Tips for Cleaning Natural Stone Backsplashes
With so many different types of natural stone backsplashes available today, it is not only hard to select the one that you want to use in your kitchen or bathroom, but it is also difficult to know just how you should clean and care for stones. Rock Doctor is here with a few tips on how to clean different types of natural stone backsplashes.
Cleaning Different Types of Stone Backsplashes
Daily cleaning of stone backsplashes is the best way to prevent stains and discoloration. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t know how to properly clean their stone backsplashes. Since there are a few different types of stone backsplashes, we know that it can be confusing. Here are a few cleaning tips for natural stone backsplashes.
Calcium-Based Sedimentary Stones
Stones like limestone, marble, travertine, and onyx are calcium-based sedimentary stones. These types of stone are extremely sensitive to harsh chemicals and acid. When it comes to keeping these stones clean, you will want to use a stone-specific cleaner, like Rock Doctor Granite Cleaner, which is safe for a variety of different stone types. A stone-specific cleaner won’t contain citrus or vinegar bases that could cause severe damage to these stones. Cleaners containing bleach can discolor or etch calcium-based stones, so be wary of those as well.
Slate and quartzite are two rough, textured stones that are commonly used in backsplashes. Due to their texture, it can be difficult to wipe down slate and quartzite backsplashes. In fact, cleaning rags and paper towels often catch and snag on the rough stone. When you need to clean textured stone, your best bet is to use a stone-specific cleaner with a non-abrasive scrub pad. The scrub pad will help loosen dirt without causing any scratches to the surface of the stone or leaving fibers behind.
While we would never recommend using ledgerstone or splitface mosaic stones in the shower or for kitchen backsplashes, they do end up in these locations from time to time. These textured surfaces are much more dramatic than slate or quartzite, and it is very easy for residue to build up on the surface of these stones. It is very challenging to clean these surfaces with any kind of cloth, so we recommend the same technique used for slate and quartzite.
The high shine surface of polished stone is more likely to show damage like chips, scratches, and etching, as well as water spots. Again, these stones should be cleaned with a stone-specific cleaner. However, with polished stone, you will want to use a soft rag that won’t potentially cause any damage to the stone or its shiny veneer. Make sure you always use a clean rag, because dirt and debris left behind on dirty cloths could damage the stone.
Polishing and Sealing Stone Backsplashes
Natural stone needs to be sealed to prevent moisture from penetrating the small pores. Sealer should be applied to stone backsplashes at least once a year to protect the stone from damage. These sealers can be a bit tricky to apply to the uneven surfaces of some of the backsplashes mentioned above, but it is important that you do your best to make sure that every part of the backsplash is protected from potential moisture.
If your stone backsplash is made with polished stone, you will need to reapply stone polish a few times a year. The polish will help keep the sealer intact and make the stone backsplash as shiny as it was the day it was installed in your home.