Get to Know Your Stone
The first step in proper stone care and maintenance is to understand your stone’s geological classification and composition. This information will help you to identify what cleaning products to use and how best to care for your natural stone.

SedimentaryMetamorphicIgneousAcidic Cleaners???
Calcareous

Limestone
Travertine
Onyx
Marble
Serpentine
NO
Siliceous
SandstoneSlate
Quartzite
Soapstone
GraniteASK YOUR STONE PROFESSIONAL

Natural stone is categorized into three basic geological classifications by their respective formation processes: Sedimentary, Metamorphic and igneous. Additionally, stones in each category can be either Calcareous or Siliceous.

  1. Calcareous stone – composed mainly of calcium carbonate, a chemical compound commonly found in natural stone, shells and pearls. Calcium Carbonate is sensitive to acidic solutions so mild, non-acidic cleaners are recommended.
  2. Siliceous stone – composed primarily of silicates, such as quartz, feldspar, mica, etc. as such, a siliceous stone is generally resistant to most acids found in kitchen settings, although acidic cleaners are still not recommended, as these stones may contain trace levels of minerals that are acid sensitive.

Simple Tips

Coasters: Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices.

Trivets: While many stones can withstand heat, the use of trivets or mats is recommended.

Dust Mopping: Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean non-treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit are abrasive and can damage natural stone.

Mats/rugs: Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt and grit that may scratch the stone floor. Be sure that the underside of the mat or rug is a slip resistant surface.

Vacuum cleaners: If used, be sure the metal or plastic attachments or the wheels are not worn as they can scratch the surface of some stones.

Spills: Blot the spill with a paper towel immediately. Don’t wipe the area, it will spread the spill. Flush the area with water and mild soap and rinse several times. Dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth. Repeat as necessary.

Cleaning

  • Clean stone surfaces with a neutral cleaner, stone soap, or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Similar to any item cleaned in your home, an excessive concentration of cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Follow manufacturer recommendations.
  • Use a clean rag mop on floors and a soft cloth for other surfaces for best results.
    Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth. Change the rinse water frequently.
  • In the bath or other wet areas, soap scum can be minimized by using a squeegee after each use. To remove soap scum, use a non-acidic soap scum remover or a solution of ammonia and water (about 1/2 cup ammonia to a gallon of water). Frequent or over-use of an ammonia solution may eventually dull the surface of some stone types.
  • In outdoor pool, patio or hot tub areas, flush with clear water and use mild bleach solution to remove algae or moss.

Sealing

Stone is Absorbent…
Although we usually think of stone as “hard”, it is a porous material. Natural stone has varying degrees of porosity depending on the type of stone. If left unsealed, spills and everyday messes can easily penetrate the surface. The liquid eventually evaporates but the stain is left behind.
Highly acidic substances such as orange juice, coffee, and wine will also etch sensitive stones and leave a dull mark. Acid-resistant stones such as most granite, slate, and sandstone will not etch.

Sealing is a common step taken on some stones as an extra precaution against staining. In fact, the sealing products used in the stone industry are “impregnators” which do not actually seal the stone, but more correctly act as a repellent rather than a sealer. Sealing does not make the stone stain proof, rather it makes the stone more stain resistant. When consulting with your stone supplier, you may find that many stones do not require sealing. However, applying an impregnating sealer is a common practice.
When considering sealing, remember that sealing the stone does not make the stone stain proof, it makes it more resistant to staining. If a sealer is applied in a food preparation area, be sure that it is non-toxic and safe for use.

Contact Us or Consult with your supplier or sealing manufacturer specific to the type of sealer and frequency of use recommended.