Care and Maintenance
What we are really talking about here is protecting your investment!
Regular cleaning is important to guard against the build up of potentially damaging influences. It is advisable to reserve cleaning cloths and mops exclusively for use on your stone finishes – residue from other cleaning products can work against our best efforts.
We recommend the use of clean white (or colourless) cloths for bench tops etc., and cotton mops for cleaning floors. There is no problem using synthetic sponges, but they do tend to leave streaks on a highly polished surface. Discard cleaning cloths when they become soiled. Check your mops from time to time – discard them if the strands are worn, or starting to become dirty or discoloured. Similarly, check all metal components for signs of corrosion – we sight the example of one instance where flakes of rust coming loose from an old mop left small but noticeable stains on a new marble tiled floor. A little extra attention to these small details will pay dividends over the life of your marble or granite finish.
If you have a marble or granite floor area and choose to vacuum, please take extra care to avoid metal components of the suction head coming into contact with the floor – these have the potential to scratch marble tile surfaces. It’s also advisable to fit felt or rubber under chairs or heavy furniture. Generally, we recommend the purchase of a commercial fringe mop for day to day removal of dust and grit. A fringe mop is a fast, easy to use alternative, there is little weight on the mop head and just a couple of minutes at a time will be enough for the average feature floor area. A vigorous shake outside to remove grit and you have just completed a large part of your preventative maintenance program. Of course, you will have to be extra careful if you have gravel outside your entrance – make sure there are good mats both inside and out to remove as much of the offending grit as early as possible.
Entertaining? With crowds of people in your house the potential for spills increases proportionally, and your stone bench top is directly “ in the line of fire “. Cooking oils, exotic recipes, sauces, wines, fruit juices and soft drinks – all present in abundance at any family gathering or party. It is important at any time to clean up spills as soon as they are detected; the longer they are left unattended the greater the risk of a mark occurring.
This is sometimes easier said than done with a house full of people, so take a few minutes before you retire to check your stone finishes. As effective as Marble & Granite sealers are, they cannot guarantee to protect every natural stone from every spill, in every situation – especially if it has been left to stand overnight. So take a little time, and wipe up spills as soon as possible.
Never use harsh cleaners on stone surfaces. A diluted mixture of Methylated Spirits and water (70/30) and paper towel is a great and cheap everyday cleaner.
We also highly recommend the use of “Stone Foam” as a suitable weekly/monthly cleaner which is fantastic for all types of stone surfaces as well as areas like stainless steel kitchen sinks and shower glass. This product can be purchased directly from Project Stone Australia.
Bathrooms and Toilets
Marbles, Limestone’s and Travertine are usually chosen for these areas because their colourings tend to be “softer” and more elegant. However, compared to granite, the polished surface is also softer, so a little extra care and attention is warranted. Sealing a vanity top will protect against everyday spills and staining, but there are some influences found in the bathroom that will attack the stone itself – which will manifest itself by etching or removing the polish. Be careful with perfumes, toothpaste and nail polish solvents – just as you use a soap dish it’s advisable to find a suitable glass or ceramic tray to stand your toiletries in. We also recommend that you – if you choose to “blue” the loo, be mindful of spills and wipe them immediately.
Don’t use harsh alkaline or acid based cleaners. Similarly, don’t use abrasive cream cleaners or scouring products of any type. A diluted mixture of Methylated Spirits and water (70/30) and paper towel is a great and cheap everyday cleaner.
We also highly recommend the use of Stone Foam as a suitable weekly/monthly cleaner which is fantastic for all types of stone surfaces as well as areas like stainless steel kitchen sinks and shower glass. This product can be purchased directly from Project Stone Australia.
Do’s and don'ts
- Do dust and mop floors frequently
- Do clean surfaces with a diluted Metho & water or small amount of mild detergent or “Stone Foam”. “Stone Foam” can be purchased from Project Stone Australia Pty Ltd. Please contact our office.
- Do thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing
- Do clean up spills immediately
- Do protect floor surfaces with non –slip mats or rugs and countertop surfaces with coasters, trivets or placemats
- Do treat natural stone with a penetrating stone sealer for easier maintenance
- Do test any cleaning/sealing product on a small, less obvious area for etching or discolouration prior to using any product on your stone surface
- Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids on granite, marble, limestone, travertine or onyx surfaces
- Don’t use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub & tile cleaners
- Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleaners (powder Ajax etc.) or cleaners (Jif). Heavy use of abrasives can dull the polish on all stone surface. For a more aggressive but stone safe cleaning product we recommend the product “Stone Foam”, which can be purchased from Project Stone Australia Pty Ltd. Please contact our office.
- Don’t mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.