Natural Stone bears natures complexities and shows large variations in its absorption, debsity, and hardness. Thses have an important impact on how to protect and preserve the appearance and beauty of the stone.
Due to these natural variations many stone surfaces can easily lose their appealing qualities due to damage resulting from everyday wear of foot traffic, spills, and harsh cleaners.
The fact that the stone is absorbent and has a mineral chemistry that can react in strange ways to conventional cleaners, makes the proper selection of cleaners very important for successfully maintaining stone on a daily bases.
Many of the commercial conventional products that are labeled "Neutral", All-Purpose" cleaners can have a ph ranging from slightly acidic 6 to a alkaline base of 8-10. The chemical reactions of these cleaners are gradual; they will eventually dull the natural polish of the stone and discolor it over time. It is not recommended using these "all purppose" cleaners on natural stone surfaces. Most Natural stone care products have been formulated to effectively solve the specific cleaning problems related to the absorbent mineral characteristics of stone.
A regular maintenance schedule will prolong the natural beauty and appearance of the stone.
It is important to dust mop floors regularly especially polished ones to remove abrasive substances such as dirt, grit, and sand from the outdoors.
Stone has three basic finishes.....
Polished: A highly reflective glassy surface
Honed: A smooth surface with little to no light reflection.
Textured: Natural cleft, flamed or rough surface with no reflection
Damp mopping with neutral cleaner can be done to clean all three finishes. Be sure and follow the manufactures recommendations.
Stone in Bathrooms
With the introduction of stone surfaces into the restroom environment, unique maintenance challeges arrived. There are major differences between cleaning for appearances and cleaning for health.
A successful restroom stone maintenance program requires two factors:
Treating the stone with a penetrating sealer...
These penetrating sealers are unlike conventional floor sealers, they are not topical coatings. They penetrate below the surfaces into the micro-pore structure, lining them and interrupting the natural migration of moisture in the stone, thus eliminating or greatly reducing the "water active" values needed to support the growth of odor and disease causing bacteria, preventing the development of biological staining, and the damaging affects of water, the dissovlving and leaching if the softer minerals in the stone, causing pitts, spalling and popping. By making the stone actively water, soil and stain repellent, the penitrating sealer actually permits the practice of preventive cleaning and maintenance. This practice can help also prevent costly restoritive cleaning, repairs and replacement.
DO NOT USE:
Acidic tile, tub and grout cleaners. Avoid using powdered cleansers (Comet, etc.), and soft cream cleansers (Soft Scub, etc.), mildew/mold removers (TIle X, X14, CLR), disinfectants (Lysol, etc.) and abrasive nylon scrub pads.
Even weak acids - vinegar, wine, orange juice, cola - can damage marble. Mop up spills immediately and rinse with water.