Not all stones perform alike. Different stones have different characteristics, which result in different care and cleaning needs. A stone’s classification and geological composition will ultimately help determine the best care. We suggest answering these three main questions before cleaning and caring for any natural stone.
Determine if the stone is natural or engineered (man-made). Click here to view all of the types of stone we carry. For care and cleaning of all engineered products, please visit our Resource Library for specific care and maintenance procedures.
Porous stones tend to have make-up and structure that are less dense, allowing absorption and airflow to take place in the material. Nonporous stones are denser and do not absorb well or allow much airflow. All natural stones are porous to a degree or lesser degree. Most granites and some polished quartzites are generally nonporous, while natural stones like marble, limestone, and onyx are softer and less dense, and therefore are more porous materials. Engineered or man-made materials tend to be nonporous because they are manufactured to obtain a high level of durability. Using the proper product to seal your stone will greatly protect against porosity.
You’ll want to determine how vulnerable or resistant the stone is showing life. This includes etching, scratching, and staining. Europeans have lived with natural stone for hundreds of years and understand that some stones have a life of their own, showing what is known as a patina. Some people find this attractive, much like a pair of your favorite jeans or a leather belt. This depends on your personal level of tolerance and preference. Other factors that can determine a material’s resistance or susceptibility would be the finish that has been applied to the stone.
When it comes to disinfecting and cleaning stone, there is one thing to remember: simple practices go a long way, and sealing your stone with the proper sealers will be of the utmost importance.
Choose a cleaner that is water-based and PH-neutral with no harsh chemicals. We like MORE Surface Care Stone & Quartz Cleaner + Protector. and DryTreat Rujevenata. For general cleaning, use mild dish soap with warm or hot water to disinfect and clean. If you wish, you may also use a Clorox Wipe on nonporous surfaces.
For honed finishes and stones like marble, onyx, limestone, dolomite, and travertine, never use aggressive scrubbers, a Clorox wipe, bleach, vinegar, ammonia-based products, or anything acidic. All of these household products may cause etching. Use mild dish soap with warm or hot water to disinfect or clean, or use a water-based cleaning product. If you are installing one of these stones in a high traffic area like a kitchen, we also recommend using a high-grade sealer and installing it according to the manufacturer’s specifications. While there is no perfect solution to protect against etching, there are products on the market that will help. These are applied by trained stone restoration professionals. One of these products is MORE™ AntiEtch™. These types of solutions help to stop the etching and staining caused by acidic foods and liquids.
Protect your stone with a sealer
Protecting your stone with a sealer and keeping it clean will help keep your stone in great shape. At any given time, all stone and can absorb spills and stains if not properly treated. Many foods, drinks, and chemicals contain acids that can harm or discolor stone surfaces. Impregnating sealers are recommended to prevent or minimize staining. We recommend and sell professional-grade DryTreat or More Surface Care sealers. Some of these sealers have warranties from 4 to 15 years. You can purchase these directly from any of our showrooms, order them online, or through your fabricator.
Should a stain or problem occur, the good news with natural stone is that staining, surface scratches, and etches can generally be removed by an experienced stone care professional. It will be important to know what caused the stain or problem. A stone care professional will use specialized tools and techniques to bring your stone’s natural beauty back. Our experienced staff can help recommend a stone care professional for your needs.
For cleaning, care, and maintenance of engineered stone surfaces, please visit our Resource Library. There you will find the simple tips and specific care and maintenance guidelines provided by the manufacturers of these man-made products.