To get the longest life and preserve the beauty of your natural stone, follow these simple tips
Care and Maintenance recommended by the Marble Institute of America. Please visit https://www.naturalstoneinstitute.org for more information.
Coasters: Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices.
Trivets: While many stones can withstand heat, the use of trivets or mats is recommended.
Dust Mopping: Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean non-treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit are abrasive and can damage natural stone.
Mats/rugs: Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt and grit that may scratch the stone floor. Be sure that the underside of the mat or rug is a slip resistant surface.
Vacuum cleaners: If used, be sure the metal or plastic attachments or the wheels are not worn as they can scratch the surface of some stones.
Spills: Blot the spill with a paper towel immediately. Don’t wipe the area, it will spread the spill. Flush the area with water and mild soap and rinse several times. Dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth. Repeat as necessary.
Clean stone surfaces with a neutral cleaner, stone soap, or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water.
Similar to any item cleaned in your home, an excessive concentration of cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Follow manufacturer recommendations.
Use a clean rag mop on floors and a soft cloth for other surfaces for best results.
Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth.
Change the rinse water frequently.
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 some stone types.
In outdoor pool, patio or hot tub areas, flush with clear water and use mild bleach solution to remove algae or moss.
Many suppliers offer products used for stone cleaning.
Products containing lemon, vinegar or other acids may dull or etch calcareous stones.
Scouring powders or creams often contain abrasives that may scratch certain stones.
Many commercially available rust removers (laundry rust stain removers, toilet bowl cleaners) contain trace levels of hydrofluoric acid (HF). This acid attacks silicate in addition to other minerals. All stones, including granite and quartzite, will be attacked if exposed to HF.
Do not mix ammonia and bleach. This combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.
Sealing is a common step taken on some stones as an extra precaution against staining. In fact, the sealing products used in the stone industry are ‘impregnators” which do not actually seal the stone, but more correctly act as a repellent rather than a sealer. Sealing does not make the stone stain proof, rather it makes the stone more stain resistant. When consulting with your stone supplier, you may find that many stones do not require sealing. However, applying an impregnating sealer is a common practice.
When considering sealing, remember that sealing the stone does not make the stone stain proof, it makes it more resistant to staining.
If a sealer is applied in a food preparation area, be sure that it is non-toxic and safe for use.
Consult with your supplier or sealing manufacturer specific to the type of sealer and frequency of use recommended.
NATURAL STONE EASY TO CLEAN AND MAINTAIN!
Call your professional stone supplier, installer or a restoration specialist for problems that appear too difficult to handle.
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. If the stain remains, refer to the section in this brochure on stain removal.
Identifying the type of stain on the stone surface is the key to removing it. If you don’t know what caused the stain, play detective. Where is the stain located? Is it near a plant, a food service area, an area where cosmetics are used? What color is it? What is the shape or pattern? What goes on in the area around the stain?
Surface stains can often be removed by cleaning with an appropriate cleaning product or household chemical. Deep-seated or stubborn stains may require using a poultice or calling in a professional. The following sections describe the types of stains that you may have to deal with and appropriate household chemicals to use and how to prepare and apply a poultice to remove the stain.
Making and Using a Poultice
A poultice is a liquid cleaner or chemical mixed with a white absorbent material to form a paste about the consistency of peanut butter. The poultice is spread over the stained area to a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch with a wood or plastic spatula, covered with plastic and left to work for 24 to 48 hours. The liquid cleaner or chemical will draw out the stain into the absorbent material. Poultice procedures may have to be repeated to thoroughly remove a stain, but some stains may never be completely removed.
Poultice materials include kaolin, fuller’s earth, whiting, diatomaceous earth, powdered chalk, white molding plaster or talc. Approximately one pound of prepared poultice material will cover one square foot. Do not use whiting or iron-type clays such as fuller’s earth with acid chemicals. The reaction will cancel the effect of the poultice. A poultice can also be prepared using white cotton balls, whitepaper towels or gauze pads.
CLEANING AGENTS OR CHEMICALS
Poultice with baking soda and water OR one of the powdered poultice materials and mineral spirits.
Poultice with one of the powdered poultice materials and 12% hydrogen peroxide solution (hair bleaching strength) OR use acetone instead of the hydrogen peroxide.
Poultice with diatomaceous earth and a commercially available rust remover. Rust stains are particularly difficult to remove. You may need to call a professional.
Poultice with one of the powdered poultice materials and ammonia. These stains are difficult to remove. You may need to call a professional.
Poultice with dilute ammonia OR bleach OR hydrogen peroxide. DO NOT MIX AMMO-NIA AND BLEACH! THIS COMBINATIONCREATES A TOXIC AND LETHAL GAS!
APPLYING THE POULTICE
Prepare the poultice. If using powder, mix the cleaning agent or chemical to a thick paste the consistency of peanut butter. If using paper, soak in the chemical and let drain. Don’t let the liquid drip.
Wet the stained area with distilled water.
Apply the poultice to the stained area about1/4 to 1/2-inch-thick and extend the poultice beyond the stained area by about one inch. Use a wood or plastic scraper to spread the poultice evenly.
Cover the poultice with plastic and tape the edges to seal it.
Allow the poultice to dry thoroughly, usually about 24 to 48 hours. The drying process is what pulls the stain out of the stone and into the poultice material. After about 24 hours, remove the plastic and allow the poultice to dry.
Remove the poultice from the stain. Rinse with distilled water and buff dry with a soft cloth. Use the wood or plastic scraper if necessary.
Repeat the poultice application if the stain is not removed. It may take up to five applications for difficult stains.
If the surface is etched by the chemical, apply polishing powder and buff with burlap or felt buffing pad to restore the surface.
FLOORING - ALL TILE TYPES
Sweep and/or vacuum floor daily to remove dust and dirt which may scratch the surface of your tile. Damp mop weekly (or as needed) with plain water.
NATURAL STONE FLOORING: All stone must be sealed! If natural stone is given the proper care, the stone will sustain its beauty for many years to come. Clean stone surfaces with a PH neutral stone and tile cleaner following the manufacturer's direction for proper solution strength and application. use a clean damp mop to wipe the surface, using a very wet mop will only move the dirt around and will not remove it.
PORCELAIN FLOORING: Regular cleaning can be done with detergent and water and rinsed. You can also use household cleaners according to their label directions. Try not to use scouring powders or other abrasives, which can scratch the surface. Note: metallic glazes may be chemical sensitive and may require the use of specialty cleaners, consult manufacturer for specific recommendations.
WALLS - ALL TILE TYPES Interior dry walls require minimal maintenance; wipe clean as required with a damp microfiber cloth and warm water. Shower walls should be wiped down with a squeegee after each use to prevent hard water stains and mildew development.
NATURAL STONE WALLS: All stone must be sealed! If natural stone is given the proper care, the stone will sustain its beauty for many years to come. Clean stone surfaces with a PH neutral stone and tile cleaner following the manufacturer's direction for proper solution strength and application. Use a clean damp mop to wipe the surfaces, using a very wet mop will only move the dirt around and will not remove it.
PORCELAIN WALLS: Regular cleaning can be done with detergent and water and rinsed. You can also use household cleaners according to their label directions. Try not to use scouring powders or other abrasives, which can scratch the surface. Special cleaning may be necessary to remove soap scum, a rough white coating created from hard water and mildew. It is recommended to use a mixture of 1/2 cup of water softener, 2 tablespoons of rottenstone and 1 cup of hot water to remove soap scum. To remove mildew, use a mixture of diluted chlorine. And to eliminate the rough white coating that can appear on the tiles use a commercial tile cleaner to dissolve it. Note: metallic glazes may be chemical sensitive and may require the use of specialty cleaners, consult manufacturer for specific recommendations. Crackle tile needs to be sealed like a natural stone. Follow natural stone recommendations.
COUNTER/TABLE SURFACES - ALL TILE TYPES
Use coasters, trivets, and placemats to protect the surface from scratching, etching, and staining. Wipe up spills promptly to minimize staining and possible etching. For daily cleaning wipe with a damp microfiber cloth and warm water. You may use furniture polish products specifically designed for use on natural stone available in the marketplace. Always test a new product in an inconspicuous area to verify suitability.