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Cleaning and Sealing Natural Stone

How should I keep my natural stone clean?

Experts recommend using a cleaner specially formulated for natural stone. General purpose cleaning products can damage natural stone or the sealer applied, so don’t just pick anything off of the shelf at the grocery store. Improperly formulated cleaners or those with acids (such as porcelain or tile cleaners) may etch the surface of the natural stone. For everyday cleaning, use a gentle, pH-balanced formula such as DuPont™ Granite & Marble Countertop Cleaner, or DuPont™ Granite & Marble Countertop Cleaner + Protector, which cleans and helps reinforce protection.

How should I clean up a spill?
No matter how careful consumers are, spills happen. That’s why experts recommend sealing natural stone. A sealer can help repel stains until the spill is cleaned off. If spills are left for extended periods of time, they can damage or penetrate the sealer. A quick response with products designed for natural stone can keep spills from degrading the sealer and damaging your natural stone.

For all spills, you want to remove as much of the material as possible without allowing it to spread, using something non-abrasive like a soft sponge or nylon brush. Then simply wipe the area with a cleaner such as DuPont™ Granite & Marble Countertop Cleaner or DuPont™ Stone & Tile Floor Cleaner. If necessary, repeat.

What if I didn’t clean up the spill immediately?
Don’t panic. Clean it using the method described above. Advanced cleaning techniques are available for different types of stains. LATICRETE has a staff of Technical Service Advisors at 1-888-241-2780 who can help.

What types of spills can damage natural stone?
Many household foods, beverages and cosmetics can damage natural stone. Common toiletries like perfume, toothpaste and mouthwash contain acids and other ingredients that can degrade the sealer or even damage your natural stone’s surface. Exercise caution with common foods and beverages like orange juice or soft drinks that also contain acids. Regular use of a natural stone cleaner will remove residues from cooking oils, everyday food spills, hairspray and other cosmetics. Use DuPont™ Granite & Marble Countertop Cleaner + Protector to clean and help reinforce protection.

Why does natural stone porosity differ, thus making some types of natural stone more vulnerable to stains?
Natural stones have different porosity because of their mineral composition and geological formation. The process by which the natural stones were formed, and where in the world they were formed, affects the porosity of the natural stone. All natural stone can be porous and is absorbent to some degree. Natural stones that have more swirls or veins tend to be more porous and absorbent.

What types of cleaning products does DuPont make to care for natural stone countertops?
DuPont has two cleaners specifically designed for natural stone countertops: DuPont™ Granite & Marble Countertop Cleaner and DuPont™ Granite & Marble Countertop Cleaner + Protector. Each is specially formulated to wipe away messes without breaking down the protective seal of natural stone surfaces. DuPont™ Granite & Marble Countertop Cleaner + Protector has a built-in sealer that helps reinforce your countertop’s protective sealer. In addition, DuPont offers a complete line of products to clean, protect and enhance natural stone, tile and grout that can be found anywhere in your home.

Where can I purchase DuPont products for natural stone?
DuPont™ Stone Care products are available at Lowes, Floor & Décor, Kroger, Bed, Bath & Beyond and other retailers. Click here for a complete list of retailers.

Why should I seal my natural stone?
The best way to prevent stains on your granite and other natural stone is to treat its surface with a sealer. Natural stone can be very porous, and thus absorb liquids and stains from spills. Sealers help repel spills and stains on the surface, giving you time to wipe them away before they have a chance to penetrate your natural stone. The bottom line: Protected natural stone will be easier to clean and will resist staining.

How can I tell if my natural stone has already been sealed?
Apply a drop of water at least ½-inch in diameter to the top of the natural stone and let stand for at least 15 minutes. Cover with a glass to inhibit evaporation. If the area does not darken then your natural stone is probably sealed against water-based stains. Testing for oil repellency is not as simple because if your natural stone is not sealed, you will have an oil stain.

What type of natural stone sealer does DuPont make?
DuPont has multiple sealers to seal your natural stone countertops and floors. DuPont has a specific sealer that repels stains and protects natural stone countertops: DuPont™ Granite & Marble Countertop Sealer. Unlike some sealers, DuPont™ Granite & Marble Countertop Sealer will not darken natural stone. In addition, DuPont offers a complete line of products to protect, clean and enhance natural stone, tile and grout.

How often do I need to seal my natural stone?
More than likely, your natural stone countertops were sealed when they were installed. If you seal or reseal your natural stone with DuPont™ Granite & Marble Countertop Sealer and maintain it with DuPont™ Granite & Marble Countertop Cleaner or DuPont™ Granite & Marble Countertop Cleaner + Protector, your sealer should last up to 3-5 years. Use and ongoing maintenance greatly affect sealer durability. As a result, heavily used surfaces should be sealed annually for optimal protection.

P r o c e s s i n g . . .