Countertops, floors, and other surfaces made from stone have many benefits, including durability and customization of appearances. However, keeping stone surfaces looking pristine can be a challenge. Complicating matters further is that many common cleaning tools and solutions will damage stone surfaces. There are plenty of over-the-counter solutions that homeowners can apply to protect and maintain their stone surfaces. However, there will be situations and tasks that will be better suited to professionals with experience with the restoration and treatment of stone surfaces.
Use Soft Cloths
Homeowners should use only soft cloths to wipe their stone surfaces. Homeowners should wipe up spills as soon as possible to prevent the spill from seeping into the stone surface’s pores. Whereas properly-applied sealant can dramatically reduce the chances of liquids seeping into the underlying stone, homeowners should still clean up spells quickly.
Purchase Specialized Cleaners
We strongly recommend against using dye-based cleaners to remove stains from stone surfaces, as the dyes can make the stains worse. Hardware stores and some supermarkets will sell cleaning solutions specifically designed for stone surfaces. (When in doubt, feel free to call us for cleaning solution recommendations or ask an experienced store manager or clerk.) Homeowners should plan to clean their stone surfaces at least once a day to remove accumulated dirt, dust, acids, and other harmful debris. Avoid acidic cleaners and bleach, as they will damage the stone.
Apply Protective Sealants
Professionally-trained marble stone technicians can apply protective sealant to stone surfaces to provide years of protection. In addition to preventing liquids from falling into stone surfaces’ pores, protective sealants resist stains and damage from dirt, debris, and typical wear and tear. Commercial sealants are also available at hardware stores and some supermarkets. How often sealants need to be applied will depend on the type of stone surface and the type of sealant being applied, though homeowners should plan on either applying new sealant or hiring a professional to apply new sealant every two years. Note that quartz stone surfaces do not require resealing after the manufacturer applies the initial protectant sealant. There are some engineered stone surfaces that also do not need resealing; homeowners and homebuyers should consider such surfaces when purchasing or redecorating their homes.
Polishing Is Not Always the Best Policy
Surfaces made from marble, travertine, granite, or quartzite, as well as any stone floor, should not be polished; polishing will render the surfaces too slippery, increasing the risks of slip-and-fall accidents. For other stone surfaces, routine professional polishing is a good way to preserve the surface’s appearance. Over-the-counter stone polishing solutions are available, but homeowners should familiarize themselves with the products and ensure that they can safely and effectively apply the polish before making a purchase.
Though stone surfaces are strong and durable, they have their limits. Homeowners should minimize exposure to extreme heat such as pots and pans during cooking. The excessive heat can crack stone surfaces. Homeowners should resist the urge to stand or sit on any stone surface that is not a stone floor. Stone surfaces not designed for heavy traffic or significant weight will crack when someone sits or stands on them. Avoid exposure to any acidic solution, for even mild acids can cause etching on a sealed stone surface. Homeowners should refrain from using sharp utensils directly on stone surfaces to prevent the risk of scratching the stone surfaces.
Physical Damage Requires Restoration
No amount of cleaners, sealants, and polish can undo physical damage and wear to a stone surface. Homeowners with damaged stone surfaces should contact a professional restoration company to appraise the damage and apply repairs when possible.
When in Doubt, Ask
There are multiple types of natural and engineered stone materials used in stone surfaces, and each type of stone has its own physical properties, benefits, and drawbacks. The best time to perform research and ask questions is before any installation or redecoration activities. Information available on the internet may vary in quality, but consultations and guidelines offered by licensed professionals will serve homeowners well.
Classic Marble Restoration offers high-quality marble restoration, cleaning, polishing, and sealing for residential homes, commercial buildings, and yachts in the tri-county area in Southern Florida. We understand how to care for different types of stone, including granite, quartz and marble to prevent damage from harsh cleansers and tools. Our company uses a specialized machine with diamond particle discs to smooth chips and cracks from stone before vacuuming the fine dust. Our insured and licensed team can deliver expert results with every type of marble, terrazzo, granite, and natural stone surfaces. Please feel free to contact us by filling our online form or calling us at (954) 578-3600.