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Get to Know Your Stone: A Guide for Stone Care and Maintenance

Proper stone care and maintenance begin with understanding your stone’s geological classification and composition. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different types of natural stones, their characteristics, and share some tips on how to care for and maintain your natural stone surfaces.

Geological Classifications of Natural Stone

Natural stones are generally classified into three basic geological types based on their formation processes: Sedimentary, Metamorphic, and Igneous. Additionally, stones in each category can be either Calcareous or Siliceous.

  1. Calcareous stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate, a chemical compound commonly found in natural stone, shells, and pearls. Calcium Carbonate is sensitive to acidic solutions, so mild, non-acidic cleaners are recommended. Examples of calcareous stones include Marble and Serpentine.
  2. Siliceous stone is composed primarily of silicates, such as quartz, feldspar, and mica. As such, a siliceous stone is generally resistant to most acids found in kitchen settings. However, acidic cleaners are still not recommended as these stones may contain trace levels of minerals that are acid-sensitive. Examples of siliceous stones include Slate, Quartzite, Soapstone, and Granite.

Natural Stone Care Tips

To get the longest life and preserve the beauty of your natural stone, follow these simple tips:

  • Coasters: Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices.
  • Trivets: While many stones can withstand heat, the use of trivets or mats is recommended.
  • Dust Mopping: Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean, non-treated dry dust mop to prevent damage from sand, dirt, and grit.
  • Mats/Rugs: Use mats or area rugs inside and outside entrances to minimize sand, dirt, and grit that may scratch the stone floor. Ensure the underside of the mat or rug is slip-resistant.
  • Vacuum Cleaners: If used, make sure the metal or plastic attachments or wheels are not worn, as they can scratch the stone surface.
  • Spills: Blot spills with a paper towel immediately and flush the area with water and mild soap before drying the area with a soft cloth. Repeat as necessary.

Cleaning Your Natural Stone Surfaces

To clean your stone surfaces, use a neutral cleaner, stone soap, or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Rinse the surface thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth. In the bath or other wet areas, use a squeegee after each use to minimize soap scum. For outdoor spaces with algae or moss, flush with clear water and use a mild bleach solution.

Sealing Natural Stone

Sealing is an optional step for some stones to provide an extra layer of protection against staining. When choosing a sealer, ensure it is non-toxic and safe for use in food preparation areas. Consult with your supplier or sealing manufacturer for specific recommendations.

Stain Identification and Removal

Identifying the type of stain on your stone surface is crucial for successful removal. Stains can be oil-based, organic, metallic, biological, ink-based, or paint-based. For each type of stain, different household chemicals and poultice applications are recommended. In many cases, surface stains can be removed by cleaning with an appropriate cleaning product or household chemical.

In conclusion, understanding your stone’s geological classification and composition is essential for proper care and maintenance. By following the simple tips and cleaning guidelines provided, you can ensure the longevity and beauty of your natural stone surfaces.

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