NATURAL STONE 

Care and Maintenance

To assure the longest life and preserve the beauty of your natural stone, follow these simple tips:

CLEANING YOUR STONE

Maintenance

  • Clean stone surfaces with a neutral cleaner, stone soap, or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water.

  • As with any other items you cleaned at home, an excessive concentration of cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Follow manufacturer recommendations.

  • Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution, and dry with a soft cloth.

  • Change the rinse water frequently.

  • Frequent use of an ammonia solution (or excessive amounts) may eventually dull the surface of some stone types.

  • In outdoor kitchen areas, flush with clear water and use a mild bleach solution to remove algae or moss.

  • Make sure to annually seal natural stone. Quartz stone doesn't require annual sealing but natural stone does. Give us a call, and we can take care of it for you.

Cleaning Products

  • 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 silicates 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 gas that could be lethal.

VIDEO: CLEANING YOUR STONE

STAIN REMOVAL

Surface stains can often be removed by cleaning with an appropriate cleaning product or household chemical. The following sections describe the types of stains you may have to deal with and the appropriate household chemicals or materials. 

Iron, Rust, Copper, Bronze

 

Iron or rust stains are orange to brown in color and follow the shape of the staining object such as nails, bolts, screws, cans, flower pots, metal furniture. Copper and bronze stains appear as green or muddy-brown and result from the reaction to moisture on nearby or embedded bronze, copper or brass items. Metal stains must be removed with a poultice.

Biological

 

This includes algae, mildew, lichens, moss, fungi: clean with diluted cleaning solution. Use a 1/2 cup of any of the following: ammonia, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide and a gallon of water. Reminder: do not mix bleach and ammonia.

Magic Marker, Pen, Ink

 

On light colored stones, clean with bleach or hydrogen peroxide. On dark colored stones, clean with lacquer thinner or acetone.

Water Spots and Rings

 

This is surface accumulation of hard water. Buff with dry 0000 steel wool.

Fire and Smoke Damage
 

Older stones and smoke or firestained fireplaces may require a thorough cleaning. When the smoke is removed, there may also be some etching (due to carbonic & other acids in smoke). Commercially available “smoke removers” may save time and effort.

Efflorescence


This is a white powder that may appear on the surface of the stone. It is caused by the deposition of mineral salts carried by water from below the surface of the stone. When the water evaporates, it leaves the powdery substance. If the installation is new, dust mop or vacuum the powder. You may have to do this several times as the stone dries out. Do not use water to remove the powder; it will only disappear temporarily. If the problem persists, contact your installer to help identify and remove the cause of the moisture.

HAVE YOU SEALED YOUR NATURAL STONE THIS YEAR?

Make sure to seal your natural stone annually. Haven't sealed your stone surface this year? Contact us and we'll take care of it for you.