You decided to get beautiful, natural stone products on and around your home. Now how do you keep them clean?

You may already know that natural stone is one of the most durable products on earth because it comes from the earth. If you have natural stone veneers or Aura natural stone landscaping products, here are some tips for care and maintenance.

 

Keep It Simple to Clean Natural Stone

stone being cleaned with soap and water

We consulted Instone’s Territory Sales Manager and A-Team member, Jake Alicandro, to find the best ways to care for your natural stone. He says just ol’ soap and water will usually do the trick.

“I always recommend starting slow, and if you need something a little more aggressive, going up from there,” Alicandro says. You can use any type of mild soap detergent, such as dish or hand soap, and mix it with a little water. Wet the stone first, and then use a bristle brush and soap solution to wipe the stone clean.  

The last step is to make sure you rinse thoroughly. “You don’t want to leave any cleaner on there because once it dries up, it can cause hazing on the stone,” he says.

 

What Not to Do

Alicandro said maintaining natural stone is pretty straightforward. “It’s more a matter of what not to do than what to do,” he says. One big “don’t” to remember is, never use a product with acid, particularly muriatic acid, in it.

No acid indicator

“I’ve been to multiple job sites where people put it on, and it literally burns the stone,” says Alicandro. “It turns it brown, like rust spots on granite or any light-colored stone. After spending all this money on getting beautiful natural stone, you don’t want to ruin it.”

He also advises people to steer clear of sealing natural stone. “Natural stone is as tough as it possibly gets. It’s much tougher than a manufactured stone. If you have a patio made of concrete, I’d recommend using a sealer,” says Alicandro. “But for natural stone, I would not recommend using it. You don’t need it, and it can cause problems with the stone.”

 

 

Bring on the Power

If you need something a little stronger, Alicandro says you can use a power washer to clean natural stone. He says there are two things to watch out for: One is to be cautious of any joints between the stones that are filled with polymeric sand.

“Stay away from that with the power washer because it can cause it to come out,” says Alicandro.

He also warns about the sheer force of your power washer and not to put yourself or anyone else in the path of the stream. “If you put your finger in front of a power washer, that thing will rip your skin open—unfortunately, I know that from experience.”

 

Conquering Stains, Moss and Efflorescence

Alicandro says there are three issues to look for that require specialized cleaning products beyond soap and water.

The most common issue is staining from food around outdoor kitchens or dining areas. Grease and oil stains are common when cooking and serving food over stone veneers and Aura pavers. Alicandro recommends cleaners such as  Prosoco Restoration Cleaner.

 

Stone wall being cleaned

 

“Restoration cleaners aren’t overly aggressive. They won’t damage the stone.“ There are several different restoration cleaners, so be sure to check to make sure it can be used on your type of stone.

Another issue to watch for is moss and mildew; for that you can use organic cleaners. 

Lastly, an uncommon issue worth noting is efflorescence that can form when moisture is underneath or behind a stone.  

“It can cause a white calcium to come out on the top surface of it and make the stone look streaky,” Alicandro says. For that, he recommends efflorescence cleaners. “You use it by diluting the product, putting it on the stone, and it’ll take off the white, calcium substance,” he says.

Natural stone is an investment worth making, not only for the beauty of the look on your home but also for the easy upkeep, thanks to its durability. With some simple care and maintenance, you can keep your stone veneers and landscaping looking good for years to come.

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