Natural stone is an investment which can last a lifetime and look as beautiful as the day you bought it. It’s as easy as giving your stone the care it deserves with proper natural stone cleaning. While stone is durable and long-lasting, it’s not indestructible. Using the wrong cleaning products or neglecting maintenance can cause irreversible damage.
There are a large variety of different natural stone flooring and countertops. They include marble, granite, slate, and sandstone, to name a few. Each type of stone also comes in different design patterns and shades to compliment the natural aesthetic of your home.
To keep your stone looking immaculate for generations to come, it requires proper maintenance and regular care. Doing so will ensure they keep their shine and beauty.
General maintenance and the cleaning tools used are very similar for most natural stones. But, there are different chemical components and physical features of natural stone. This means each one needs special care.
What happens if you don’t have the right knowledge of natural stone cleaning? Well, it can lead to homeowners making mistakes which may lead to the stone being damaged.
Here are 5 natural stone cleaning mistakes people make, and how to avoid them.
1. Using Vinegar To Clean
It’s essential to only use cleaners which are appropriate for natural stone surfaces. This means avoiding using vinegar.
Stones like limestone, marble, or travertine will react to vinegar because it’s an acidic cleaner with harsh effects. It can even lead to burning or etching to occur on the surface of the stone. Instead, cleaners should have a neutral pH level of 7 for natural stone cleaning.
For stone such as granite, vinegar will not cause any noticeable damage to the stone. But it can lead to the applied sealer breaking down. If this happens, you then need to have the stone resealed more frequently than usual.
2. Using An Abrasive Tool
A lot of homeowners associate cleaning stains and etches with a scrubbing pad. As well as some elbow grease. But, doing so for natural stone cleaning is most likely to make the stone deteriorate quicker.
This is because a scrubbing pad has an abrasive effect on stone. Instead, use a soft cotton cloth with a mild solution, and resist the urge to ‘buff’ any scratches or stains. The only way to repair an etched stone is by honing and then restoring the stone.
3. Not Using A Dust Mop Daily
Minor dust and debris are often difficult to see. But on a surface like a natural stone floor, they can become abrasive when caught under your feet as you walk over your stone flooring. If this occurs, over time, it can lead to wear patterns and a dull appearance.
It’s recommended to use a dust mop to clean your natural stone floors and countertops daily, or every second day. You can also use a vacuum cleaner instead of a dust mop. Also, you should use a neutral cleaner weekly to wash your stone floors.
4. Not protecting High Foot Traffic Areas
Over time, high foot traffic on stone surfaces causes the stone to wear down. This will change its appearance, and make the stone seem dull. Because of this, it’s recommended to use doormats, rugs, and runners. Place them in areas such as hallways, and kitchens where there is heavy foot traffic in your home.
5. Not Regularly Sealing Your Stone
For many stones, it’s recommended to seal them as part of their general maintenance and care. Homeowners may be tempted to try and seal their stone DIY. But for best results, you should only have your stone sealed by a professional natural stone cleaning service.
The average timeframe you should have your stones sealed is between three to five years. But in areas which have high-profile foot traffic, and there are windows with a lot of sunlight, the sealing may need to be done yearly.
For DIY stone sealing, it’s critical to use a solvent-based impregnating sealer. This acts as preventative maintenance. While it will stop etching from happening on stone, you still need to perform regular maintenance.
If you don’t seal your stone, it can lead to damage, which may mean that the entire stone needs replacing. This is due to unsealed stone quickly absorbing liquids and food. When it happens, it will cause deep stains within the stone.
Staining can happen in just a few minutes, even if the spill is immediately wiped up. Natural stone also absorbs pigments and grease. Because of this, sealing is essential.
Tricks To Make Your Stone Shine
Besides avoiding natural stone cleaning mistakes, here are a few tips and tricks to make your stone shine and look brand new.
Use a wet cloth with a decent amount of salt and rub. Clean the stone thoroughly, and dry rub it with another soft piece of cloth until it’s dry.
Use aerosol products to clean wood finishes. They usually contain wax, which brings out the shine.
Wet a mop with gasoline. Scrub the stone with the mop, and then let it dry.
For black stones, black shoe polish brings out their finish.
Use extra-virgin wax or self-shining wax. After the stone has dried, then scrub it later.
Use a glass cleaner.
When you apply layers of wax to natural stone, it doesn’t just give them a natural shine. It also helps to seal their pores. But, you should be aware that by adding many layers of wax, it can cause a yellow appearance. This is most noticeable with clear coloured stones.
If this occurs, you’ll need to remove excess layers of wax. It’s best done using a wax remover and then scrubbing with water and neutral soap. Then wax the surface again.
Avoiding these common mistakes, and with correct and regular natural stone cleaning, you can be sure that your stone will last a lifetime.
For best results, it’s recommended to hire a professional natural stone cleaning service. Enviro Clean & Capture have many years of experience and use environmentally friendly products. For a free-quote call 1300 415 213, today orcontact us online.