Disinfecting Granite and Other Natural Stone
Keeping your family safe during COVID-19 is a concern for many people. Natural stones are beautiful, but they are porous and full of sponge like capillaries that absorb liquids and require proper care. but with just a few changes to your normal cleaning routine, you can help keep your home healthy.The CDC distinguishes between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning removes germs and potential organic material that bacteria grows in, while disinfecting kills the germs that are left behind after cleaning. Both processes are important to stop the spread of infectious diseases. It is extremely important to keep your stone clean to keep it free of germs and bacteria.The following are tips for cleaning your natural stone:
- Clean the surface of your stone removing all dirt and liquids. Make sure to clean with a neutral cleaner specifically designed for your type of stone.
- Use a damp soft cloth or sponge and a mixture of pH-neutral soap with warm water to disinfect the stone. Note* Using an abrasive cleanser or rough sponge may remove the sealant and damage your stone over time.
- Allow the mixture to remain on the surface for 5 minutes.
- Immediately dry the surface with a soft towel to avoid spotting.
- Make sure to avoid cleaning products that aren’t specifically designed for natural stone. Chemicals with high acidity will eat away at the protective sealant and may chemically scratch your stone.
- Make sure that you maintain the proper sealant on your stone. The right sealant makes all the difference in maintaining your stone. It is recommended to reseal your stone every 6-12 months, but that is dependent on how much your surface is used.
- Deep clean you surface using a stone-safe cleaner before applying the sealant. Make sure to address any unwanted stains, because the stains will lock in once sealant is applied.
- Wear gloves to protect yourself from harmful chemicals and make sure to keep the area ventilated.
- Apply sealer with a microfiber cloth. Make sure the sealer does not dry on the surface to avoid hazing or discoloration in those areas. Make sure to protect any surface where you don’t want the sealant and follow the manufacturer’s application instructions.
- The stone will absorb some of the sealant so make sure to soak up the excess area with your cloth. Once the area is dry to the touch (15-30 minutes), repeat the process 2-3 times.
- Keep liquid containers off your stones that will leave a ring of buildup underneath them and eats away at your protective seal. Be very cautious with oil since it can seep into the surface and leave a hard to remove stain.
- Reapply your sealant as needed. A simple water test will let you know if you need to reapply your sealant. Pour a small amount of water over various sections of your stone and let it sit for 30 minutes. If the stone starts to darken, it is time to reseal your stone. NOTE* If your seal is worn down, it may start to darken before the 30 minutes are up.