The Ultimate Stone Care Guide

The natural stone you have in your home, office, or commercial building is an investment that will give you many years of enjoyment.

Simple care and maintenance will help preserve your stone’s beauty for generations to come.  This care guide has been developed for you by Stone 101 to present routine cleaning guidelines as well as procedures for stain removal should it become necessary.


Understanding your stone

There are two categories of natural stone: siliceous and calcareous stone. When maintaining your stone it is crucial to know the difference.

Siliceous stone includes slate, sandstone, granite, quartzite, brownstone and bluestone.

Calcareous stone includes travertine, limestone, marble and onyx.

If you are unsure about which type of stone you have, it is best to consult with us to understand before you begin cleaning and maintenance.


Assessing the Stone’s Current Condition

Knowing the current condition of the stone is also important before beginning a stone cleaning or maintenance program. Your checklist should include questions such as:

  • Is there any evidence of damage to the stone tile (including cracks and staining)? You may need to replace damaged stone before cleaning.
  • Are the stone tiles flat and even? Rough surfaces can make your stone difficult to clean.
  • What type of finish does your stone have? Different finishes require different treatment.
  • Has your stone been sealed or coated and if so with what product? Different sealants will have a different effect on you maintain your stone.

The above elements will all affect which products should be used to help preserve your stone. If you are unsure how about any answers to these questions, please contact your local stone supplier today.


General cleaning and maintenance tips for protecting the longevity of your stone

  1. Ensure you dust, sweep and mop your stone floors regularly with a mild detergent or soap. Be sure to rinse the surface with water after cleaning, and dry thoroughly.
  2. For vertical surface cleaning, begin at the bottom of the stone and work upwards.
  3. If you are protecting your stone surfaces with rugs or mats, ensure the underside is non-slip and non-abrasive.
  4. Should you encounter a spill, ensure you blot it up as soon as possible.
  5. Never use abrasive cleaners or cleaners that include acid (including vinegar or lemon juice)
  6. Do not place hot items directly onto the stone surface
  7. Never use a worn vacuum cleaner that may scratch the stone.
  8. Inspect your stone for deterioration, staining and movement periodically.


Stone stain removal procedure

Sometimes accidents can happen, or a build up of materials can cause staining on your stone. For the best chance of removal, follow our procedure below.

  1. Start by immediately removing any loose debris.
  2. Gently blot the surface and ensure you do not push down hard or wipe the surface.
  3. Rinse the area with plain water.
  4. Thoroughly dry the area with a soft towel or cloth but do not push down hard on the stone
  5. Once the area is dry, if the stain remains, refer to our guide below for treatments on different stone.


Determining the type of stain you have will predict the method of removal. Below we have outlined the most common types of stains you may encounter with your stone, as well as resolution ideas.


Produce stains: Stains from food and drink such as coffee, wine, fruit etc.

This type of stain may cause a slight mark after the main source has been removed. Natural sun and water may reduce the stain over time. For instant removal use a 12% hydrogen peroxide formula with a few drops of ammonia.

Oil-Based stains: Stains from cooking oil, makeup or grease.

Oil-based stains will often darken the stone. Use a household detergent on lighter stone and acetone on darker stone to remove the stain.

Biological stains: Stains from moss, fungi and algae may be removed with ammonia, bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Ensure you dilute the chemicals (1/2 cup of chemicals in 4 litres of water), and NEVER MIX BLEACH AND AMMONIA.

Water stains: Including spots and rings may be buffed out with dry 0000 steel wool, depending on your stone’s finish. Be sure to check with your manufacturer before using this method.

Ink stains: Stains from pen ink can be removed with acetone for darker coloured stone, and bleach or hydrogen peroxide for lighter coloured stone. We recommend doing a small patch first to ensure there is no discolouration.

Paint stains: Small paint stains may be carefully removed with a razor blade or lacquer thinner. For larger stains contact your local stone restorer.


It can be simple to keep your stone looking as beautiful as the first day it was installed by following our care guide. Ensure you protect your stone where possible from staining, ensure it stays clean and dry where possible, and ensure you have your stone professionally sealed where relevant. If you would like to learn more about the information in our article, please contact us today.

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