Natural Stone Porous Materials Protection Cleaning D.I.Y.

PAST EXPERT’S ANSWERS

Ben asked: Are there eco-friendly stone cleaners?

Hi, Ben!

At Dry-Treat, we’re not just dedicated to premium-quality sealers and cleaners – we also want to make sure we provide products that are safe to use. That goes for both our customers and the environment. One perfect example would be Oxy-Klenza, a powerful oxygen-based cleaner for inside and outside. This product breaks down organic stains and soiling. Not only is Oxy-Klenza chlorine-free, it’s also biodegradable. It simply decomposes into oxygen, water and natural salts. Another example would be Sola-Kleena, which uses the energy in sunlight and moisture in the air to help remove stains from algae, mold and mildew. This product uses natural minerals instead of harmful chemicals or residues. Feel free to check out Dry-Treat’s cleaning range! Dry-Treat has a range of options that can suit your needs!

Marcus asked: How do I know which stain removal method to use?

Hi, Marcus!
Figuring out how to remove a stain depends on what caused the stain in the first place. Once you identify the culprit, you can put a stain removal plan into action. For instance, oil-based stains like those caused by grease and cosmetics can be removed with liquid cleanser, household detergent, ammonia, mineral spirits or acetone. On the other hand, paint stains need to be removed with either lacquer thinner for small amounts or commercial liquid paint stripper for large amounts. There are also stubborn stains that require the aid of a poultice to remove. (By the way, Oxy-Klenza makes an execellent poultice!)

Always keep in mind how different removal methods may affect your stone, however. Calcareous stones are vulnerable to etching from acidic materials, for example. And no matter what type of stain you’re looking to get rid of, there are some general best practices to keep in mind. For instance, remove any loose debris before starting, and blot spills instead of wiping, otherwise you might spread the stain.

Let us know if you have any more questions!

Rebecca asked: Is there such a thing as cleaning my stone too much?

Hi, Rebecca!
Natural stone can be a beautiful investment for your home or business, so it’s only fair you’d want to keep it looking great with regular surface cleaning and maintenance. With that said, it’s important not to go overboard when cleaning your stone. Using the right products is essential. A product like Rejuvenata is intended as a gentle daily cleaner for natural stone and engineered stone countertops, for example. It also contains an invisible sealer to help improve surface protection and make the material easier to clean. You should also keep in mind that some cleaning products can actually damage your stone. Calcareous stones like marble and limestone are very sensitive to acid, so a cleaning product containing acidic materials could lead to unsightly marks and etching. While it’s good to make sure your stone is well-maintained, remember to use the right tools for the job.
Happy cleaning!

Nolan asked: Will a sealer change the way my stone looks?

Hi, Nolan!
One of the great things about Dry-Treat’s sealers, such as STAIN-PROOF Original, is that it will help you maintain the natural beauty and structural integrity of your stone without changing its appearance. Our premium-quality sealers are invisible, meaning you can use them on your stone without worrying about it changing surface appearance. This is just one way in which impregnating sealers differ from the topical variety. Topical sealers can create a waxy surface on top of your stone while impregnating sealers penetrate deep into the pores of the material instead of resting on top. However, if you’re looking for a sealer that will enhance the look of your stone, there are options available. For instance, INTENSIFIA not only offers stain protection for porous surfaces, it also features deep, long-lasting color enhancement.

I hope that answered your question!

Laura asked: My stone is spalling – what do I do?

Hi, Laura!

Freeze-thaw spalling occurs when water enters a porous material and expands. Water can expand by 9 percent in ice form, and this pushes the walls of the pores. It it happens close to the surface of your stone, pieces of it will likely break off. This starts a snowball effect, as the more pieces that break off, the bigger the pores become, allowing more water to enter, freeze and expand. Unfortunately, by the time you notice flaking or pitting, the spalling process is already at an advanced stage. While there’s no way to completely prevent freeze-thaw spalling from happening, you can significantly slow down the process by keeping water out as much as possible. By using a breathable impregnating sealer that goes deep into the surface, water will be kept out while still allowed to escape as vapor! If your stone is a really soft and porous material, strengthening the surface by using a consolidator (such as the Dry-Treat 40SK™) will help keep the stone intact for longer!

Good luck!

Michael asked: Can impregnating sealers be used on non-natural stones?

Hi, Michael!
Dry-Treat’s premium-quality impregnating sealers can be used to to help protect numerous porous materials, not just natural stone. These include brick, pavers, tiles, engineering concrete, grout and more. For example, terracotta is made of clay, and is a popular choice for tiles thanks to its durability and unique look. At the same time, terracotta is typically quite porous, which means it’s prone to staining and water ingress. By using a high-quality impregnating sealer, you can reduce the chances for terracotta to stain. Additionally, sealers will make terracotta less vulnerable to structural damage like tearing and cracking. This is important to keep in mind, since terracotta tiles are more difficult to replace due to their color variations. No matter where you’re using a certain material, if it’s a porous surface, chances are a sealer can be used to keep it looking better for longer.
If you’re talking about glass for windows or showers, those surfaces are not porous therefore you will not benefit from an impregnating sealer.

Thanks!

Martha asked: Is it risky to use natural stone in my bathroom?

Thanks for the question. Lots of people use natural stone in their bathrooms, from marble floors and tubs to granite countertops. However, since water from showers, baths and sinks tends to find its way around in a bathroom, it’s important to make sure the stone used in these areas is properly protected. A product like STAIN-PROOF Original can protect the stone, tiles and grout used in your bathroom from stains and structural damage caused by water. This product penetrates the surface of the treated material to create a barrier intended to repel water. This treatment is breathable and will not change the look of the stone in your bathroom. Keep in mind that you’ll still want to clean up any water puddles as soon as possible in your bathroom. Even with surface protection from an impregnating sealer, it’s essential to wipe up spills before they have a chance to absorb into the stone.

Good luck with your renovation!

Greg asked: Is it a good idea to use marble in my kitchen?

Thanks for your question. Marble is certainly a beautiful stone, so it’s no surprise you might want to use it in your kitchen, either as flooring or for countertops. However, you should keep in mind that some of marble’s special properties can make it vulnerable in the kitchen setting. Marble is a calcareous stone, which means it’s made up of mostly calcium carbonate. Travertine, limestone, and onyx are other examples of calcareous stones. Because of their composition, these types of stones are more sensitive to acid than others, which can lead to unsightly etch marks. Since acidic materials are often used in a kitchen environment – from vinegar and lemon juice to milk and wine – marble and other calcareous stones can be in danger of damage from acid etching. However, there are ways to help keep your stone protected in the kitchen, such as coasters and placemats, and plenty of people use marble in these rooms. Hope this helps!