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Helpful Hints for Cleaning Natural Stone Surfaces

Natural stone products make beautiful additions to any home. Choosing a granite countertop or marble floor is an excellent way to make an elegant update that is also durable and functional. However, to keep natural stone products looking their best, it's essential to care for them properly.

Homeowners love the look of natural stone products. A glossy finish catches the eye, but it has a purpose too. Usually that finish is the result of the polishing process that the stone undergoes at the factory and the resilient stone sealant. That sealant is what protects the stone from stains and etches. Homeowners who are having a natural stone product installed might want to ask the technicians if the sealant has already been applied. If it hasn't, then the homeowner will need to do it or hire someone to do it right away. If the sealant has already been applied, then the stone surface is ready for use, but the integrity of the seal needs to be checked in the future.

Caring for natural stone products is generally easy. However, it is important to use the right tools for the job. Many common household cleansers are not appropriate for use on natural stone. They may leave stains or cause etches, causing the homeowner to pay for costly repairs. It's always best to use reputable cleaning products that are designed specifically for use on natural stone. Not only will these cleaning products do a better job, but they also won't cause any damage to that beautiful stone.

Periodically checking the seal on a stone surface is a necessity. Testing the viability of the sealant isn't difficult. Every six months pour water onto the natural stone in several different areas. Each spot of water should be about two to three inches in diameter. Let the water sit for 30 minutes. If a dark spot is left behind by the water, it means that the protective seal is no longer working. It's time to seal that surface again so no further harm can come to it. Be especially mindful of natural stone backsplashes. They are easy to overlook, but updating the sealant in these areas is just as important.

Regular polishing is another important part of caring for natural stone products. Polishing extends the life of the protective sealant, and also enables the surface to better resist fingerprint smudges and water spots. While most natural stone surfaces are improved by regular polishing, it's best to not perform this service on any floors made from natural stone. Polishing will only make them very slippery to the point that they become too hazardous for use. Regular dry dusting is an excellent way to care for these floors. Mopping with an approved natural stone cleaner will keep those floors sparkling and colorful.

It's always best to wipe or mop up spills as quickly as possible. This helps prevent a permanent stain in case the protective seal is in need of refurbishing. Along with getting cleaners made specifically for natural stone products, it also makes sense to use a microfiber cloth, terry towel or other implement specifically designed for use on stone.

Natural stone products enhance the livability, functionality and resale value of any home. Properly caring for these products is an important means for protecting that valuable investment.

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