Although we usually think of stone as "hard," it is a porous material. Natural stone has varying degrees of porosity depending on the type of stone. If left unsealed, spills and everyday messes can easily penetrate the surface. The liquid eventually evaporates but the stain is left behind.
Highly acidic substances such as orange juice, coffee and wine will also etch acid sensitive stones and leave a dull mark. Acid resistant stones such as most granite, slate and sandstone will not etch.
- Benefits of Protecting Stone
- Stone Needs Specialty Cleaners
- Proper Cleaning
- How can I clean mildew off of my grout in my shower? Is there any preventative care?
- How can I tell if my stone has already been sealed?
- How do I clean my newly installed countertops?
The best way to prevent stains is to treat the surface with a protective sealer. The sealer fills in the pores and repels spills on the surface, allowing you time to completely wipe it away.
Fluorochemical technology is the most advanced technology available, providing the ultimate shield against both water and oil-base stains. The micro-molecular formula actually bonds with the stone surface to deliver unsurpassed wear resistance and durability. And because the sealer reacts with the stone, you no longer have to worry about its porosity. It works on all types of stone, from ultra-porous Juparana Columbo to super-dense Absolute Black.
There are also sealers available with antimicrobial product protection. They not only protect the surface from stains, but also resist growth of mold and mildew on the dried sealer.
Like any other surface in your home, natural stone also needs to be cleaned to maintain its beauty. However, natural stone requires cleaning products specifically designed for stone's unique mineral composition.
Most popular general-purpose cleaners will etch or damage the stone or degrade the sealer, therefore removing protective properties and becoming susceptible to stains. Cleaning products containing too much acids or alkalines will etch the stone. Scouring powders and abrasives will scratch the surface.
Maintenance cleaning with a pH-balanced, neutral cleaner such as Revitalizer™ Cleaner & Protector will help remove soils that normal dusting or damp mopping leave behind. It also helps keep your stone free of dust and dry, sandy soil to minimize wear patterns from everyday use on some softer stones. Specially designed cleaners for stone will also never break down the protective sealer. In fact, some cleaners contain protective properties which reinforce the sealer and prolong stain resistance.
For heavier cleaning jobs, using cleaners formulated for stone will effectively remove tough grime and messes yet be gentle on the surface.
We do have a cleaner called StoneTech Professional KlenzAll that will help clean your grout and some of the removal of the mildew.
If there are any remain mildew growth you can get a 50/50 solution of water and household bleach and clean those areas. Make sure that you rinse the area with clean water thoroughly before continuing to seal.
Once this has been done, you need to wait about an hour and seal with our water-based sealer, Heavy Duty Sealer.
Apply a drop of water at least ½-inch in diameter to the top and the stone and let stand for at least 15 minutes. Cover with a glass to inhibit evaporation. If the stone did not darken then your stone is probably sealed against water-based stains. Testing for oil repellency is not as simple because if your stone is not sealed, you will have an oil stain.
Congratulations on your new countertops. Our suggestion for your ongoing care would be to use our Revitalizer Daily Use Cleaner with Protector. Not only is this an excellent cleaner for removing everyday soils and spills, but every time that you clean you're reinforcing the protection of the initial sealing.