Care and maintenance - Natural Stone

Protect Your Investment

Protect your countertops by never permitting anyone to stand on them. The weakest area and most susceptible to cracks is the area in front of sink and cook top cut outs.
 

  • Do use trivets or mats under hot dishes or cookware.
  • Do clean up spills immediately to minimize permanent damage to the stone.
  • Do use coasters under glasses, especially if they contain alcohol or citrus juices.
  • Do use trivets or mats under hot dishes or cookware.
  • Do dust countertops, island and vanities and floors frequently.
  • Do use placemats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that may scratch the surface.
  • Don’t use vinegar, bleach, ammonia or other general purpose cleaners.
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
  • Don’t use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub and tile cleaners.
  • Don’t use alkaline cleaners not specifically formulated for natural stone.

Feel free to contact us should you any questions regarding the installation or material of your project. Stonetek Imports, Inc. reserves the right to charge for any request to return for service that is deemed to be no fault of ours.


 

Cleaning Procedures


Download instructions
  • Everyday cleaning of natural stone surface should be done with simple dishwashing soaps, rinse thoroughly with clean warm water and dry the countertop completely using a clean dry cloth.
  • Don’t use anything on the countertops that you would not use on your hands. Do not use vinegar or anything that may contain ammonia (e.g. Windex), bleach (e.g. Clorox), or specialty bathroom, tile or grout or cleaners that may contain acids. These chemicals could have a bleaching or etching effect on some of the minerals in the stone.
  • Do not use any type of cleanser since the abrasives in the cleanser over time will remove the final polish from the stone making appear dull. Other items that could be detrimental to any stone’s surface are citric acids, oils, wine and ink. The effect is not permanent in granite but could be in other types of stone such as marble or travertine since they are calcium carbonate based.
  • Clean up spills as quickly as possible using a blotting technique instead of wiping to avoid spreading the spilled substance. Use soap and water to clean the area, rinse the soap off then dry with a clean cloth.

 

Penetrating Sealers

Stonetek recommends a penetrating sealer that is either water or oil based and designed to be used on your specific natural stone. These products do not actually “seal” the stone and are more correctly referred to as a repellant rather than a sealer. There is a preference for the oil based due to its ability to penetrate deeper into the stone than the water based. There is no need to remove the old sealant when applying a new coat. Make certain that the sealer you select is water and oil repellant and not just “resistant.”
For application follow the directions of the manufacturer. The applications are all similar and fairly simple; generally recommending three steps:

  • Apply with a dry clean cloth or kitchen paper towels spreading evenly over the surface
  • Remove any excess sealant from the surface
  • After the recommended period of drying time wipe the surface with a clean dry cloth.

The question you probably have is when should the sealer be applied? Stonetek’s technicians will seal the stone when it is installed.
When should you seal it again? If you prefer a time-based criteria then our standard recommendation is to seal it twice a year.
If you prefer a performance based indicator for when you need sealer just place a few drops of water on a part of the countertop that is exposed to a lot of use. If the drops penetrate the surface within five minutes this is an indicator that the surface should be resealed.


 

Spills/Removing

Stains Spills are going to happen, no matter how hard you try. Quick action can keep spills from damaging the stone or the sealer. Here are a few helpful hints:

Oil based stains (cooking oil, cosmetics, grease, tar)
An oil based stain will darken the stone and normally must be chemically dissolved so the source of the stain can be flushed and rinsed away. Clean gently with a soft liquid
cleanser, household detergent, ammonia, mineral spirits or acetone.

Organic Stains (coffee, tea, fruit, tobacco, food)
May cause a pinkish-brown stain and may disappear after the source of the stain has been removed. Clean with 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia.

Ink Stains (magic marker, pen, ink)
Clean light-colored stones with bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Clean darker stones with acetone or lacquer thinner.

Paint Stains
Small amounts can be removed with lacquer thinner or scraped off carefully with a razor blade. Heavy paint coverage should be removed with a commercial liquid paint stripper. DO NOT USE ACIDS OR FLAME TOOLS TO STRIP PAINT FROM STONE.