Natural stone has become a popular material in many new and remodeled homes. Lustrous, tough, and beautiful, natural stone gives off a glamorous appeal, until things go wrong. The cleaning products available today are numerous and without guidance your stone could start to give you a worn look or removes the finish you once had. We find that so much can go wrong with your stone, a complete understanding in stone care is lacking and as a result the industry is held together with scotch tape. Certain acids commonly found in many foods and drinks can dull the luster of natural stone and may even etch the surface. Protecting these areas has been a struggle for home owners, but there are remedies. Cleaning products, tools and techniques are the complete package. Knowing these areas will help you forego self-induced accidents and remove any stumbling blocks that may trip you up down the road.
Stone cleaning products are very prominent in today’s market. More and more companies are coming on boards when it comes to providing cleaning products for stone in our homes. Many of these companies do a good job when offering you cleaning products for your stone, but it’s the few, like Scrubbing Bubbles, Swiffer Sweeper, and TileX who offer blanket statements with their products that try to cover all aspects of the industry not taking into consideration that grout may be involved. The thing to learn here is that not two materials are the same. Grout is man-made of Portland cement and pigments, while stone is taken right out of the ground. Grout is more fragile than granite. Grout doesn’t carry a shine like granite and grout, unlike granite, needs a color additive to make it appealing. In short, if grout and stone are treated the same with improper cleaners, different issue will arise, giving you more headaches than needed.
Your home may have dull marks where the shine has disappeared. You try to clean these areas to no avail. After numerous cleaning products you just give up and live with the eye soars. We get these inquiries regarding etching (dulling) in natural stone, and it’s important to know what is happening here. We mentioned that grout and stone are different earlier, well some stones are very different too. Granite is very different from that of Limestone, Travertine, Marble, and Onxy (calcium carbonates). Calcium carbonate stones have minerals that will erode when in contact with acids like lime, wine and tomatoes. Granite is usually twice as hard as calcium carbonate stones, so much so that you can’t usually scratch these stones with a knife. Most important, calcium carbonate stones become dull and its polish will degrade when in contact with acids. Moreover, travertine, limestone and marble carry lots of calcium and when introduced to some badly chosen cleaning products etching will be inevitable.
Here is what another company has to say about the issue, “Etching in natural stone is caused by a chemical reaction between an acidic substance and calcium in the stone. This degrades the polish in the stone and results in dullness, light colored marks, and many times rings in the stone caused by acidic drinks running down a drinking glass. However, spots may also occur from water splash; this is more likely mineral deposits from water evaporation, but may appear similar to etching. This may be particularly noticeable around faucets and sinks.” Protect Plus Surfaces and Bill Gessner.
Using the correct product is only half the battle. Imagine going to war with a sword and never learning how to use it. You can practice and may even win a battle, but over time those who have been given the best teaching and use them correctly will win the war. We offer free lessons.
At Sasso Bello, we truly want you to have an incredible experience. This is why we find having all the tools will place you far ahead of most. This means using the correct cleaning products, with the correct cleaning tools, and knowing how to use them. Stone cleaning products can be confusing and misleading; there is one sure way to overcome future mistakes. Call a specialist. We are here for you and will always give you our best!