Natural Stone Care
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Stone Care and Maintenance
Natural stone can provide years of beauty when properly cared for. This care information includes care instructions and some helpful dos and don’ts on stone care.
Sealing Your Stone
Natural stone has been formed over millions of years, but improper care can ruin nature’s beauty. Although we usually think of stone as “hard”, it is a porous material that can absorb spills and stains if left untreated. Sealing your stone with a quality impregnating sealer will prevent most spills from damaging your investment.
There are a wide variety of sealers available, so you need to select one for your specific needs and natural stone type. Impregnating sealers, with new, advanced nuoropolymer technology, penetrate the stone and help protect against water and oil-based stains. Industry professionals now recognize that natural stone is best protected with a fluoropolymer-based sealer. We recommend sealing your new stone.
Once sealed properly, your stone is protected against everyday dirt and spills. Proper cleaning will help the sealer last longer and keep your stone protected without damaging your stone’s natural beauty.
Keeping your stone free of dust and dry, sandy soil will minimize the scratches and wear-patterns that can develop from everyday use of some natural stone such as marble, limestone and sandstone. Sweep or dust all natural stone surfaces regularly to remove loose soil and dust.
Clean your natural stone on a regular basis with warm water and a clean, non-abrasive cloth sponge or mop. In addition, using a neutral cleaner specially formulated for natural stone will help remove soils that normal dusting or damp mopping leave behind. Do not use general-purpose cleaners or you may damage your stone or the sealer applied. Do not use products, which contain lemon, vinegar of other acids as these may etch the stone surface and damage the polish. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.
Countertops and Vanities
Use stone cleaner on a regular basis to remove residues from cooking oils and everyday food spills as well as hairspray or other cosmetics. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that may etch or dull the stone surface. Also, some common toiletries (e.g., perfume, toothpaste, mouthwash) contain acids and other ingredients that may damage the stone surface or degrade sealer.
Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean non- treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness. Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the Potential damage from these particles. In addition, be careful when using a vacuum cleaner as the metal or plastic attachments or wheels may scratch the surface.
Damp mop the stone floor with a dilute solution of stone cleaner as directed on the label. Keep off floor until completely dry, as wet stone, floors may be slippery.
Bath and Other Wet Areas
Periodic use of stone cleaner will remove any soap scum or hard water deposits that may have, formed. In the bath, or other wet areas, using a squeegee after each use can minimize soap scum and hard water deposit buildup.
When a spill occurs
No matter how careful you are, spills are going to happen. A quick response and the right solutions can keep spills from damaging your stone or the sealer.
Etch Marks – Substances that are highly acidic, such as orange juice, coffee, vinegar, wine, tomato products, mustard and many soft drinks, will ‘etch’ most marble, limestone and travertine – whether the stone is sealed or unsealed. Although sealing allows you time to wipe up a spill, it cannot stop the chemical reaction that may leave a dull area or etch mark in the stone.
In addition, cleaners not specifically designed for natural stone are not recommended. These may etch away the polish, discolor the surface, scratch the stone or degrade the sealer. That’s why selecting the correct cleaning products is so important to the lifetime beauty of your natural stone. Professional refinishing is the best way to permanently remove etch marks and restore your natural stone even finish.
Food Spills – Scoop up the food with a plastic spoon. Blot with dry, white cloth. Spray the area with stone revitalizer. Wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Liquid Spills – Blot away the excess with a clean, dry, white cloth, turning the cloth frequently. Spray the area with stone revitalizer. Wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Mud – Let the mud stain dry completely. Remove dried mud with a soft plastic or nylon brush. Spray affected area with stone revitalizer- Wipe dry with a clean cloth. If the stain remains, contact a professional cleaner.
Oily Stains – If you identify the stain as having an oil base (from foods like salad and cooking oils, butter, or some cosmetics) you may be able to remove the stain using a poultice. Poultice is designed to slowly remove oily stains from natural stone surfaces. Follow the directions on the label.
Do’s and Don’ts of Stone Care
- DO use coasters under glasses, especially if they contain alcohol or citrus juices.
- DO use trivets or mats under hot dishes or cookware.
- DO use place mats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that may scratch your stone surface.
- DO place a small rug or mat at entryways to trap dirt and sand from normal foot traffic.
- DO dust counter tops, islands, vanities and floors frequently.
- DO blot up spills immediately to minimize permanent damage to the stone.
- DO clean surfaces by wiping with clean water, then wiping dry with a clean cloth.
- DON’T use vinegar, bleach, ammonia or other general-purpose cleaners.
- DON’T use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub and tile cleaners.
- DON’T use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
- DON’T use alkaline cleaners not specifically formulated for natural stone.
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