Love the natural look of stone in your home but don’t know how to care for it?

A lot of people love the look of natural stone but don’t know how to properly take care of it so it lasts a lifetime. That’s where this guide comes in.

I’m here to give you all the tips and tricks you need to make sure your natural stone looks amazing for years to come.

And guess what? It’s easy!

All you need is a little bit of knowledge and some regular maintenance, and your natural stone will stay look beautiful forever.

Why Does Natural Stone Need to be Maintained?

Natural stone is a beautiful and durable material that can last a lifetime with proper care. However, it is important to note that natural stone is not indestructible.

Just like any other material in your home, natural stone needs to be properly cared for in order to maintain its beauty and longevity. Without proper care, natural stone can become dull, scratched, or even stained.

What Are the Best Ways to Maintain Natural Stone?

There are basically two ways to maintain your natural stone items. That’s to clean and seal them regularly.

Cleaning natural stone is pretty straightforward. You just need to use the right products and techniques so you don’t damage the stone.

Sealing natural stone is also important, but it’s often misunderstood. Many people think that sealing natural stone is optional, but that’s not the case. In fact, sealing natural stone is one of the most important ways to protect it from damage.

I’ll go into more detail about both of these topics later on in this guide. For now, let’s start with some general tips for cleaning and caring for natural stone.

General Tips for Cleaning Natural Stone

Here are some general tips to keep in mind when cleaning natural stone:

  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the stone.
  • Always test cleaners in an inconspicuous area before using them on the entire surface.
  • Be sure to rinse off all cleaners completely to avoid any residue being left behind.
  • Avoid letting spills sit on the surface of the stone for too long, as they can be difficult to remove.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Never use scouring pads or steel wool on natural stone, as these can scratch the surface.

Cleaning Natural Stone

It is important to clean natural stone regularly in order to keep it looking its best.

Here are some tips for cleaning different types of natural stone:

Step 1 – Sweep or vacuum the surface of the stone to remove any loose dirt or debris.

It’s incredibly important to remove any dirt or debris before cleaning, as these can scratch the surface of the stone.

Step 2 – Make a cleaning solution using a neutral liquid “All-Purpose-Cleaner”

Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the stone. Instead, opt for a neutral all-purpose cleaner. You can find these at most home improvement stores.

Step 3 -Apply the cleaning solution to the surface of the stone using a soft cloth .

Gently rub the surface of the stone with a microfiber cloth until it is clean. Be sure to rinse off the cleaner completely so that no residue is left behind.

Step 4 – Dry the surface of the stone with a clean, dry cloth.

Once you’ve cleaned the surface of the stone, be sure to dry it completely with a clean, dry cloth.

Step 5 – Ensure you air out the room afterwards to avoid any lingering chemicals

Be sure to open a window or door to air out the room after cleaning. This will allow the air to circulate and will help to remove any lingering smell of chemicals.

Sealing Natural Stone

As I mentioned before, sealing natural stone is one of the most important ways to protect it from damage. Since it is quite porus (Indian sandstone, limestone, and marble spring to mind), natural stone is susceptible to staining.

Granite and quartz are naturally less porus and only need to be resealed yearly; however, travertine, limestone, and sandstone are more porous stones that require sealing every three to four months.

Once you have gone over the cleaning process I outlined in the previous section, you will need to apply a sealer.

Sealing the stone will help to protect it from dirt, spills, and other stains. It is important to note that sealing does not make the stone completely stain-proof. However, it will make it much easier to clean up any spills or stains that do occur.

Applying a sealer is pretty straightforward. You simply need to follow the instructions on the product label.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a sealer:

  • Choose a breathable sealer. This type of sealer will allow the stone to “breathe,” which prevents moisture from becoming trapped beneath the surface.
  • Avoid using a sealer that contains silicone. Silicone can cause staining and is difficult to remove.
  • Read the label carefully to make sure the sealer is compatible with the type of stone you are sealing.

Stone Restoration

If your natural stone has become damaged, there are a few things you can do to restore it.

Here are some tips for restoring different types of natural stone:

Granite: If your granite has become scratched or chipped, you can use a granite repair kit to fill in the damage. These kits can be found at most home improvement stores.

Marble: If your marble has become scratched or stained, you can use a marble polishing kit to restore its shine. These kits can be found at most home improvement stores.

Limestone: If your limestone has become scratched or chipped, you can use a limestone repair kit to fill in the damage.

Travertine: If your travertine has become scratched or stained, you can use a travertine polishing kit to restore its shine.

Things You Shouldn’t Do to Natural Stone

Just as there are things you should do to keep natural stone looking its best, there are also things you should avoid.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Never use a cleaner that acidic on natural stone. This includes cleaners that contain vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Never use scouring pads or steel wool on natural stone, as these can scratch the surface.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the stone.
  • Never allow spills to sit on the stone for too long, as they can be difficult to remove once they have dried.
  • Never use a steam cleaner on natural stone, as this can cause the surface to dull.

How To Clean Outdoor Stone Wall

A light brush with a hose is usually all that’s needed to clean an outdoor stone wall. If you find that there is more dirt or debris than can be removed with a brush, you may need to use a pressure washer.

Be sure to use a pressure washer with care, as the high-powered stream of water can damage the stone. If you are not comfortable using a pressure washer, you can always hire a professional to do the job for you.

How To Clean Outdoor Stone Fireplace

The way in which you clean an outdoor fireplace is the same way you would clean an outside stone wall or other outdoor stone surface.

Start by using a light brush to remove any dirt or debris If you find that there is more than can be removed with a brush, you may need to use a pressure washer. Again, be sure to use a pressure washer with care, as the high-powered stream of water can damage the stone.

How To Clean Stone Patio Table

First of all, brush off any loose dirt or debris with a soft brush. If the table is extremely dirty, you may need to use a pressure washer.

Once you have removed all of the dirt and debris, you will need to clean the stone surface with a stone cleaner. You can either make your own stone cleaner or purchase one from a hardware store.

Ensure you rinse the stone surface thoroughly after cleaning to remove any residue.

Once the table is clean and dry, you will need to apply a sealer. This will help to protect the stone from dirt, spills, and other stains.

Related: The Patio Guide: (EVERYTHING YOU NEEDED TO KNOW)

How To Clean Outdoor Stone Statues

Even though a lot of people say you shouldn’t use a pressure washer. As long as you’re using a low pressure setting, you should be fine. Just hold the wand about two feet away from the statue and move it in a sweeping motion.

If the statue is extremely dirty, you may need to use a brush attachment. Be sure to use a soft brush, as a harsh brush can damage the stone surface.

How To Clean Slate Paving Slabs & Patio Tiles

Ensure you sweep the slate paving slabs on a regular basis to remove any dirt or debris. Then mix a few drops of mild (non acidic) detergent in some water. Use a sponge or soft rag to apply the mixture to the slate surface and scrub gently.

Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water and allow it to air dry.

To be honest, unless it’s a hot day, you’ll likely need to leave it overnight to dry completely.

Once the slate is dry, apply a sealer to help protect it from dirt, spills, and stains.

Related: How To Clean Patio Slabs (Without A Pressure Washer)

How To Clean Outdoor Stone Steps

The way in which you clean outdoor stone steps is the same way you would clean any other outdoor stone surface.

Start by sweeping the steps to remove any loose dirt or debris. If they are extremely dirty, you may need to use a pressure washer. Be sure to use a pressure washer with care, as the high-powered stream of water can damage the stone.

Once you have removed all of the dirt and debris, you will need to clean the stone surface with a stone cleaner. You can either make your own stone cleaner or purchase one from a hardware store.

Ensure you rinse the stone surface thoroughly after cleaning to remove any residue.

FAQs

Can you use bleach on natural stone?

Bleach and vinegar are too harsh for natural stone and will damage the surface. Instead, use a mild detergent or stone cleaner to clean the surface.

Can you pressure wash natural stone?

You can pressure wash natural stone, but be sure to use a low pressure setting. The high-powered stream of water can damage the stone.

Can I clean a marble table with vinegar?

No, vinegar is too harsh for marble and will damage the surface. Instead, use a mild detergent or stone cleaner to clean the surface.

What cleaners are safe for granite?

Mild detergents or stone cleaners are safe for granite. Avoid using vinegar, bleach, or other harsh chemicals, as they will damage the surface.

Can black mold grow on natural stone?

Yes, black mold can grow on natural stone if it is not properly sealed. Be sure to seal the surface regularly to prevent black mold from growing.

My outdoor stone steps are slippery. How can I make them safe?

If your outdoor stone steps are slippery, you can apply a nonslip coating to the surface. This will make the steps safe and prevent slips and falls.

Will an Aqua mix sealer work on natural stone?

Yes, an Aqua mix sealer will work on natural stone. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle and apply the sealer according to the manufacturer’s directions.

How often should I seal my outdoor stone steps?

You should seal your outdoor stone steps every six months to one year. This will help to protect the surface and prevent dirt and stains from setting in.

My outdoor stone statue is chipped. How can I repair it?

You can use stone filler or epoxy to repair a chipped outdoor stone statue. Follow the instructions on the product and apply it according to the manufacturer’s directions.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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