Recommended Stone Care Procedures
It would be nice if stone care were as easy as publishing a list of rules that apply in all situations and environmental conditions. Yet, in reality, it not that simple. The fact that natural stone is installed in a variety of environments makes it a challenge in itself. Add to that the fact that it is a material used for all sorts of surfaces and you have two factors influencing the way a given material must be maintained. In this article we are going to talk a bit about the general recommendations for daily stone care. During our discussion we will talk a little bit about these guidelines in light of where the material is and its use.
Why Recommendations Matter
Before we start down the path of recommendations, we need to first contemplate why this recommended stone care matters in the first place. The reason is a relatively simple one really, these recommendations have been formulated based on many, many years of application. In fact, the guidelines in this article are derived from those recommended by the Natural Stone Institute. So, the recommendations mentioned in this article are not only based on an authoritative source, but have also been tested repeatedly and have proved reliable. Now that we have considered why recommendations matter, we can proceed with the recommendations.
Where Stone is Used and Maintained
In considering the general recommendations for daily stone care, we will begin by looking at environments in which stone is used. Because of its versatility, natural stone is used in a variety of environments. And to some degree, the environment has a bearing on how the stone is cared for and maintained.
Indoor Stone Surface Recommendations
Interior surfaces made of natural stone are generally uncomplicated to care for and maintain as far as daily routine is concerned. Cleaning surfaces using a mild detergent, stone soap, or a neutral cleaner made specifically for natural stone is recommended in the case of countertops and other elevated horizontal surfaces. Flooring similarly may be periodically cleaned using a neutral cleaners and potable water. Additionally, it is recommended that stone floors be frequently dust mopped using a clean, untreated dust mop.
Recommended Outdoor Stone Surface Care
As mentioned at the outset, natural stone is a durable material. As such, it is often used for outdoor surfaces. Out door walking surfaces made of stone include, but are not limited to, outdoor pool areas, hot tub surrounds, and patios. Caring for these kinds of stone surfaces is generally just a matter of performing a couple of tasks on a regular basis. First, flush the surface with clear water to remove any surface contaminants that may be present on the surface. Second, use a mild bleach solution on the surface to remove algae or moss. For another option, you can use a mold remover for stone that also sanitizes the surface and inhibits the regrowth of moss, algae and other biological culprits.
Other exterior surfaces made from natural stone may be similarly maintained using regular washing with water coupled with the regular removal of debris. Surfaces such as walkways, steps, fountains, and driveways are among these.
Additional Recommendations for Stone Surfaces
Now that we have covered the general cleaning instructions for stone indoors and out, we will briefly mention some further recommendations to keep in mind if you are attending to natural stone surfaces.
In addition to the recommendations mentioned above, mats and area rugs around entrances and exits reduce the amount of dirt, sand and other particulates that are transferred via the shoes of people walking through those doorways. The reduction of these particles will help to minimize the resulting scratching of these floors.
Soap-less cleaners are the preferred recommended cleaner for stone floors because they minimize streaks and films that other cleaners leave behind. When using mild, biodegradable, and phosphate-free cleaners be sure and rinse these thoroughly. This can be done by repeatedly changing the water in your rinse container and doing it frequently. The same is also true of dish-washing liquids, powders, or stone soaps.
Stone Countertop Surfaces
Like stone floors, there are recommended practices for stone countertops which are related to cleaning that will ensure the best possible appearance of the surface. When treating a calcareous natural stone surface such as marble or one of the others, do not use acidic substances like vinegar, citric cleaners or other acids since they will harm the stone. Additionally, stay away form scouring powders and creams since these will scratch the stone and make it dull looking due to the abrasives they contain.