By Jacqueline Tabbah, Assistant Vice President
International Stoneworks, Inc.
What I love about Bering’s customers is how much they care about their homes.
I’m sure you have ventured into the housewares aisle where you’ve encountered multiple surface cleaners for your natural stone or tile floors, vanities, kitchen and bathroom surfaces, etc. In my guest blog for Bering’s, I’m going to help you sort out the best products for your stone, tile, and grout.
Here are the questions that I receive the most from Bering’s customers who want to know how to properly clean their stone and tile surfaces:
1. What is the best way to clean my marble and granite counter-tops?
All natural stone surfaces need to be cleaned on a regular basis with neutral cleaners. My recommendation to clean stone counter-tops and showers is Akemi Crystal Clean. It is a neutral cleaner that is easy to use. It also helps remove light calcium build up around your sink as well as on your shower walls.
We recommend avoiding cleaners with acid, ammonia, and alcohol because they “etch” stones like marble. Etch marks are chemical burns that look like the finish or the shine has been removed from the surface of the stone. You cannot clean etch marks; etch marks need to be re-honed or re-polished.
2. What products are safe to use to clean my travertine/marble floor?
Lavenet and Lavenet Green are pH-balanced cleaners for marble, travertine, limestone, slate, granite, flagstone and other natural stones. These cleaners are completely biodegradable and do not contain solvents or phosphates.
If you are environmentally conscious, Lavenet Green is your best bet as it is VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) compliant.
Both Lavenet and Lavenet Green are available in concentrated and ready-to-use bottles.
Both products are a great way to safely clean and neutralize your stone floors and surfaces.
3. How can I remove the embedded dirt from my textured stone floor?
Many homeowners opt not to have a smooth and shiny floor in their home. Instead, they choose cross-cut or textured travertine or limestone. Other popular materials are slate, flagstone and quartzite.
Over time, dirt can get trapped in these textured stone tiles and grout lines and it can be quite difficult to remove this embedded dirt.
For natural stone, we recommend cleaning with Lavenet (or Lavenet Green) with a scrub brush that has a handle. It allows you to clean your textured stone floor and remove most of the embedded dirt. The use of a wet vacuum cleaner (such as a Shop Vac) after scrubbing the floor will help.
Please keep in mind that some embedded dirt can penetrate so deeply that it may stain the grout or stone.
4. My porcelain tile and grout floor is pretty dirty. What product can I use to clean my floor?
If you have ceramic, porcelain, or quarry tiles, I recommend cleaning with a solution of MDR (Mineral Deposit Remover). MDR is a stronger, slightly acid-based cleaner that thoroughly cleans tiles and grout lines. If your tile is textured, you may want to use MDR with a scrub brush that has a handle. Since MDR is an acid-based product, we suggest wearing safety gloves and eye protection.
If you are unsure if MDR is the right product to use on your floor, please do not hesitate to ask a Bering’s associate or give International Stoneworks, Inc. a call.
Caution: MDR contains acid and will etch marble, travertine, limestone, terrazzo and flagstone.
Now that you know which products to use on your stone and tile, I’ve just given you another excuse to shop at Bering’s (as if you needed one other than the delicious free coffee and holiday coupons)!