Cleaning Natural Stone Do’s and Don’ts

There’s no denying the incredible beauty of natural stone. Of course, the fact that marble and other stone offers a unique look and delivers years of enjoyment adds to its attractiveness in the eye of many home and business owners!

Natural Stone StepsIt’s a popular material for fireplaces, floors, patios, stairways, walkways and other outdoor applications — which means it’s exposed to the elements, likely to receive a lot of traffic … and needs occasional cleaning to keep its beauty at its best.

The good news? For all the toughness associated with natural stone, it’s remarkably easy to clean and maintain! Some tips:

  • Do dust-mop stone floors or sweep regularly; sand and small stones can mar a good finish!
  • Do clean stone surfaces with stone soap or a mild detergent.
  • Do completely rinse with clean water after washing and dry stone surfaces.
  • Do blot up spills immediately; time enables them to sink in and become stains.
  • Don’t use cleaners that contain acids such as bathroom or grout cleaners or tub-and-tile products.
  • Don’t use abrasives such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers on natural stone.
  • Do use pH-neutral cleaners to remove mold and mildew. Conduct an internet search for the many commercial products available, or ask your natural stone contractor for a recommendation.
  • Do flush outdoor pool, patio or hot tub areas with clear water and a mild bleach solution to remove algae or moss.
  • Don’t ever mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas!
  • Do use plain white vinegar or lemon juice (which are mild and natural cleaners) to remove hard water stains. Remove any stains regularly as the longer they are allowed to sit, the more difficult they are to remove. For older stains, larger areas or heavier concentrations, contact your natural stone contractor for help. And, be aware that stronger substances including acid can do much more harm than good!
  • Do apply a weather sealer and water repellent on your natural stone after cleaning, to help it last in the summer sun and the long winter snow and ice.

Natural Stone WallA final tip? Periodically inspect your exterior natural stone for structural defects, deterioration or staining — perhaps in the company of your natural stone contractor. With the right cleaning and care, you’ll enjoy your natural stone for years, if not decades, to come!

Specializing in exterior natural stone additions and repairs, Cirigliano Masonry serves home and business owners throughout the Pittsburgh area. From design to build and extending to your full satisfaction, rely on us for brick masonry, pointing and repair as well as indoor and outdoor fireplaces, stone masonry, stone wall repairs and more.

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