Proper Care And Product Suggestions

TIPS ON HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR STONE AND TILE

Cleaning and sealing all natural stones, Travertine, Marble, Limestone, and Sandstone, in that order, are far more sensitive. Like your skin, care should be taken regarding what you apply to it. Natural stone is calcium…acid eats calcium. Keep that in mind. Never use a product on the natural stone that is not marble or natural stone safe. If the product lacks that disclosure we recommend that you don’t take the chance. Don’t use it. A mistake could cost you $300 to thousands in a matter of minutes (restoration will be required). Most cleaning products sold in the average superstore will dull the finish of natural stone unless it is stated that it is safe on marble or natural stone.

Some of the stone killer:

  • Acid, Windex, ammonia, vinegar, 409, Lysol, alcohol, soft drinks, mix for alcoholic drinks, orange and lime juice, etc.

Cleaning and sealing:

  • Needs: Proper cleaner, a bucket of clean water, two rags and a dry towel. The use of a scrub brush, a stiff grout brush, knee pads, and a strong back.
  •  Spray the cleaner on the tile and grout in an area not to exceed 6 sq/ft or less. quickly hard scrub the tile with the brush, scrub the grout with the grout brush, do not let the area dry, dip your brushes in water and scrub until clean, repeat as needed. Do not accept less than clean.
  • Use rags to rinse with clean water. Change the water frequently. Towel dry the stone as you go. When complete, you may need to rinse the floor again with a stone cleaner only and then towel dry the stone again. Just be sure the stone and grout are clean before you seal.

Sealing: 

  • Be sure the stone or tile is dry, allow an hour or more only use the best sealer. A cheap sealer will not hold up.

Most important is; keep your stone and grout clean and sealed. Dust mop your floors frequently. Place clean doormats outside and rugs inside at every entry door. Wipe up spills quickly. Clean your natural stone floors, counters walls, and showers with a marble safe cleaning product. Harsh cleaners, such as 409, vinegar, ammonia, and Tilex bleach will etch and dull your stone and require professional re-surfacing. Cleaning with bleach will remove your sealer (not recommended).

Granite

Clean daily with a natural stone daily cleaner. Polish every 2 to 3 weeks (Granite Gold Polish is great).

Never clean your granite with Windex, ammonia, vinegar, 409. Only use natural stone daily cleaner.

Marble – Travertine – Limestone and other natural stone floors

Dust mop with a large clean wood floor mop. A little daily cleaner sprayed on the mop will help the dirt and dust and no rinse required. When you walk on dusty floors with shoes on, it creates a sanding action, scratches floors and develops traffic patterns or wear trails.

Never use Windex on natural stone, even if the mist of liquid glass cleaners will dull the finish of natural stone over time. Clean windows with a foam window cleaner. It sticks to the glass and there is little mist drifting on to your stone (Sprayway).

Saltillo, Slate, and Quartz

Saltillo, Slate, and Quartz flooring can be cleaned with a topical WET LOOK or LOW LUSTER sealer (high & low gloss sealer). Follow the same cleaning instructions as the other natural stone cleaning instructions. It is always best not to wear shoes on natural stone of all kinds (including Saltillo). If the floors get scuff marks from shoes, put a small amount of acetone on a cloth and rub off the scuff, you will remove the top layer of sealer in the process, now, reseal the entire tile. It will have a higher gloss for a week or so, however, the shine will dull a little and blend in nicely. The same applies to Slate and Quartz.

Products I Recommend

Sprayway Foam Spray – for mirrors and glass (Home Depot, Smart & Final, and Lowes).

Simple Green – for cleaning dirty floors, showers and counters; mix 2 oz in a pail of water and dry. Place large towel on the floor, place your wood floor mop on the towel and dry the floor. Clean and dry small areas at a time (10′ x 10′) use weekly or bi-monthly.

Star Cleaner – Available on the internet from Texas. It is pricey but worth the money. It is the best cleaning product you can use. Apply the same as Simple Green. the difference is that Star Cleaner builds on your sealer and the floor looks better each time you use it. Use weekly or bi-monthly.

Modern PH Balance – this product can be purchased at Encinitas Tile. It is a great daily cleaner and natural stone cleaner. This product can be used on all tile and stone.

***If you have mold develop in your shower(s), tub area(s) or sink(s) call a professional. Using bleach or mold spray is a short term fix. It will kill the mold, but it will kill the sealer as well.

Granite Gold Polish – This product is available at Dixieline Lumber, Smart & Final, Ralphs, Ace Hardware and Albertsons. Use it every 2 or 3 weeks after using a daily cleaner. This can be used on walls and counters (never on floors). Lightly apply with paper towels, let dry for 30 minutes and then polish with a micro cloth. A little goes a long way, do not overuse.

*** DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR HOUSE CLEANER IS USING ON YOUR NATURAL STONE, GROUT, AND TILE????
The wrong product on your stone can cause thousands of dollars in damage. I have seen it!

I hope this information is useful in the care of natural stone and tile. If you have any questions or have a problem do not hesitate to call.
Remember estimates and inspections are free.

Good Stuff: Simple Green, Sprayway Glass Cleaner, Granite Gold Daily Cleaner, Granite Gold Polish, Natural Stone Cleaner, Star Cleaner, Modern Daily Cleaner (@ Encinitas Tile)

Bad Stuff: 409 Cleaner, Windex, Tilex, Vinegar, Ammonia, Bleach, Limes/Limon, Alcohol, Acidic Cleaners, Soda

Please remember to read labels. It the product is not labeled marble safe do not use it.