Not all types of natural stone are created equal. For example, igneous rocks are formed by plutonic and volcanic processes that start out as magma before numerous minerals solidify and crystallize by means of pressure or cooling down. Sedimentary rocks such as sandstone are formed by detritus, precipitation, and chemical reactions. Metamorphic rocks such as marble go through multiple processes before forming into ornamental layers that can be extracted and finished. The natural stones that are mostly used for interior decoration purposes can be further classified into siliceous, which means quartz-like, or calcareous, which means calcium-based, stones. Knowing your stone will determine how it should be cleaned and cared for, though it should be noted that the general care is essentially the same. To this effect, here are some recommendations based on different types of stone.
To preserve the timeless beauty of marble, you’ll need to stick to a frequent and efficient cleaning and sealing schedule. Instead of a broom, use a dust sweeper equipped with a soft head to avoid scratching the surface of the floor. Marble floors can be mopped or wiped down with marble and granite squeeze and mop floor cleaner. Both countertops and floors made of marble require frequent cleaning and sealing, particularly in kitchens where food preparation volume tends to be high. Make sure to keep all common household cleaning products away from marble as well as other natural-stone surfaces.
Check out this quick video showing you how to use Granite Gold Squeeze & Mop Floor Cleaner®:
Caring for granite is very similar to marble. It’s important to regularly use a stone-safe cleaner, sealer, and polish to maintain the stone. Should you find organic stains caused by coffee, wine, tea, or fruit juice, you can safely use bleach to remove them. All you need to do is soak a paper towel or white terry cloth towel in bleach and place it on the stain for 24 hours, then rinse with water afterward, then seal immediately after. Granite with a shiny finish looks great after polishing, but you should refrain from polishing floors made of granite and any other types of natural stone because they’ll become too slippery to walk on safely.
Slate may appear to be a more resilient stone when compared to marble and granite, but this depends on whether it was extracted from a calcareous or siliceous quarry. Regardless if your slate flooring is siliceous or calcareous, keep all acidic substances away, including vinegar and most cleaning products sold at your local supermarket. Your best bet is to stick to a specially formulated slate and granite cleaner such as Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® since it’s safe for all slate surfaces.
Like the other types of natural stone mentioned above, travertine is also very sensitive to acidic substances, which means the sealing schedule should be frequent when travertine countertops are installed in the kitchen or bathroom. The best way to apply sealant is to wipe it into the travertine surface with a lint-free cloth to prevent hazing, then buff with another lint-free cloth, being careful to not leave any streaks behind.
As you can see, the basic guidelines for caring for all types of natural stone involve a 3-step process: cleaning, sealing, and—aside from stone flooring—polishing. If you’d like to learn more from the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold, give us a call at 1-800-475-STONE (7866). If you’re on Facebook, make sure to like our page for additional tips on natural-stone and quartz care.