Granite, marble, limestone, quartzite and soapstone look beautiful and can last a lifetime, given the proper care. Unfortunately too many unwittingly scratch, wear-down sealants and discolor natural stone, ignorant to proper care.
How Should You Clean Natural Stone Counters to Keep them Looking Beautiful?
Skip the vinegar.
This natural cleaning staple can unfortunately breakdown the sealants in natural stone countertops and tiles, leading to stone discoloration.
Like vinegar, ammonia can also break down sealants. Accidentally mixed with bleach, it can also create a toxic combination, releasing chloramine and potentially explosive hydrazine into your home.
Pass on the powdered scrubs.
Powdered scrubs, even liquefied versions (SoftScrub), are too abrasive for natural stone, and can cause scratching and damage.
Save shower cleaners for fiberglass surrounds.
Acidic and caustic, these will also breakdown and discolor stone.
The Best Methods of Cleaning Counters Varies Somewhat by Stone Type:
A half teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to 2 cups of water, applied via spray bottle, is typically all it takes to care for granite slabs. Be especially careful of acidic, caustic cleaners to prevent the dulling of granite surfaces.
The above dish soap and water solution also works well on limestone surfaces. Do avoid wipe-downs with sponges and scrubbers that could mar the finish of the softer, more porous stone.
This elegant, pastry-friendly surface is also porous, requiring attentive care when food and drink spills come into play. Rely again on our dish soap and water solution, using a soft cloth (not sponges or scrubbers) to avoid scratching.
Wipe-down daily with a soft, damp microfiber cloth, adding a few drops of dish soap if necessary. Avoid abrasive sponges and cloths, as well as acidic cleaners, which can dull the stone.
Check with your manufacturer regarding recommended retail household cleaners compatible with your soapstone slab, or use water, avoiding sponges and scrubbers. Re-apply mineral oil as desired to enhance the dark, lustrous surface of your stone.
For any stone surfaces for which the above daily cleaning regimes fall short, look to manufacturer advice for specifically-compatible cleaning and stain-removing solutions and practices.
Natural Stone in the Shower & Bath:
Squeegee soap scum away.
This mixture of soap, skin cells and water can leave a hard to remove film on stone shower surfaces. A simple squeegee after showering can help you gain the upper-hand against this nasty nuisance.
Swab the deck with a microfiber towel.
If you’re not a fan of squeegees, wiping the walls of your natural stone shower with a microfiber towel works just as well. (Just be sure to wash them once a week to prevent bacteria buildup.)
Tackle stuck-on soap scum with eraser sponges.
These sponges use friction to ‘melt’ soap scum from stone surfaces and are chemical-free – so feel free to use them while showering!
Fog the filth away…
With a steam cleaner. Canister-style models with hoses/attachments are especially good for cleaning not only stone, but tile and grout lines, without the need for noxious chemicals.
Rediscover the beauty of your natural stone slab with these and other tips from Granite Imports today.