Keeping your Stone looking its best the longest
Natural stone, is porous and will have a certain level of absorbency. Polished stone has much less absorbency than a honed or flat stone. But with stone it does mean that dirt can penetrated the surface and leave stains. By protecting and correctly maintaining the surface, the majority of the stains can be avoided, maintenance will be significantly reduced and the stone’s beauty will be maintained for a long time.
The chemical make-up of rocks can be unpredictable. NEVER use home-brewed concoctions (such as water and dish soap, or water and vinegar) to clean your natural stone installations. NEVER use generic cleaning products (such as glass cleaner, etc.), unless their label specifies that are safe on natural marble (“cultured marble” is man-made plastic material and is NOT marble). NEVER listen to the advice of friends and relatives: they do not know stone! And, amazingly, neither do all too many trade people involved with stone, such as fabricators, contractors, dealers, etc. ALWAYS use cleaning agents that are specifically formulated to deal with the unforeseeable makeup of natural stone.
Hot oil and grease can penetrate the natural stones surface easily. Even a stone that has been sealed with impregnating sealer should be cleaned as quickly as possible. Splashes of hot grease generally occur around the stove. These can affect the counter-top and the floor as well. Wiping up the softer marble floor first and then cleaning the harder granite will give you the best results. But time is a factor so clean these spills up as soon as you can.
Marble, limestone and some types of slate need to be protected from acids. The only way to do that is simply, not to spill acids on these types of stones. That is easier said than done with a busy family. If someone has made the mistake of waxing your natural stone flooring (The most common mistake in the Pittsburgh area is wax on slate. This is very costly to fix) the only good thing is you wont have to worry about acid hurting the stone. Other than wax(that should never be used) there is not a way to protect soft stone from acid spills, because you can’t seal against acids. That’s one good reason to keep you marble and travertine flooring in the entryway of your home and why it is not ideal for a kitchen floor.
Do not clean your floor with acid containing cleaners such as a limescale remover, clr, or any vinegar based cleaners. Never use wax or any sealer that uses the words polish even if they say safe for marble. You will be creating a maintenance nightmare.
If you have a stone surface don’t use scouring cream, scouring powder or a scouring pad. Marble and limestone surfaces are particularly sensitive to mechanical abrasion.
Many foodstuffs also contain acids e.g. wine, champagne, fruit juices, cola, ketchup, fruit etc. Even on some harder stones, they can be hurt from acid. Some will significantly fade if exposed to strong acids. Strongly pigmented foodstuffs(beetroot, cherry juice, blackberry juice, red wine, etc.) should be immediately wipe off all stone surfaces.