top of page

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

The natural stone you have in your home, office is an investment that will give you many years of beautiful service. Simple care and maintenance will help preserve your stone’s beauty for generations to come. This post has been transcribed from the Natural Stone Institute to present routine cleaning guidelines as well as procedures for stain removal should it become necessary. All methods of cleaning should be in accordance with ASTM C1515-01.


Cleaning Do’s and Don’ts

When discussing care and cleaning procedures with your maintenance staff, there are recommended do’s and don’ts that should always be followed:

Do clean surfaces with mild detergent or stone soap. Do thoroughly rinse and dry the surface with clean, clear water after washing. Do blot up spills immediately. Do protect floor surfaces with non-slip mats or area rugs and countertop surfaces with coasters, trivets, or placemats.

Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice, or other cleaners containing acids on marble, limestone, travertine, or onyx surfaces. Don’t use cleaners that contain acid such as bath- room cleaners, grout cleaners, or tub & tile cleaners. Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers. Don’t mix bleach and ammonia; this combination cre- ates a toxic and lethal gas. Don’t ever mix chemicals together unless directions specifically instruct you to do so. Don’t use vacuum cleaners that are worn. The metal or plastic attachments or the wheels may scratch the stone’s surface.


Daily Cleaning Procedures and Recommendations

Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap, or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water.

Use a clean soft cloth for best results.

Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks.

Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar, or other acids on marble or dolomite.

Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth.

Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.


General Guidelines for Stain Removal

1. Remove any loose debris.

2. Blot spills; wiping the area will spread the spill.

3. Flush the area with plain water and mild soap and rinse several times.

4. Dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth.

5. Repeat as necessary.

6. If the stain remains, refer to the section in this guide on stain removal with poultice.


Identifying & Removing Stains

Oil-Based Stains (grease, cooking oil, cosmetics)

Will darken the stone and normally must be chemically dissolved so the stain’s source can be rinsed away. Clean gently with a soft liquid cleanser, household detergent, ammonia, mineral spirits, or acetone.


Organic Stains (coffee, tea, fruit)

May cause a pinkish-brown stain and may disappear after the source of the stain has been removed. Outdoors, with the sources removed, normal sun and rain action will generally bleach out the stains.

Indoors, clean with 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia.


Inorganic (rust, copper, bronze)

Inorganic Metal Stains (iron, rust, copper, bronze) - Iron or rust stains are orange to brown in color and leave the shape of the staining object, such as nails, bolts, screws, cans, flowerpots, or metal furniture. Copper and bronze stains appear as green or muddy brown and result from the action of moisture on nearby or embedded bronze, copper, or brass items. Metal stains must be removed with a poultice.

Deep-seated, rusty stains are extremely difficult to remove and the stone may be permanently stained.


Ink Stains (magic marker, pen, ink)

Clean light colored stones with bleach or hydrogen peroxide.

Use lacquer thinner or acetone for dark-colored stones.


Paint Stains

Small amounts can be removed with lacquer thinner or scraped off carefully with a razor blade.

Heavy paint coverage should be removed with a commercial liquid paint stripper.

DO NOT USE ACIDS OR FLAME TOOLS TO STRIP PAINT FROM STONE.


Water Spots and Rings (surface accumulation of hard water)

Buff with dry 0000 steel wool.



Using Stain-Removing Poultices

New technologies for sealing and impregnating stones are making it harder and harder to stain your natural stone. However, if your countertop was installed years ago and it was stained, there is a simple way to fix this problem: a poultice is a liquid cleaner or chemical mixed with a white absorbent material to form a paste about the consistency of peanut butter that "absorbs" the element that has penetrated the stone.



Applying the Poultice Prepare the poultice.

If using powder, mix the cleaning agent or chemical to a thick paste the consistency of peanut butter.

If using paper, soak in the chemical and let drain.

Don't let the liquid drip. Wet the stained area with distilled water. Apply the poultice to the stained area about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and extend the poultice beyond the stained area by about one inch.

Use a wood or plastic scraper to spread the poultice evenly. Cover the poultice with plastic and tape the edges to seal it. Allow the poultice to dry thoroughly, usually about 24 to 48 hours.

The drying process is what pulls the stain out of the stone and into the poultice material.

After about 24 hours, remove the plastic and allow the poultice to dry. Remove the poultice from the stain.

Rinse with distilled water and buff dry with a soft cloth. *Repeat the poultice application if the stain is not removed (It may take more than one application for difficult stains).


 

Etch Marks

Etch marks are not stains. They are areas where the glossiness of the surface is dimmed. Usually they are visible only by a certain angle. These marks are common on marble but can occur in dolomites too.

To avoid these marks make sure your surface is properly sealed before installation and avoid strong acids and inappropriate cleaning products (check for pH neutrality).

To remove an etch mark is simple: all you will need is an etch remover, water and paper towel.

Start by adding the powder from the etch remover into the stone with wood or plastic scraper.

Add water and use a paper towel to buff it in a circular motion for a couple of minutes.

If necessary, add more ware and continue buffing until the etch mark disappears and the surface shines again. (click here for full video)




 

HELPFUL TIPS

DO use a cutting board in all kitchen countertop applications DO use coasters or placemats under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citric juices DO use trivets under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that might scratch or scorch the surface DO clean surfaces with mild detergent or stone soap DO thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing DO blot up spills immediately

DON'T use vinegar, lemon juice or cleaners containing acids on marble, onyx, limestone or travertine surfaces DON'T use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub and tile cleaners DON'T use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers DON'T mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas don’T ever mix chemicals together unless directions specifically instruct you to do so



 

SUGGESTED PRODUCTS


Etch Remover by LUSTO ITALIANO

Removes etch and water marks on marble, travertine, limestone, dolomite & onyx. Not for use on granite.


Ideal Cleaner for Natural Stone - Remove Dirt, Dust, & Oil from Surfaces with a more durable cleaning solution


Ideal Sealer for Natural Stone - Liquid & Stain Repellent for Countertop


Ideal Sealer for Natural Stone - Liquid & Stain Repellent for Countertop (without chemical odor)


Countertop cleaner for marble, granite, travertine, limestone and quartzite.











61 views0 comments

Updated: Apr 25, 2022



One of the challenges that most architects remember when talking about the specification of natural stone in their projects is to align it with the client's taste, budget and expectation. When the home owner is already passionate about natural stones, the challenge is overcome so it is possible to invest in a project with different stones, colors, types of finishes. This is the case for this week's story, which had all the details and specifications of the interior design done by the architect Leticia Finamore.



"The idea was to translate a unique and functional concept allied to aesthetics, giving personality and magnificence with the materials. The highlight was the choice of natural stones such as Bianco Superiore quartzite, which, in different finishes, provided the expected effect", Leticia explained when talking about the project.



More than 1,700 sqft of natural stone were used in different finishes, including countertops in the bathroom, kitchen, outside kitchen, and service area. "Right at the entrance of the house there is an unevenness and we took advantage of this detail to define the finishes. The Bianco Superiore quartzite was chosen as a beacon to alert the unevenness in an elegant way, and the material extends to the living room with a polished finish," said the Leticia.



In the outside kitchen, for a more funky proposal, the chosen finishings were brushed and honed (matte). "This is a light material, which blends well with other types of materials and brings sophistication to the space. We used the same quartzite, with different finishes, in several environments", explained.



The architect also points out that natural stone is a fundamental element in her projects. "Whether for countertops, flooring, stairs, furniture, or decorative pieces, stone brings irreverence, concept, glamour, and personality. The choice is always made according to the client's budget, the effect he wants to cause, and the composition and harmony with the other materials present in the projects", she pointed out.



Among her favorite natural stone materials, the one she chooses is quartzite - for its hardness, resistance, and beauty. "They are more unique and allow us more possibilities for composition, both with other stones and with other materials we use in our projects. One material I love is Cristallo, a noble rock that is possible to work with lighting," she concluded.


Architect: Leticia Finamore

Photography: Camila Santos



31 views0 comments

Over 30-years old, the InterContinental® Miami is an icon of the Miami skyline and a keeper of art in unexpected places. In the early 1980s, Theodore Gould a developer from Washington D.C. built the Miami Center and the Pavilion Hotel, now the InterContinental® Miami. His vision was to create a world trade center-like complex in the heart of Downtown Miami which would sustain global commerce to Miami. To create this, he hired the renowned architect Pietro Belluschi, designer of the Juilliard School and the Pan Am (now Met Life) building in New York City.


Belluschi blurred the lines of art and architecture when constructing the Hotel. Numerous trips on the Concord netted the purchase of a travertine quarry in Italy for the project. No expense was spared as the antique Florentine marble covers the entire exterior and interior of the property.



The slabs were cut and numbered in Italy, shipped to the mouth of the Miami River and reassembled by number so the veining matched throughout. Other materials used throughout the interior of the InterContinental® Miami include Brazilian green granite Ubatuba, Portuguese rosate marble and South African black granite.




Precious woods are also used throughout the interiors, including the rare babinga from Africa and from the Orient burned cedar and black teak. The InterContinental® Miami and Miami Center complex are considered the largest marble structure in Florida. Today, the it greets over 500,000 people each year, guests and locals, all passing through the lobby and perhaps one of the most significant sculptures in the country, The Spindle.



Remarkably, it is the only hotel in the world to have been built around a work of art. In 1981, internationally renowned English sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) was commissioned to create the 18-ft, 70-ton marble sculpture. Made of travertine marble with a base of Ubatuba granite from Brazil, it was dropped into the lobby space by helicopter and from that point the hotel lobby was built. The Spindle is the largest of the artist’s sculptures in private ownership and is appraised at over $20 million USD.


The Hotel continues to incorporate the arts through the use of technology. Its 2012 renovation included the installation of two 19-story LED digital canvases on the exterior of the building that have transformed the Miami skyline. Facing towards Downtown Miami, Miami Beach and the Port of Miami, LED lights create an animated and unique art experience on the Hotel’s tower.



The Spindle, sitting on a fountain pool under a clear story atrium roof, is now at the center of an interactive lobby with touch- screen technology and digital art walls that create a ‘new media’ art space at the hotel. The InterContinental® Miami, a true monument to art and luxury, is capturing the pulse of the New Miami – global, sophisticated, luxurious, artistic and edgy.


54 views0 comments
Doral Stones Logo
bottom of page