Stone Care and Maintenance
Natural stone can be classified into two general categories according to its composition: siliceous stone or calcareous stone. Knowing the difference is critical when selecting cleaning products. Siliceous stone is composed mainly of silica or quartz-like particles. It tends to be very durable and relatively easy to clean with mild acidic cleaning solutions. Types of siliceous stone include: granite, slate, sandstone, quartzite, brownstone, and bluestone. Calcareous stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate. It is sensitive to acidic cleaning products and frequently requires different cleaning procedures than siliceous stone. Types of calcareous stone include: marble, travertine, limestone, and onyx. What may work on siliceous stone may not be suitable on calcareous surfaces.
Care and Precautions Countertops
General guidelines for both siliceous and calcareous stones: Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Do not place hot items right off a stove or out of an oven directly on the stone surface. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and placemats under china, ceramics, silver, or other objects that can scratch the surface. For calcareous stones, many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the stone surface.
Cleaning Do’s and Don’ts
When discussing care and cleaning procedures with your maintenance staff, there are recommended do’s and don’ts that should always be followed:
Do clean surfaces with mild detergent or stone soap.
Do thoroughly rinse and dry the surface with clean, clear water after washing.
Do blot up spills immediately.
Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice, or other cleaners containing acids on marble, limestone, travertine, or onyx surfaces.
Don’t use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners, or tub & tile cleaners.
Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
Don’t mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.
Don’t ever mix chemicals together unless directions specifically instruct you to do so.