Inevitably as a natural stone supplier, we always get asked questions about how to best care for natural stone. As unique as the natural beauty of natural stone, there is not one answer for all type of stone. Each type of natural require a different set of rules for best responding to the material’s composition and inherent properties. The Marble Institute of America has a few guidelines of prolonging the longevity of natural stone as well as proactively caring for and maintaining your one of a kind natural stone.
- Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Do not place hot items right off a stove or out of an oven directly on the stone surface. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and place mats under china, ceramics, silver, or other objects that can scratch the surface.
- For calcareous stones, many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the stone surface.
- 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 dish washing detergent and warm water.
- Use a clean 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.
- Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.
- Do clean surfaces with mild detergent or stone soap.
- Do thoroughly rinse and dry the surface with clean, clear water after washing.
- Do blot up spills immediately.
- 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 bath- room cleaners, grout cleaners, or tub & tile cleaners.
- Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
- 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.
By characteristic natural stone is porous. Although a sealer is recommended for all natural stone, sealers act as a impregnator making stone resistant to absorption and therefore not 100% stain proof. The best advice is to act quickly to help decrease the amount of liquid that could be adsorbed. Here are some steps recommended by the Marble Institute of America for addressing stains:
1. Remove any loose debris.
2. Blot spills; wiping the area will spread the spill.
3. Flush the area with plain water and mild soap and rinse several times.
4. Dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth.
5. Repeat as necessary.
6. If the stain persists or for problems that appear too difficult to treat, call your stone care professional, installer, or restoration specialist. Your stone fabricator will be able to come out and asses the best way to get rid of the stain.
For more information, please read here for additional information provided by the Marble Institute of America: