To insure your new investment will provide you with a lifetime of aesthetics and utility, proper maintenance is critical. Natural Stone products are porous by nature and require a different maintenance program than quartz (engineered stone).
Although BBG will provide two courtesy coats of good sealer to all natural stone materials purchased (other than soapstone), re-sealing is strongly recommended for newly installed marble or other natural stone products- to provide maximum below-the-surface stain protection. Be careful to select a high quality sealer to protect your natural stone.
ROUTINE STONE CARE:
Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap (available at hardware stores or from your stone dealer), or a mild liquid dish washing soap and warm water. If you have purchase a sealer warranty through a third party, follow the recommendations of the sealer manufacturer for cleaning. Use a soft cloth for best results. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids or alkaline substances on marble or limestone. Regular household cleaners with an acidic or alkaline base should not harm granite, but will most likely strip the sealer prematurely. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.
DO’s and DON’Ts:
Do clean surfaces with mild detergent or cleaner marketed for stone cleaning
Do thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing
Do blot up spills immediately
Do protect floor surfaces with non-slip mats or areas rugs and countertop surfaces with coasters, trivets or placemats
Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice, bleach 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 of 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.
A premium natural look penetrating/ impregnating sealer is the normal choice on polished or honed marble, limestone, granite, or where the natural color of a slate is desired. A stone enhancer sealer is often used on tumbled, antique stones, or on slate where a darker, enriched or highlighted character is desired. When choosing either one of these two types of sealers, make sure the brand you have chosen is formulated to provide maximum stain protection for stone products. Follow the sealer manufacturer’s instructions. If there is a question, check with the sealer manufacturer. In most cases, you will apply the sealer to the stone (with an applicator or clean cloth) and allow it to soak for a few minutes. Then, before the sealer has dried on the surface, you will buff off with a clean cloth. If a residue appears, in most cases applying more sealer will reactivate the sealer and allow you to buff again. Again, please check the sealer manufacture’s instructions for proper procedures. Stone sealers should be tested periodically to insure that the sealer is working effectively. To test a sealer’s effectiveness, simply pour a few ounces of water on the horizontal surface and allow to sit for 10 minutes, observing, and then wiping the water away. If the water retained high walls (or beading on the surface), and the water did not saturate the stone and leave a darker coloration where the water was once sitting, then the sealer is still adequately working. If, on the other hand, the sealer allowed water to saturate the stone, then more sealer should be applied. Penetrating /impregnating stone sealers are a no-sheen, natural look sealer that can be water-base or solvent-based, good for a interior and exterior applications. They may also rejuvenate and improve the appearance of worn and weathered stone. Special Note – Although the effectiveness of a sealer is best tested with water, many sealer manufactures actually do not claim to prevent water penetration- only other food stains. Spots or rings from pure water and condensation, nonetheless, should dry without leaving a trace. If you experience issues with significant water penetration and you have already attempted to re-seal your material, BBG recommends to consult the sealer manufacturer. If you experience issues in which water appears to leave spots or rings, it may be mineral deposits left behind from hard or soft water. In this case, BBG recommends to consult a professional who can provide a water treatment solution. Many spots left behind in this case are calcium or iron deposits on the surface of the stone, left when the water evaporated. Care should be exercised when attempting removal. In most cases, holding a straight razor at a 45 degree angle will allow you to scrape the minerals from the surface of the stone- without further damage. Be careful not to gouge the surface. Consult your BBG Project Manager before attempting to use any acids, such as vinegar, to remove mineral deposits on your material.
FOOD PREPARATION AREAS:
In food preparation areas, the stone may need to have penetrating sealer applied. Check with your BBG Project Manager for recommendations. If a sealer is applied, be sure that it is non-toxic and safe for use on food preparation surfaces where applicable. Follow the sealer manufacturer’s instructions. If there is a question, check with the sealer manufacturer. Stone care products only use cleaners specifically designed for stone. These cleaners contain no acidic or alkaline solutions and are concentrated neutral PH cleaners that will not affect existing sealers. The solution of the cleaner should be applied per the manufacturer’s instructions. On kitchen counter tops, a spray bottle can typically be used to apply the cleaning solution. Allow to sit for manufacturers specified amount of time and buff dry. BBG recommends cleaning the surface immediately after any food preparation.
Bath and Other Wet Areas:
In the bath or other wet areas, soap scum can be minimized by using a squeegee after each use. To remove soap scum, use a non-acidic soap scum remover or a solution of ammonia and water (about 1/2 cup ammonia to a gallon of water). Frequent or over-use of an ammonia solution may dull the surface of the stone.