Finally saying goodbye to the kitschy 1950s yellow-and-green ceramic tile in your bathroom? Congrats on the remodel. If your upgrade involves new stone surface— marble, granite, slate or maybe sandstone—you’re going to need to change the way you clean. Put down the scouring powder and pick up some knowledge – Method has some helpful tips for cleaning stone surfaces.
Tip #1: No two stones are the same.
It’s important to note that every stone surface is different; from the porousness, the method used to polish its surface and the type of sealant used to protect it from corrosion and wear. What works for one type of surface may not work for another, which is why you’ll often find specific cleaners for granite, marble and slate.
Tip #2: Testing 1, 2.
Before cleaning, you should always test the product you’re using on a small, inconspicuous spot just to make sure it won’t discolor or otherwise affect the appearance of your sealed stone surface. This step is especially important if you don’t have any information on the type of stone or what was used to seal it.
To test your cleaner, spray or apply a small amount to an area that’s not visible and wipe away. Check the spot later – be on the lookout for any signs of discoloration and run your fingers over it to make sure the texture is unaffected.
Tip #3: Watch out for overspray.
Be mindful of where and how much you’re spraying the cleaners you use. Although glass cleaner is perfectly safe for your bathroom mirror, the overspray may discolor that beautiful stone countertop. If you overspray or spill by accident, quickly wipe it up with a clean, damp cloth and dry the area with a clean towel.
Tip #4: Say no to acid.
Cleaners that contain acidic ingredients – including natural ingredients such as lemon juice – may react with the natural materials in stone surfaces, leading to degradation or corrosion (commonly called “etching”). Avoid this by choosing a cleaner designed specifically for the type of stone surface you’re cleaning.
Tip #5: Reseal of approval
When your stone surfaces get nicked or scratched, not only is the stone itself damaged, but the protective sealant and polish are breached, leaving the surface vulnerable to further damage, corrosion and wear. It’s important to reseal and/or polish these areas as necessary to keep them looking clean and fabulous!