The first step in proper stone care and maintenance is to understand your stone's geological classification and composition. This information will help you to identify what cleaning products to use and how best to care for your natural stone.
Natural stone is categorized into three basic geological classifications by their respective formation processes: Sedimentary, Metamorphic and igneous. Additionally, stones in each category can be either Calcareous or Siliceous.
Calcareous stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate, a chemical compound commonly found in natural stone, shells and pearls. Calcium Carbonate is sensitive to acidic solutions so mild, non-acidic cleaners are recommended.
Siliceous stone, as the term implies, is one composed primarily of silicates, such as quartz, feldspar, mica, etc. as such, a siliceous stone is generally resistant to most acids found in kitchen settings, although acidic cleaners are still not recommended, as these stones may contain trace levels of minerals that are acid sensitive.
Clean stone surfaces with a neutral cleaner, stone soap, or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water.
Similar to any item cleaned in your home, an excessive concentration of cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Follow manufacturer recommendations.
Use a clean rag mop on floors and a soft cloth for other surfaces for best results.
Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth.
Change the rinse water frequently.
In the bath or other wet areas, soap scum can be minimized by using a squeegee after each use. To remove soap scum, use a non-acidic soap scum remover or a solution of ammonia and water (about 1/2 cup ammonia to a gallon of water). Frequent or over-use of an ammonia solution may eventually dull the surface of some stone types.
In outdoor pool, patio or hot tub areas flush with clear water and use mild bleach solution to remove algae or moss.
Many suppliers offer products used for stone cleaning.
Products containing lemon, vinegar or other acids may dull or etch calcareous stones.
Scouring powders or creams often contain abrasives that may scratch certain stones.
Many commercially available rust removers (laundry rust stain removers, toilet bowl cleaners) contain trace levels of hydrofluoric acid (HF). This acid attacks silicates in addition to other minerals. All stones, including granite and quartzite, will be attacked if exposed to HF.
Do not mix ammonia and bleach. This combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.