Natural Stone Care & Cleaning

General Care and Precautions – Natural Stone Care & Cleaning

home improvementsUse coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the surface of many stones. Do not place hot items directly on the stone surface. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and placemats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that can scratch the surface.

Cleaning Procedures and Recommendations

Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap (available at hardware stores or from your stone dealer) or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Use a soft cloth for best results. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on marble or limestone. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth. Change the rinse water frequently. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the 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 cum ammonia to a gallon of water). Frequent or over-use of an ammonia solution may eventually dull the surface of the stone.

Vanity Top Surfaces

Vanity tops may need to have a penetrating sealer applied depending on the natural stone of your choice. A good quality marble wax or non-yellowing automobile wax can be applied to minimize water spotting.

Food Preparation Areas

In high traffic kitchen areas, the stone may need to have a penetrating sealer applied. Check for recommendations. If a sealer is applied, be sure that it is non-toxic and safe for use on food preparation surfaces. If there are questions, check with the sealer manufacturer.

Spills and Stains

Blot the spill with a paper towel immediately. Don’t wipe the area, it will spread the spill. Flush the area with plain water and mild soap and rinse several times. Dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth. Repeat as necessary.

DO’s and DON’TS

  • DO clean surfaces with mild detergent or stone soap.
  • DO thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing.
  • DO blot up spills immediately.
  • DO protect countertop surfaces with coasters, trivets or placemats.
  • 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 abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleaners.
  • DON’T Mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.
  • DON’T Ever mix chemicals together unless directions specifically instruct you to do so.

With these Natural Stone Care & Cleaning tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your natural stone in excellent condition for many years to come!