Stone Surfaces are Gorgeous
They may appear gorgeous and luxurious, but they take a very specialized knowledge to keep them clean and looking good. Whether your solid counters and floors are granite, travertine, marble or another organic surface, they must be sealed during installation by a professional. Installers use two type of sealers. Some stone surfaces are finished with a penetrating sealer which, as its name suggests, sinks into the stone. You can protect others with a topical sealer which forms a protective layer on top of the stone surfaces.
Granite is a very hard surface and therefore one of the most popular choices for kitchen and bathroom countertops. To check and be sure that the sealer is still working, drop a few drops of plain water on the stone surface. If the water beads up, the sealer is still working fine. If the water sinks in, then the granite will need to be resealed. You can hire someone to do that, or you can purchase a good granite sealer at your local home store. Be sure to read the directions thoroughly and follow them to the letter. If you are unsure about what product to use, contact your installer. They will give you a recommendation and may even sell you a DIY product.
You will see marble more often in a bathroom for counters or even for showers, themselves. The situation with marble is that it is much softer and more sensitive then harder stone surfaces like granite. You must be sure that no acid cleaner (something under 6 on the pH scale) gets on the surface. This will etch the marble and it may have to be sanded and refinished by a professional. This could cost thousands of dollars to have done. To prevent soap scum build up, a marble shower should be squeegeed after each use. When cleaning, always use a neutral pH cleaner (7 on the pH scale).
Routine Maintenance of Stone Surfaces
When cleaning a stone floor, wipe gently first using a soft dust mop or vacuum daily. Mop up all spills quickly. Clean with a neutral pH (7) cleaner. Read the label of any cleaner you might pick up in the grocery store or get a proper stone cleaner from your installer or a local janitor supply house.
With proper care, your stone surfaces should last forever looking just as good as the day they were installed. At Custom Maid, our cleaning technicians are trained in how to handle special stone surfaces. Call us at 499-8568 and let us take over your weekly or bi-weekly cleaning chores.
Editor’s Note: We originally published this article in October 2013. We have edited it for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.