Learn to Care

Natural Stone: Do’s and Don’ts Guide

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November 18, 2013

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maintenance, tips

So you want some tips on how to keep your stone looking just as beautiful as when it was first installed?

Natural stones may have a delicate chemical composition that could potentially interact in “strange” and damaging ways with any cleaning solutions that were not specifically formulated for the task. Once you know what to use, you just have to follow some basic guidelines to keep your natural stone in great condition long term. This guide will give you some simple do’s and don’ts when it comes to routine maintenance of your stone.

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Routine Preventive Measures

Do – use coasters underneath drinking glasses – especially those containing alcohol or citric juices – in order to avoid etching

Do – use place mats under objects that could scratch the surface, such as china and silver, etc.

Don’t – place any hot items directly on the stone surface. Be sure to use trivets or mats under hot dishes.

 

Treating Spills

Do – pick up any spills as quickly and efficiently as possible

Don’t – rub the spill; only blot it

Don’t – use cleaning products on or near natural stone unless the label specifies that it is safe for natural stone. This includes using things such as glass cleaners to clean mirrors over a marble vanity top for example, or liquid toilet bowl cleaner where the toilet is on a marble floor.

 

Kitchen Counter Tops

Do – clean your kitchen counter top regularly and thoroughly with an appropriate stone safe cleaner (why not try R311). A higher concentration should be used near cooking and eating areas, and diluted water for areas with less traffic as in areas far from cooking and eating areas.

Do – use a conditioning stone polish occasionally in order to brighten up your polished stone surface. Note: be sure that the ingredients are classified as “food-grade,” and follow the label instructions.

Don’t – let any spills sit too long on the stone surface

If you do have dried-on spills…

Don’t – use any green or brown scouring pads for dried spills, as it will scratch the stone. It is safe to use the sponges lined with a silvery net, or other plastic scouring pads. Note: spray the cleaner and let it sit for a while before scrubbing it!

 

Vanity Tops

Do – clean your vanity tops regularly with a soap-free neutral cleaner appropriate and safe for your natural stone type

Do – use a stone polish if you wish to add extra shine to your polished stone counter top surface and help prevent soiling

Do - make sure any hand soaps being used around stone vanity tops is neutral and doesn’t contain any acidic or harmful chemicals

Don’t – take chances with cleaning mirrors that are over your marble vanity tops with a regular glass cleaner. The over-spray could easily spill onto the surface and damage the stone. *Clean mirrors with a neutral cleaner instead.

Don’t – use any powder or cream cleansers

Don’t – use things such as nail polish or hair colour anywhere near your vanity tops

Don’t – place wet bottles on the stone (perfume, after-shave, etc.). Protect your vanity tops by keeping cosmetics and fragrances in an appropriate container or cupboards

 

Shower Stalls

Do – monitor your grout and caulk lines occasionally and take care of any problems as soon as they are noticed

Do – clean shower stalls daily. The easiest and most effective way is to spray the floor and walls of the stall with an appropriate cleaner, and then squeegee *after the shower stall is done being used for the day

Do – use a soap film remover made to clean soap scum and hard mineral deposits, while not negatively affecting the stone (515c)

Do – clean any mildew stains on the grout of your shower with a mildew stain remover that is safe on natural stone

Don’t – use any powdery or creamy cleanser

Don’t – use any generic soap film remover or mildew stain remover on your polished stone in your shower stall

Don’t – use any self-cleaners or any harsh disinfectants, such as Lysol®

 

Toilets

Don’t – use any regular toilet bowl cleaners if your toilet bowl is placed on a marble or other natural stone floor. They are highly acidic. Possible spills will dig holes in your marble. Be sure to clean your bowl with a non-acid toilet bowl cleaner.

 

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My name is Tom. It was my grandfather Joe who founded this company; he was Toronto's first "natural stone expert". I have grown up around natural stone. Just try and walk downtown without me pointing out the shiny floors!

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  • AC

    Thank you for this! I printed the article and have taped it to the fridge. Hopefully my new marble floors in the kitchen will keep looking this good!