CARE & CLEANING FOR NATURAL STONE SURFACES
The natural stone you have purchased for your home or office is an investment that will give you many years of beautiful service. Stone is a natural product and simple care and maintenance will keep it looking beautiful. This brochure will give you recommendations for routine care and cleaning.
CLEANING PROCEDURES & RECOMMENDATIONS
Clean the stone surfaces with a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water or a non-abrasive household cleaner that is ammonia free. Use a clean rag mop on floors and a soft cloth for other surfaces 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 acidic substances 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; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the stone. Your stone countertops have a penetrating sealer applied. If the sealer wears out, some spills could stain the stone.
Granite is found in every part of the world. Veins of granite are found in all part of the world and extracted thru mining. The stone is taken out of the earth in blocks by coring. Holes are bored deep in the earth, about every six inches, then small amounts of dynamite are dropped into the bored holes and blocks become loose. The blocks are moved to gang saws, where they are cut into slabs. Granite is a natural product, making an exact match almost impossible, unless it came from the same block and even then there will be differences. Each slab is unique, and has its own characteristics. When an additional piece of stone needs to be added to an area, the two items will not be an exact match. Tiles and slabs are cut from different parts of the vein. Some stones have foibles and imperfections. Some dark stones like absolute black may have pits. A stone may have an occlusion, which is a splash of color usually about 2’’ in diameter. The color may or may not be characteristic of the stone color.
DO’S & DON’TS
DO Clean surfaces with a mild dishwashing detergent and warm water and thoroughly rinse and dry surface after washing.
DO Blot up spills immediately.
DO Use water to check if sealer is needed (water should repel).
DON’T Use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids, such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub & tile cleaners.
DON’T Use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleaners 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.
SPILLS & STAINES
Blot the spill with a paper towel immediately. Wiping a spill will cause it to spread, so don’t wipe it up. 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 next section.
Identifying the type of stain on the stone surface is the key to removing it. First, verify what the source of the stain is.
Where is the stain located? Is it near a plant, a food service area or 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.
MAKING & 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 ¼ to ½ u=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.