Stone Care 101
Choice of stone, application, installation, traffic and maintenance are all factors in how well your natural stone surfaces will perform. We hope to provide you with as much information as possible to help you maintain your stone surfaces so they always look and perform their best.
Fossil / Shell Stone
Flagstone / Sandstone
Ceramic / Porcelain Tile
Care for stone floors
- Use interior and exterior mats at all entrances to keep dirt and grit off floor.
- Dust mop or vacuum floors frequently.
(Use a microfiber dust mop, or a basic dust mop with non-oily residue dust mop treatment.)
- Wipe up spills immediately.
- Wet Mopping
- Use only a quality string mop & Floor Clean & Conditioner.
- Damp mop as needed (ring out almost all water solution and mop floors).
- Flood mop high traffic areas as needed (to flood mop, flood one section of the floor at a time and allow water solution to set for several minutes, then pick up with mop).
care for showers, tables, bar tops and vanities
- Apply Stone Spray to shower walls, table & bar tops, and vanities.
- Squeegee or towel-dry shower walls daily.
- Use coasters under drink glasses.
- Wipe up spills immediately.
- Clean showers, table & bar tops, and vanities weekly with Neutra Clean.
- Disinfect shower and toilet areas weekly with Disinfect Clean.
- Monthly or quarterly, re-apply Stone Spray as needed.
care for kitchen counters
- Clean frequently with Neutra Clean daily stone cleaner.
- Use cutting boards and hot pads when possible.
- Disinfect weekly with Disinfect Clean. Spray and wipe surfaces with Neutra Claen after Disinfect Clean use.
- Apply stone spray weekly.
care for bathrooms
- Clean toilets, floors, basins, showers and other high use areas daily with Neutra Clean.
- Clean toilets, floors, basins, showers and other high use areas weekly with Disinfect Clean.
- Clean glass and mirrors with Glass Clean as needed.
- Stubborn stains, hard water deposits or toilet rings may be removed with Jell Clean or pumice stone.
helpful tips to make your care easier
- NEVER use vinegar, acid based cleaners or harsh abrasive cleansers.
- Interior and exterior walk-off mats at major entrances are a must. Don't forget the garage door!
- Stone floors should be dust mopped more often, and wet mopped less often. Dirt and grit cause the most wear; therefore, eliminating them is best for your floor. (Over wet-mopping can result in soiling the grout and lower areas in the stone.)
- When using a dust mop, treat the mop head with a non-oily residue treatment, this will help attract and hold dust. (Can be purchased through NSCP or from janitorial supply stores.)
- When grout becomes soiled, flood mop floors with Floor Clean & Conditioner, then scrub grout and tile with a soft-bristled brush, pick up water with mop.
- Use leather pieces on the bottom of chairs and stools that are moved frequently. (scrap leather can be purchased at shoe repair stores. Cut to fit and glue on the bottom of chair legs.)
- Chairs with rollers should be avoided on some stones. (travertine, limestone and marble)
- When severe deposit rings build up in toilets, use pumice stones and rub away. (this can be purchased through NSCP or from janitorial supply stores.)
- When cleaning heavily soiled areas, apply cleaning product and let dwell for a few minutes. This allows the agents in the cleaner to do its job, making your job easier.
WHAT CAN CAUSE DAMAGE AND WEAR TO NATURAL STONE?
Through normal living conditions, scratches and wear and tear are created by foot traffic abrasion and can affect stone finish.
Many cleansers contain acids that will damage all marble, limestone & travertine. Soaps, detergents, vinegar and other cleaners containing acid will "etch" the stone; causing dull, hazy and often milky colored markings that impact a stone finish.
Acidic food and drink spills:
Many foods and drinks contain citric acid (i.e. sodas, fruits, juices, tomato sauces, liquors etc.) that impact a stone finish—reverse osmosis water filtering systems often change the pH of the water to acidic. These items often leave etch marks and glass rings when coming in contact with stone surface. Additionally, hot cooking oil can damage stone sealers and cause absorption in those areas.
The improper application of sealers can leave residue displaying a dingy appearance and will attract dirt making it very difficult to clean. If incorrect sealers are used, wear, scuffing and pealing can occur and/or absorption of dirt and oils. When failing to seal a stone surface entirely, the surface can absorb stains and eventually take on odor.
Proper setting materials and techniques will largely impact the appearance. Uneven tiles (lippage) or jagged grout joints can leave the finish looking amateur. Some installers will grind down the lippage on a few tiles leaving dull and marred spots. The flushness of tiles (setting bed depth) and grout-joint-width should be determined prior to installation when possible.
(compound used to fill holes / voids). Most commonly found in travertine, some tiles have a residue that can be felt as grimy and seen as dirty or blotchy.
The abrasive process can leave swirls or blemishes on the stone. As the abrasives wear, the finish can change from pallet to pallet. Density and color differences from one batch to the next can also affect luster.
Stone is crated and then transported by truck, boat, train, forklift, etc. All the movement can generate wear & tear. It is usually stored in outdoor conditions where weather and debris can also have an effect.
During the construction process trades people come in contact with dirt and grit on the stone surface causing wear and marring. Also, equipment, appliances, tools, etc, can cause deep scratches and bruises if dragged or pushed across the stone