Things You Should Know About Natural Stone
The natural variations on your stone surface can easily lose their appealing qualities due to damage resulting from everyday wear and tear. Natural Stone is absorbent and has a mineral chemistry that can react in strange ways to conventional cleaners, thus making the proper selection of cleaners essential for daily maintenance of your natural stone surfaces.
Some variation of stones will absorb liquids and oils causing discoloration. Having your stone treated with a water and oil penetrating sealer can diminish this effect. It is recommended that a sealer be applied every six months.
You should apply a penetrating sealer to all of your countertop surfaces. The sealer can be purchased at Home Depot, Loweís, or Artistic Stone. Foods and drinks that are often found in the kitchen may contain oils and acids that could stain or etch the surface of your natural stone. High traffic areas or areas that become wet often such as the area around the sink, shower walls and floors as well as vanities tops may need to be sealed more frequently.
You should apply a penetrating sealer to all of your vanity surfaces. Hard water, soap scum, hairspray, cosmetics and perfumes may damage the luster of your natural stone surface.
Bath and Other Wet Areas:
In the bath or other wet areas, soap scum can be minimized by using a squeegee after each use. To remove soap scum, use a non-acidic soap scum remover or a solution of ammonia and water (about 1/2 cup ammonia to a gallon of water). Frequent or over-use of an ammonia solution may eventually dull the surface of the stone. You should apply a penetrating sealer to all bathroom surfaces as well as other surfaces that are constantly wet. Hard water or soap scum may damage the luster of your natural stone. If your shower walls or floors have tile, we suggest having your grout cleaned and sealed periodically to prevent mildew.
Dust and mop the floors frequently using a clean, non-treated, dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit will cause the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness. Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance area will help minimize the presence of sand, dirt and grit. Be sure that the underside of the mat or rug has a non-slip surface. Do not use vacuum cleaners that are worn or old. The metal and/or plastic attachments, as well as the vacuum wheels may scratch the stone surfaces.
Keeping Your Stone Beautiful Requires Regular Cleaning And Maintenance
The following are recommendations on how to maintain and protect the luster and natural beauty of your natural stone countertops, walls and floors installed in your home or commercial property so you will enjoy your natural stone for years to come.
- Do use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the stone surface.
- Do blot-up spills immediately.
- Do clean your natural stone frequently with warm water and a clean, non-abrasive cloth sponge or mop.
- Do use a neutral cleaner formulated for natural stone or a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent, will help you remove soil that normal dusting or damp mopping leaves behind.
- Do thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing.
- Do protect floor surfaces with non-slip mats or area rugs and countertop surfaces with coasters, trivets or placemats.
- Do use mats or trivets under hot dishes.
- Do keep kitchen countertops and vanities dust free.
- Do wipe off shower walls with a squeegee after showering. This will prevent hard water or soap scum build-up.
- Donít place hot items directly on the stone surface. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and placemats under china, ceramic, silver or other objects that can scratch the surface.
- Don't use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids on marble, limestone, travertine or onyx surfaces.
- Don't use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub & tile cleaners.
- Don't use powder cleaners, or cream cleansers, mildew removers or disinfectants, or abrasive nylon scrub pads, since they can easily etch your stone.
- Don't use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
- Don't mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.
- Donít use general-purpose cleaners such as Ajax, Comet, or Soft Scrub, as they may damage your stone surface, and the effectiveness of your sealer.
- Don't use cork or wood furniture protectors. These can cause severe stains.
Product Care Recommendations:
- Water-based stone maintenance products
- Bellinzoni Stone Polish
- Revitalizer: Stone & Tile Cleaner and Protector by StoneTech Professional
- PROSOCO SLX100 Water & Oil Repellent
(Most of these products can be bought at home improvement or specialty stores)