Stone is perfect for floors, counter-tops, and other such applications due to its intense durability and ability to last for decades without ever needing to be replaced.
Of course, stone is not indestructible and will need to be properly maintained if it is to stay looking its best. For homeowners, that means knowing what type of stone you’ve used and how best to care for it.
Luckily, natural stone can be broadly categorized into basic geological classifications: either calcareous or siliceous.
Calcareous stone is composed mainly of calcium, and tends to be paler than other stones. Examples of calcareous stones include marble, limestone, and travertine. Calcium carbonate is sensitive to acidic cleaning solutions, so you’ll need to be on the lookout for milder cleaners. Anything containing lemon or vinegar should be avoided.
Examples of siliceous stones include sandstone, slate, granite, and quartzite. As the name implies, siliceous stone is primarily made up of silicates, such as quartz, mica, and feldspar. These compounds are able to resist most of the acids that cause issues with calcareous stone, but they may still contain trace levels of such substances, so acidic cleaners are still best avoided. You should also refrain from using rust removers; they contain trace levels of hydrofluoric acid, which attacks silicates.
No matter the type of stone in your house, you can keep everything clean and in good order by following the quick and easy tips provided below:
- All you need to clean stone surfaces is a neutral cleaner, some special stone soap, or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent. Mix with warm water and then clean away.
- Though no damage can occur when you use the products listed above, you will still find that a high concentration of cleaning agent or soap leaves a film and causes streaks, so remember to use plenty of water.
- If you’re cleaning stone floors, a clean rag mop is best. For other surfaces, just use a soft cloth. Scouring pads may damage your stone over time.
- Once you’re finished, make sure you rinse the surface and then dry it with another soft cloth. Change your rinsing water frequently if you need to clean a large area.
- In outdoor areas, flush with clean water and then use a mild bleach solution to eradicate algae or moss.
Stone might be a tough material, but you still need to be careful. If you have any doubts, just contact your supplier for some detailed cleaning advice.