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Stone Care

Keep your surfaces looking their best!

Caring for your stone is an important step in keeping your countertops “like new” for years to come. Luckily, natural stone countertops require minimal maintenance. Adhering to the following guidelines will help keep your countertops just as beautiful as the day they were installed.

For engineered stone care, please follow the appropriate manufacturer’s guidelines by visiting their website for care and maintenance information.

Cleaning

Clean all stone surfaces with a neutral cleaner, stone soap, or a mild dishwashing detergent and warm water. Rinse the surface thoroughly after cleaning and dry with a soft cloth.

Never use abrasive cleaners, like Comet or Soft Scrub. These cleaners could scratch or dull the surface of the countertops.

Avoid chemical cleaners such as Fantastic or Formula 409. These chemicals could etch and dull the countertops.

Do not use any cleaner that contains ammonia, such as Windex. Ammonia will build up and could leave a film on the countertops.

To prevent thermal shock, refrain from setting anything extremely hot or cold directly onto the stone. The use of trivets and cutting boards is always recommended.

Sealing

Natural stone countertops are sealed with a commercial sealer after fabrication. It is recommended that you re-seal the stone once per year.

Granite and marble sealers are readily available at hardware retail stores.

Do not use any type of wax.

Engineered stone does not require sealer.

Stain Removal

Identifying the type of stain is the first and most important step. Various stains require different treatments, and what removes one type may not remove the others. The following describes types of stains and methods of removing them:

Oil-based (grease, cooking oil, cosmetics)— Oil stains will darken the stone and must be chemically dissolved with a household detergent, mineral spirits, or acetone.

Organic (coffee, tea, wine, fruit, food, leaves)—Possibly pinkish-brown in color, and can be removed with 12% hydrogen peroxide or a few drops of ammonia.

Metal (rust, iron, copper, bronze) – Brown or orange in color and must be removed with a poultice.

Biological (algae, mildew, fungi, moss) – Clean with a half cup of ammonia, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide, and a gallon of water. Do not mix bleach and ammonia.

Ink (marker, pen) – On light-colored stones, clean with bleach or hydrogen peroxide. On dark stones, clean with lacquer thinner or acetone.

Paint—Small amounts of paint can be scraped with a razor blade or removed with lacquer thinner. Large amounts of paint coverage must be removed with a paint stripper. Paint strippers can etch the stone, and re-polishing may be required. Paint stripper contains caustic ingredients; use of rubber gloves and eye protection is highly advised.

Water spots—Buff with steel wool

Etch marks (caused by acids left on the surface) – Requires re-finishing or re-polishing

Efflorescence (a white powder that may appear on the surface of the stone) – Caused by mineral deposits of salts carried by water below the surface of the stone. The powder can be removed by dust mopping or vacuuming, and may require several attempts as the stone dries out. Do not use water to remove the powder.

 

Further information from the Natural Stone Institute:

Natural Stone Institute Maintenance Guide

Making and Using a Poultice

 

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