Care and Cleaning of Natural Stone
Natural stone tends to have a bad rap for those who haven’t had it in their homes. Many of our customers are concerned that granite is difficult to care for because of the need to seal it periodically. The great thing about natural stone is that it is very durable and takes a very minimal amount of care to keep it looking new. The following information is taken directly from the Marble Institute of America: the authoritative source of information on standards of workmanship and practice and the suitable application of natural stone products. I’ve excerpted tips that pertain to marble and granite specifically.
Easy Care Tips
- Coasters: Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices.
- Trivets: While many stones can withstand heat, the use of trivets or mats is recommended.
- Spills: Blot the spill with a paper towel immediately. Don’t wipe the area, it will spread the spill. Flush the area with water and mild soap and rinse several times. Dry the area with a soft cloth and repeat as necessary.
- Cleaning: Clean stone surfaces with a natural cleaner, stone-soap, or a mild (clear) liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water and be sure to rinse the surface thoroughly after washing.
- Cleaning Products: Cleaning products can be found at nearly any store that carries cleaning supplies, just be sure that the bottle says it is safe to use on natural stone. Products containing lemon, vinegar, or other acids may dull or etch your counter tops. Avoid scouring powers or creams as they often contain abrasives that will scratch certain stones.
- Sealing: Sealing is an extra precaution applied to prevent staining. It is actually an “impregnator” which do not actually seal the stone, but act as a repellent. Note that sealing does not make the stone stain proof, just stain resistant. A sealer is typically applied immediately after install by the installer and left on the surface. After about 30 minutes the homeowner wipes it off with a clean dry cloth and that is all it takes. Many granite-safe cleaning products contain a sealer within them so the need to periodically seal the counters is greatly reduced if you have to seal them at all.