There are all different types of unique natural stone, which can vary in texture, color, and marking. Therefore, the possibilities of creating stunning designs with it are practically endless. Provided that you follow some simple care and maintenance rules, this natural product will keep on looking gorgeous in any DIY project you embark on for years to come. But first, here is what you should know.
It is important to clean your stone surfaces with a stone soap, neutral cleaner, or a mild liquid detergent and warm water. An excessive concentration of soap or cleaners can easily cause streaks or leave a film, so you don’t want to go overboard with it. After washing with a soap solution, thoroughly rinse the surface, changing the rinse water frequently, and then dry with a soft, clean cloth.
In the bath and other wet areas, you can minimize soap scum by using a squeegee after each use. Using a solution of ammonia and water (approx. 1/2 cup ammonia to 5 liters of water) can help you get rid of soap scum, just bear in mind that overusing ammonia-based solutions may dull or etch the surface of certain stone types in the long run. Whatever you do, never mix ammonia and bleach because this combination produces a toxic and lethal gas.
While there are many commercial solutions for stone cleaning on the market, you should be careful with most of them. For instance, products containing vinegar, lemon or other acids can dull calcareous stones, whereas scouring creams or powders containing abrasives can scratch different types of stones. Hydrofluoric acid (HF) can be found in some rust removers and literally all-natural stones will be attacked if exposed to it.
This is one of the most common steps to do on different types of natural stones in order to protect against staining. However, the sealing products used for this purpose actually impregnate the stone, rather than sealing it. So sealing does not necessarily make your natural stones stain-proof, but is does make them more stain-resistant.
Even though your supplier may tell you that, for instance, marble tiles for kitchen do not require sealing, you should know that is is a common practice to apply an impregnating sealer on it. Just remember that if you do apply a sealer on a surface where food is prepared (a countertop, for instance), it is safe for use and also non-toxic.
Following several simple tips will allow you to preserve the beauty and longevity of your natural stone. For example, area rugs or mats on both sides of the entrance door can help minimize the dirt, sand and grit, which are all quite abrasive and can easily damage your natural stone floor. You should also frequently dust mop the floor with a clean, non-treated dry dust mop. If you use a vacuum cleaner, ensure the wheels or the plastic and metal attachments are not worn because they are likely to scratch the surface of most natural stones
Using coasters under all glasses and bottles, especially those containing citrus juices or alcohol, is always a good idea. In case there is a spill, you should immediately blot it with a paper towel, but don’t wipe the area, as it will only spread the spill further. Instead, flush the area with mild soap and water, then rinse it several times and dry it thoroughly with a soft, clean cloth.