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Kitchen Counter Tops
Assuming that your kitchen counter top is made either out of true or mercantile granite, green marble or soapstone or a hone-finished stone (if you have polished marble or polished travertine, then there’s not much that can be done to maintain their highly glossy finish, other than … well, never using your countertop!) there is one thing you must remember: This firm rule applies to all stone surfaces: countertops, floors, walls, etc. Using a “glass cleaner” or “water with a little dish soap” are common but erroneous recommendations that you may hear. Glass cleaners may turn out to be too harsh to both the stone and the sealer (if one has been applied), while water and dish soap can leave an unsanitary and unsightly film that will build up and become problematic to remove. (Wash your hands with dish soap and then rinse them under running water; observe how long and how much water it will take to rinse properly. To get the same rinsing result – which is the only one acceptable – for your countertops, you would have to rinse them with a garden hose!) Generic household cleaners off the shelves of the supermarket are out, and specialty cleaners specifically formulated to deal with the delicate chemistry of stone are, very definitely, in order. DO clean your kitchen countertop regularly with a stone safe cleaner, full strength in areas near cooking and eating areas, and diluted in a proportion of 1:1 with water for less demanding situations such as vanity tops, areas of the countertop far from the cooking and eating areas. DON’T let any spills sit too long on the surface of your counter top. Clean spills up (by blotting only) as soon as you can.
Treating Dried on Spills DON’T use any green or brown scouring pad. The presence of silicon carbide grits in them will scratch even the toughest “granite.” You can safely use the sponges lined with a silvery net, or other plastic scouring pads. REMEMBER, it’s very important to spray the cleaner and let it sit for a while to moisten and soften the soil, before scrubbing. LET THE CLEANING AGENTS DO THE WORK! It will make your job much easier and will be more effective.
Bath and Vanity
DO clean your vanity tops regularly with a stone-safe, soap free product. Considering the light-duty cleaning that is typically necessary on a vanity top, you can generally dilute the product in a proportion of 1:1 with tap water. DON’T take chances with cleaning your mirrors over your marble vanity tops with a regular glass cleaner. The over-spray could spill onto the marble surface and may damage it. Therefore, DO clean your mirror with the same solution of water and stone safe spray cleaner. Even if you over-spray it, nothing bad is going to happen to your marble. TIP Rubbing alcohol works wonders for cleaning mirrors and won’t harm marble. DON’T use any powder cleanser, or—worse yet—any cream cleanser. DON’T do your nails on your marble vanity top, or color or perm your hair nearby it. DON’T put any wet bottle onto it (perfume, after-shave, etc.). Keep your cosmetics and fragrances in one of those pretty mirror trays (be sure that the legs of the tray have felts tips) or other appropriate container. DO use a stone polish if you want to add some extra shine to your polished stone countertop surface and help prevent soiling.
DO monitor your grout and caulk lines periodically and address any problem immediately. DON’T use any cleanser, either in a powdery or creamy form.
DON’T use any generic soap film remover, such as TILEX SOAP SCUM® or X-14 SOAP SCUM® on your polished stone shower stall.
DON’T use any mildew stain remover, such as TILEX MILDEW STAIN REMOVER® or X-14 MILDEW STAIN REMOVER® on your polished stone shower stall.
DON’T use any self-cleaners, such as SCRUBFREE ® and the likes, or any harsh disinfectant, such as LYSOL®
DO clean your shower stall daily. The easiest and most effective way is, after everybody has taken a shower, spray the walls and floor of the stall with a diluted solution of water and stone spray cleaner, then squeegee. (MB-3!!!)
Doing whatever it takes to minimize the drying of the water bubbles that leave behind the soap film are crucial to the upkeep of a stone shower.
Removing Soap Scum
If you notice an accumulation of soap film (especially on the lower part of the walls and on the floor pan) DO use a soap film remover specifically formulated to be effective at doing the job of cleaning soap scum and hard mineral deposits, while not negatively interacting with the chemistry of natural stone. (MB-3)
If mildew appears on the grout lines of your shower enclosure: DO clean the mildew stain with a mildew stain remover that has been formulated to be safe on natural stone, while being very effective at removing mildew and other biological stains. (MB-9)
f your toilet bowl sits on a marble or other natural stone floor, DON’T use any generic toilet bowl cleaners.
Possible spills will dig holes in your marble. Clean your bowl with a powdery cleanser and, if extra disinfection is desired, you can spray your toilet liberally with a disinfectant spray designated safe for stone.