When people find out I’m in the stone business I get one of two responses:
1. I love granite. It’s so beautiful. I want to put new granite in my kitchen soon.
2. I love my granite (or marble). How should I clean it?
Not really exciting cocktail party talk, but nevertheless, it’s something people wonder & don’t think to ask until after it’s installed & the experts are gone.
My answer is pretty simple: soap & water.
On a daily basis, no fancy cleaners are necessary. That’s what I use on my stone. Some people prefer something more from time to time. There are special stone soaps you can use. Just read the label before you buy & as always, a test area is a good idea before slathering it on the entire surface.
Related: Granite Countertops Guide
Here is some general information on caring for your natural stone surfaces:
DO clean surfaces with mild detergent or stone soap
DO blot up spills immediately
DO dust mop floors frequently
DO protect surfaces with mats, coasters & placemats.
DON’T use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids on marble, limestone, travertine or onyx surfaces
DON’T use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft scrub cleansers
DON’T ever mix chemicals together unless directions specifically instruct you to do so.
Always read labels & test as mentioned above. I don’t baby my granite surfaces at home. After all, the low maintenance & durability of stone is the beauty of stone. Well, besides the “beauty” itself which can’t be mimicked by man made surfaces.
One thing I want to highlight is: If you spill orange juice, lemon juice or another fruit with acid, clean it up as soon as you can. If you have a high shine finish on the stone & it’s an unsealed, porous stone, it can dull the surface.
Don’t let this scare you. Obviously, we all use & spill juices in the kitchen all the time. The dulling happens with floors more often, as they tend not to get sealed & small spills can sit unnoticed.
After 6 years in my new house, the granite countertops still look like new but my stone floor has had lots of juice spills & has dulled from time, as all stone floors will from everyday wear. But I like it. After all, it looks good in old European castles & churches. I’m going for that look.