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FAQs

Caring for Natural Stone

Natural stone is an investment that will give you many years of beautiful service. Stone is a natural product and does require some simple care and maintenance to retain its beauty. These are some recommendations supported by the Marble Institute of America.

  • Do dust mop floors frequently
  • Do clean surfaces with cleaner designed specifically for use with your stone.
  • Do thoroughly rinse and dry surface after cleaning.
  • Do BLOT up spills immediately.
  • Do protect floor surfaces with quality mats or area rugs, and stone tops with trivets or placemats.
  • Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids on stone surfaces.
  • Don’t place cleaner bottles that contain acids such as toilet bowl cleaner, grout cleaners or tub and tile cleaners on stone surfaces.
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry or cream cleansers.
  • Don’t mix ammonia and bleach (or other household cleaners) as these combinations can create toxic and deadly fumes.
Precautions
Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the stone surface. Use trivets or placemats under china, ceramics, silverware or other objects that can scratch the surface.

All Stone Surfaces
Clean surfaces with a neutral cleaner made for use on stone and warm water. For best results use a microfiber mop or cloth. Do not use too much soap in the water as it may leave a residue which can cause streaks and attract soil. Do not use products with lemon, vinegar or acids on marble or limestone. Rinse thoroughly after washing with the cleaning solution and dry with a microfiber cloth. Change your rinse water frequently. Do not use scouring powders or creams, these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.

Floor Surfaces
Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean, non-treated dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness. Quality mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help minimize the sand, dirt and grit coming into the home. Avoid using foam-backed mats or rugs as they tend to “delaminate” and leave foam stuck to the floor. This foam can prove quite difficult to remove and may cause damage to the surface. If possible do not wear shoes used outdoors in the house. Mop your floors once a week as described above. Do not use vacuum cleaners with beater brushes on stone surfaces as they may scratch the stone. Do not wax or use products that advertise “shine as you clean”, as these will leave a coating on the surface which will attract soil and grit. These products are totally unnecessary.

Bath and Wet or Damp Areas
In the bath or shower, rinsing and using a squeegee after use can help minimize soap scum buildup. To remove soap scum, use a non-acidic soap scum remover. Remember to always test any cleaner in a small spot to determine if it will adversely effect the surface.

Vanity Tops
Many products used near the vanity contain acids. These may etch or dull the surface. Wipe the surface immediately after use to minimize adverse effects.

Sealing
Many polished stones actually can not be sealed contrary to popular advertising. When a stone is polished, the pores are closed so tightly that sealer (or most other substances) can not penetrate the surface. There are exceptions. A good test to see if your stone needs sealing is to create a small puddle of water on the surface. Leave for 15 minutes and wipe the water off. If the stone has darkened where the water was left to sit, then your stone will accept a sealer.

 

Caring for Tile

All glazed ceramic tile requires less maintenance than many other flooring types. Now that your tile and grout have been professionally cleaned, follow these few tips to maintain the beauty of your tile floor.

  • Do test cleaners and scouring pads in an inconspicuous area before use.
  • Do seal all cement grout to prevent staining
  • Don’t combine ammonia and bleaches (or any household cleaners) This can cause toxic fumes which can be harmful or even deadly.
  • Don’t use harsh cleaning agents (steel wool or ajax) which can scratch or damage the surface of your floor.
  • Don’t seal or wax your ceramic tile. Stay away form products like Mop&Glo. These coatings are unnecessary. They will attract and hold dirt on your floor’s surface.
  • Don’t use vinegar or bleach for regular cleaning. These can adversely affect the tile and grout with continual use.
Sweeping
Tracked in dirt is abrasive and can wear the surface of your tile. Sweep floor regularly to prevent loose dust and abrasive soil form dulling your floor. For best results, use a dust mop or vacuum but without a beater brush or bar.

Mopping

Mop your floor lightly at least once a week. For best results, use a microfiber mop and a neutral cleaner designed for ceramic tile. Use cleaner sparingly as more is not often better, and it may leave a soil-attracting residue.

Beware that many “all-purpose” cleaners will leave a residue which will attract soil. Change mop water often. As always, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning and rinsing for best results.


Spills
Blot, don’t wipe spills. Wiping a substance that may stain your grout can actually push the spill deeper into the grout or widen the area of the spill. Clean the area immediately with a microfiber mop or cloth using a neutral cleaner. Rinse with clean water.

Protect Your Investment

Equip furniture legs with FELT floor protectors. Dirt and sand embedded into plastic or wooden legs act like sandpaper when furniture is moved across your floor.
Place quality rugs or mats both inside and outside of exterior entryways, and near kitchen sinks and dishwashers to prevent impact damage from dropped dishes, pans or utensils.

Avoid foam backed rugs and mats as these tend to “de-laminate” due to moisture or sun exposure and may stick to your floor. The foam can prove very difficult to remove from many surfaces.

After your initial restorative cleaning, Tile Care Inc. recommends an annual professional cleaning. By following the care and maintenance guidelines listed above, the annual cleaning will take less time, therefore costing less.

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