Care and Maintenance for Natural Stone

To insure your natural stone products will provide you with a lifetime of aesthetics and utility, a proper maintenance program is crucial. Natural Stone products are porous by nature and require a different maintenance program than traditional ceramic tile.

Natural stone requires a different maintenance routine than traditional, man-made ceramic tile. Many of the cleaners acceptable for use on ceramic tile can stain, damage or dull stone. Dirt and dust will scratch the surface of stone. Therefore, stone floors should be vacuumed or dust mopped frequently to remove abrasive agents from the stone surface. Natural stone should be cleaned with neutral cleaners. Stone cleaners should never contain acid or bleach. Acids, even a light solution of vinegar and water, will etch and eventually damage natural stone.

Stone Cleaners:

Only use cleaners specifically designed for cleaning stone. These cleaners contain no acids and are concentrated neutral pH cleaners that will not affect existing sealers or wax-type coatings. The surface of the stone should be dampened with clear water. This will keep the cleaning solution on the surface so it can be effective. A solution of the cleaner and water missed to manufacturer instructions should be applied to the stone surface with a sponge or mop. On walls, kitchen counters or vanity tops, a spray bottle can be used to apply the cleaning solution. Allow sitting for manufacturers specified amount of time (usually 3 to 5 minutes). Agitate with a sponge, synthetic mop, soft bristle brush or through the use of a floor-scrubbing machine. Mop up dirty solution and buff dry.

Once the stone has been cleaned, you can periodically apply a Spray-Buff wax-type floor finish to enhance the beauty and luster of polished stone (including countertops). Apply the finish with a spray applicator and buff immediately with a white nylon pad. Reapply as often as needed, depending on volume of surface traffic and consistency of routine maintenance program. This product is not designed to restore the original shine, but is intended to maintain and protect the original shine. This can be purchased from most Home Centers or through your local Professional Floor Covering Dealer.

Heavy-Duty Stone Cleaning:

When some areas have been neglected, you will need to use a heavy-duty stone cleaner and degreaser to effectively remove dirt, grease, grime, waxes and floor finishes. These cleaning products are concentrated and designed to deep clean the stone without damaging it. Apply the solution of the cleaner and water mixed to manufacturer instructions to the stone surface with a sponge or mop. Allow setting for manufacturer-specified amount of time. Agitate with a sponge, synthetic mop, and soft bristle brush or through the use of a floor-scrubbing machine. Mop up dirty solution and buff dry. Be sure to change out the cleaning solution every 100 square feet to avoid reintroducing dirty water during the cleaning process. Rinse thoroughly with clean water when finished. After cleaning you may apply the Spray-Buff wax-type floor finish to enhance the natural shine.

Stain Removal:

Stone poultice will remove stains and grout haze from stone. Poultice is a fine, nonacidic, absorptive clay cleaning powder that removes deep-set oil stains, grease and light cementitious grout haze from polished and unpolished natural stone.
CAUTION: Poultice may dull the shine of the polished stone. If this occurs you will need to use a marble polish to restore the natural shine.


If a marble finish has become dull, scratched or etched, you can restore the natural shine through the use of a marble polish. Some marble polishes are available in kits. The process can be enhanced with the use of floor buffing machines. The process is generally a re-crystallization process to remove fine scratches and restore the original shine and polish to the stone. This I not an application of a topical sealer or wax to cover-up damaged or worn surfaces.

Care & Maintenance of Ceramic Tile

What can I use to clean tile?

Wipe glazed wall tiles periodically using a cloth or sponge dampened with a non oil-based household cleaner. Vacuum glazed floor tiles regularly to remove dirt and other gritty particles, then damp mop or sponge with an all-purpose, non oil-based cleaner. Remember not to use ammonia, as it will discolor grout. Clean unglazed wall and floor tiles in a similar manner using a solution of water and soapless detergent instead of an all-purpose cleaner.

Contaminants and spills on a glazed ceramic tile are, generally, easier to clean then other, more impervious surfaces. Glazed tile products should be cleaned routinely with an all-purpose, non oil-based household or commercial cleaner. The product chosen should also be grout joint cleaning compatible. The type of product may vary depending on the tile application and use. A multipurpose spray cleaner, which removes soap scum, hard water deposits, and mildew designed for every day use, can be used on wall tile areas in residential baths and showers.

The entire area should be cleaned and scrubbed with cleaner solution through the use of a cotton mop, cloth, sponge, or non-metallic brush. The entire area should be rinsed with clean water to remove any cleaning solution residue. Remember that you should sweep or vacuum floor areas prior to cleaning to remove any dust or debris. Routine cleaners should never contain acids or ammonia. Acids can damage the grout and the glazed surface of the tile, and ammonia can discolor the grout.

Unglazed tile should be cleaned routinely with concentrated tile cleaners that have a neutral pH for safe regular use. These cleaners are better suited at removing grease, oils and normal spills from unglazed products. Again these products will vary depending on the application, amount of traffic and the use. The product chosen should also be compatible with cleaning the grout joints at the same time.

What can I use to clean grout?

For periodic deep cleaning of grout, a concentrated tile and grout cleaner should be used. Concentrated tile and grout cleaner is mixed with water, much like any common household cleaner. The floor should then be mopped and rinsed. Tile and grout cleaners are also available in a spray and wipe version. It is important to use a product specifically designed for grout and tile cleaning as other chemicals can bleach or stain grout.

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How to maintain your tile

Learn how to maintain your natural stone and ceramic tile so it can look new for years to come