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Maintenance & Cleaning for Natural Stone

Maintenance Cleaning in Common Stone Locations  

 

Countertops and Vanities
Use a neutral, pH-balanced cleaner, specially formulated for stone, on a regular basis to remove residues from cooking oils and everyday food spills, as well as hairspray or other cosmetics. Be careful with common foods and drinks contain acids that may etch or dull the stone surface. Also, some common toiletries (i.e., perfume, toothpaste, mouthwash) contain acids and other ingredients that may damage the stone surface or degrade the sealer.

Soapstone Care
Soapstone is primarily comprised of talc, giving it it's soft look and feel. The Architectural grade of Soapstone (non-porous and ideal for kitchen countertop use) is generally darker and has a talc content of 30%-50%. Artistic Soapstone is classified by its softness, with a talc content of greater than 60%, making it perfect for carving and sculpture.

Architectural Soapstone does vary somewhat in the shade of the material, and you have some flexibility in determining the final look of your kitchen countertop.

To achieve the darker look (deep charcoal-black), all that is needed is mineral oil, which you can purchase at your local drugstore or supermarket. Just rub it into the stone and remove any excess that sits on the surface, repeating this process several times until you reach the level of darkness desired. The darker color will help to hide minor scratches that typically occur with normal use.

The other option is to not do a thing! You can keep the natural look of the soapstone by simply washing your countertops with water. If left untreated, Soapstone will naturally achieve a slightly darkened patina after years of use.

Floor Surfaces
Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean, non-treated, dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness. Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the potential damage from these particles. In addition, be careful when using a vacuum cleaner as the metal or plastic attachments or wheels may scratch the surface. Damp mop the stone floor with a diluted solution of a neutral cleaner designed for stone. Keep off floor until completely dry, as wet stone floors may be slippery.

Bath and Other Wet Areas
Periodic use of a neutral stone cleaner will remove any soap scum or hard water deposits that may have formed. In the bath, or other wet areas, using a squeegee after each use can minimize soap scum and hard water deposit buildup.

What to Do When a Spill Occurs?
No matter how careful you are, spills are going to happen. A quick response and the right solutions can keep spills from damaging your stone or degrading the sealer.

Etch Marks
Highly acidic substances such as orange juice, coffee, vinegar, wine, tomato products, mustard and many soft drinks will “etch” most marble, limestone and travertine. Sealing allows you time to wipe up a spill, but it cannot stop the chemical reaction that may leave a dull mark.

General cleaners not specifically designed for natural stone are not recommended. These may etch away the polish, discolor the surface, scratch the stone or degrade the sealer. Professional refinishing is the best way to permanently remove etch marks and restore your natural stone’s even finish.

Food Spills
Scoop up the food with a plastic spoon. Blot with dry, white cloth. Spray the area with a neutral stone cleaner and wipe off excess with a clean cloth.

Liquid Spills
Blot away the excess with a clean, dry, white cloth while turning the cloth frequently. Spray the area with a neutral stone cleaner and wipe off excess with a clean cloth.

Mud
Let the mud stain dry completely. Remove dried mud with a soft plastic or nylon brush. Spray affected area with a neutral stone cleaner. Wipe dry with a clean cloth. If the stain remains, contact a professional cleaner.

Oily Stains
If you identify the stain as having an oil base (from foods like salad, cooking oils, butter or some cosmetics) you may be able to remove the stain using a poultice. A poultice will wick up the stain from deep within the stone.

Note: Above instructions are for reference purposes only. Please follow label directions on back of actual product.

Recommended Products
- Revitalizer® Cleaner and Protector
- Stone & Tile Cleaner

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