Extend life of your stone
The first step is to understand the kind of stone you have and how to maintain it. Natural stones are of 2 types, calcareous and siliceous. Calcareous stone is sensitive to acid even cleaning agents with a mild acid level are very harmful to this stone. This includes all kinds of marble, travertine, onyx and limestone.
Other ones are siliceous stone, which are generally resistant to most acids found in kitchen settings and acidic cleaners. But still, acidic cleaners are not recommended because these stones may contain trace amounts of minerals that are acid sensitive.
Easy Care tips:
The first step is to prevent the most common type of damage, afflicted onto the marble by spills and dust particles.
1. Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices.
2. Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean non-treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit are abrasive and can damage natural stone.
3. Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt and grit that may scratch the stone floor. Be sure that the underside of the mat or rug is a slip resistant surface.
In case of a spill, blot the spill with a paper towel immediately. Flush the area with water and mild soap and rinse several times. Clean with a clean, slightly damp cloth and avoid any household acidic cleaners or bleach as etching and dullness may occur as a result of their usage.
Clean stone surfaces with a neutral cleaner, stone soap, or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water.
Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth In outdoor pool, patio or hot tub areas; flush with clear water and use mild bleach solution to remove algae or moss.
Sealing is a common step taken on some stones as an extra precaution against staining. In fact, the products used are ‘impregnators” which do not actually seal the stone, but act as a repellent rather than a sealer. Sealing does not make the stone stain proof; rather it makes the stone more stain resistant.
For example: Onyx is extremely porous. It will absorb moisture and is extremely susceptible to both etching and stains. To protect the stone, it is ideally sealed with an impregnating sealer meant for porous stones prior to grouting it. The sealer will help as a grout release to make clean up easier, while it helps to protect the stone from future staining.