If you have or plan to install, natural stone countertops, backsplashes, flooring or bath enclosures, you’ll definitely need to know how to maintain them. Natural stone can be stunning in your kitchen or bathroom and on your floors, but they are porous, therefore easy to damage. What do you need to know about your natural stone surfaces?
Types of Stone
Let’s start with the types of stone available. Generally, two types of stone are popular for interior use. They are:
- Siliceous, which is primarily silica. Siliceous stones are your granite, slate, sandstone, quartzite, brownstone and bluestone.
- Calcareous, which is primarily calcium carbonate. Calcareous stones are your marble, travertine, limestone and onyx.
Never use vinegar, lemon juice or any type of acidic cleaner on calcareous stone because if they soak through the sealer, they’ll react to the calcium carbonate (baking soda element) and etch the surface.
No matter which type of stone you have, never use bathroom, porcelain, grout cleaners or any category of cleaner that contains abrasives. Even SoftScrub® is far too gritty for natural stones.
Although your beautiful surfaces are meant to be used, because natural stone can be scratched and stained easily, you’ll want to protect them as best possible. For floors, use mats and carpet runners for the most heavily trafficked areas and at the entrances. Dirt on shoes will do the most damage to your unprotected floors.
For countertops, use trivets or hot pads. Never place fresh-out-of-the- oven pans or dishes directly on your stone counters. The same goes for pots off the stove. Let your trivets and hot pads take any damage from your cooking adventures instead.
Use coasters under glasses and mugs to prevent hot spots, stains and water infiltration of the sealant. Make sure you consider the undersides of plates, bowls and serving dishes, too. Many have rough, unglazed ridges on the bottom that will scratch your stone over time.
In the bathroom, take the time to squeegee after every shower to prevent soap scum build-up. You might consider tossing the bar soap altogether and using only liquid bath options. These leave no scum at all, which you will appreciate when you no longer need to scrub your glass shower doors.
On a less porous surface, wiping up a spill is easy. But with stone, all you’re going to do is spread the liquid around and create stains. Instead, blot with paper towels then use a clean cloth and a weight to continue drawing the liquid out of the stone’s pores. Finish up by cleaning with a mild soap and thoroughly rinsing the area.
Wipe counters regularly. Don’t let water or colored liquids remain on the surface, and never use harsh or acidic chemical cleaners. You can use a mild dish soap to clean greasy residue but always rinse well with plain water. If you have moldy grout, use diluted bleach solutions to alleviate the issue.
Many professional cleaning companies and stone retailers offer cleaning products made specifically for stone. Chet’s Cleaning Service offers a selection of great products that are safe and effective for food handling surfaces. We also offer eco-friendly options.
Maintaining the seal on your natural stone surfaces is crucial to their enduring beauty. If any accidental spills or difficult to remove substances occurred since the original sealing, a re-seal should remove as much of the stain as possible. Sealing every year or so is best accomplished by a professional stone cleaning and sealing service as the process can be involved and messy.
By knowing the type of stone you have and taking precautions against stains and damage, you can enjoy your luxurious natural stone for a long time to come.
If you’re ready to have your stone counters, backsplashes, shower enclosures and floors brought back to their best condition, call Chet’s Cleaning Service today. We guarantee 100 percent satisfaction.