treated in perfect condition, requires cleaning and an adequate prevention of common damages (stains, scratches and erosion). Below, we will explore various useful tips on how to protect the treated cotto from external elements and keep it intact over time.

  1. Use carpets and doormats: Place carpets or doormats at the entrance of cotto flooring areas to reduce the build-up of dirt and debris that can cause scratches.
  2. Felt under furniture: Apply protective felt under furniture legs to prevent scratches when moving.
  3. Immediate cleaning: Immediately remove spilled substances, especially strongly acidic and alkaline liquids, which can cause permanent stains.

Following these indications, you will be able to effectively maintain the quality, resistance and beauty of your cotto floors, both exterior and interior. 

The products of the article
  • 31.67€


    Protective product for the water-repellent and anti-stain treatment of absorbent stone materials. It does not create a film, is breathable and does not alter the appearance of the material.

  • 12.08€


    Leveling anti-dust protection for absorbent stone materials Base primer for the leveling treatment of surfaces in cotto, stone, absorbent cement agglomerates and plasters placed inside. It does not alter the natural appearance of the material.

  • 12.75€


    Anti-dusting protective leveler for absorbent stone materials Base primer for the leveling treatment of surfaces in cotto, stone, absorbent cement agglomerates, plasters placed inside. It enhances the color without altering the natural appearance of the material.

  • 17.45€


    Shiny anti-dirt, anti-wear finisher for stone materials. Finisher for the completion of treatment on cotto, stone, grit surfaces placed inside. It protects over time the treatment of the material and its initial aesthetic characteristics.

  • 21.11€


    Specific matt finishing wax for completing the treatments of cotto, stone, and terrazzo placed inside. Over time it protects the basic treatment of the material and its initial aesthetic characteristics.  




    Impregnant oleo-waxy with baganto effect for cotto floors internal protection Product antistain to "wet effect" of terracotta in the inside and the outside. Saturates the porosity of the material without leaving surface films.




    Professional protective for the stain-resistant treatment of absorbent stone materials. It does not create film, is breathable and does not alter the appearance of the material.

  • 41.60€

    TON 25

    Protective water and oil repellent in water-based toning for absorbent stone materials Product for stain protection against deterioration of stone, terracotta and absorbent cement agglomerates laid in interior and exterior. It intensifies the color of the material, does not create films and leaves a natural appearance to the material.

  • 7.09€


    Concentrated neutral detergent for the ordinary cleaning of cotto floors and stone materials treated with wax and not. Combines the sanitizing function with the degreasing action, but not aggressive towards the material.

  • 8.28€


    Neutral detergent for the ordinary cleaning of all hard surfaces. Combines the cleansing function with the degreasing power, but not aggressive, towards the materials. It keeps the shine of the treatment over time.

  • 9.06€


    Detergent for the ordinary and/or extraordinary cleaning of all floors. It cleans, degreases and sanitizes surfaces and does not attack materials. Biodegradable, does not contain perfumes and hypoallergenic.

  • 10.07€


    Wax opaque maintenance for floors in stone material Emulsion product resino-opaque waxy which renews and preserves in time treatment of initial finish on surfaces in cotto, natural stone, grits, cement and clinker, without creating surface films

  • 10.07€


    Glossy maintenance wax for treated absorbent stone materials as cotto, stone and cement terrazzo placed inside.

  • 12.95€


    Protective finishing anti-dirt, anti-degradation wax resistant to atmospheric agents and trampling for cotto, stones and terrazo.

  • 12.07€


    Universal detergent for ordinary and/or extraordinary cleaning of floor and wall materials. It cleans and sanitizes surfaces even at low concentrations, without damaging even the most delicate materials.

  • 12.81€


    Wax remover for removing old oil and/or wax treatments from stone materials in cotto, stone, marble, concrete, and grit. It cleans and deeply degreases surfaces soiled with oils, greases, and biological encrustations.

  • 4.80€


    Specific strong buffered acid detergent to remove cement grouts, efflorescence and limestone encrustations on cotto and terracotta.

  • 15.64€


    For the removal of stains of colored organic origin of: coffee, wine, fruit, blood, urine, tannin, cardboard, flowers, leaves, algae and mold from dirty floors in stone and wood.

  • 10.74€


    Stain remover for the removal of colored organic stains Highly effective concentrated powder cleaner for the removal of stains from: coffee, wine, fruit juice, food residues in general, blood, urine and tannin from stone surfaces.

  • 7.84€


    Specific buffered acid detergent to remove cement grouts, efflorescence and limestone incrustations on stones, ceramic materials and stone materials in general.

  • 19.43€


    Concentrated stain remover in powder specifically for the deep cleaning of external stone floors. It cleans and helps to remove algae, moss, and other encrustations of organic origin from surfaces.

  • 14.32€


    Water-repellent protective for cotto, absorbent stone, plasters, cement, and internal and external terrazzo. It significantly increases the thermal insulation of the walls, reducing thermal dispersion, while leaving the appearance of the material unchanged.

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