Top 5 Natural Stone Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid
Cleaning your natural stone can be a scary task. However, with the right information and products, you can avoid any unnecessary mistakes. Let’s explore the top 5 mistakes people are making when it comes to taking care of their natural stone and how to prevent them.
1. Using Harsh Chemicals
The use of harsh or abrasive cleaners on your natural stone surface is a big no-no. These chemicals can cause etching, discolouration, break down existing sealants and ultimately damage instead of cleaning your stone. Vinegar is often recommended as a natural alternative, but it is acidic and may damage the sealant, allowing stains to form. A product we often see being recommended for cleaning is brick-acid, and whilst this is fine to use on surfaces such as concrete, when used on natural stone, like Kandla Grey, it can cause the iron minerals within it to oxidise. This presents itself as orange or brown stains on your stone. Instead, we recommend using a pH-neutral cleaner like Rob Parker’s Best Patio Cleaner, which is formulated to clean natural stone without harming its delicate surface.
2. Incorrect Cleaning Tools
Using the wrong tools whilst cleaning can cause scratches or other forms of damage. Scrub brushes with abrasive bristles or steel wool are not going to do any good for your stone surface. Instead, use non-abrasive sponges and brushes to apply cleaning products and clean with. Read product instructions carefully to see what tools they advise using to safely clean.
3. Stone Specific Care Instructions
There are many different types of natural stone such as limestone, sandstone, granite, and slate that require specific care instructions. Limestone, for example, is the most prone to accidental damage as it is very sensitive to acid-based cleaners. Therefore, special care must be taken to make sure non acidic cleaning products are used on it. It is important to only use cleaning products that are formulated for use on natural stone, such as Rob Parker’s Best, to prevent unnecessary damage.
4. Not Sealing Correctly
Sealing your natural stone surface correctly is crucial in maintaining its longevity. Sealant helps protect the stone from stains, water damage, UV penetration, atmospheric pollution, and frost. However, many people either overlook this step, use the incorrect sealant, or do not apply the right amount of sealant.
There are many different sealants on the market. Many of these are coating sealers, that leave a layer of sealant on the surface of the stone. This means the stone cannot breathe, which can cause further problems. RPB Patio Sealer is an impregnating sealant, which means it sits whin the pores of the stone, protecting it throughout whilst allowing it to breath.
Additionally, more porous stone types may require additional coats of sealant to properly seal. Finally, it is important to reseal your stone surfaces every 3-5 years, or as recommended to preserve their natural beauty.
5. Overlooking Regular Maintenance
Neglecting regular maintenance of your natural stone can lead to a build-up of dirt, grime, and stains. For instance, if black spot isn’t treated it will spread and grow its roots further into the pores of the stone and become harder to dislodge and get rid of. This can be easily managed by using a patio cleaner which contains biocide. This will kill the blackspot and dislodge its roots from the stone, which can then be easily cleaned away.
Develop a consistent cleaning routine to prevent dirt build up and long-term damage. Keep your stone looking good for years to come, with Rob Parker’s Best easy-to-use natural stone cleaning products.
Cleaning your natural stone surface doesn’t need to be a daunting task filled with these potential mistakes. By avoiding harsh chemicals, using the correct tools, following stone-specific care instructions, properly sealing, and establishing a cleaning routine, your stone surface will keep looking wonderful for years to come. Rob Parkers Best range of natural stone cleaning products are designed to make cleaning your natural stone easy and manageable. With RPB and these fantastic tips we hope you enjoy cleaning with confidence!
For more stone care tips, head to our Stone Care advice section here or contact our team of stone experts for more advice.