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Frequently Asked Questions about Cleaning and Maintaining Natural Stone Surfaces
We have many answers to common questions at our BLOG. Please see link, and look for the search box on the right column. Just type in your keyword like "clean granite" (without the quotes) and the blog will return many different posts. We have years of answered questions on our BLOG.
If you don't see the answer to your particular question, please email us and we will be happy to assist you.
My Granite Countertop seems dull and doesn't appear as shiny as when first installed. What do I do?
Most of the time 'dullness' is a result of a buildup of daily cleaning products or improper granite cleaners. Many 'Daily cleaners' or 'Clean & Polish' products actually cause a dullness or reduction of the original shine due to build-up.
We suggest performing a Deep Cleaning to remove build-up of coatings, grime, and other products. See LINK
For Rust on Bluestone issues, please see our BLOG
Please follow link above and type in the word Rust in the search box. You will find several posts that deal with this issue.
I just had my granite countertops installed. Do I need to seal them?
Even though most commercial granite slabs are "Resin Sealed" in the factory, it is recommended (particularly for light colors) that you use a quality sealer as soon after installation to protect your investment.
How often should granite or marble be sealed?
We suggest that dark colored granite be sealed once every other year. Lighter colored granite should be sealed each year. White marble and other light colored stone like limestone or travertine should be sealed two times a year. We believe the most effective protection against staining on all natural stone surfaces is by using a solvent-based Impregnator like HMK® S234 Penetrating Sealer.
Do I need to hire my stone fabricator to seal my countertops?
No, sealing stone is very much like using furniture polish. Apply sealer with a paint brush, and let it soak in for 10-15 minutes, buff off excess , and polish to a shine. For complete instructions please see our video HERE.
I have a white soap scum problem in my shower, what product is recommended?
Use HMK® R155 Intensive Cleaner to remove calcium deposits and soap scum. Once clean, it is recommended to seal stone using S234 Silicone Impregnating Sealer. This will make regular cleaning much easier and help prevent calcium (hard water) build up. For a detailed explaination on Deep Cleaning see Blog post HERE.
May I use Windex to clean my granite or marble counters?
Windex and other common household cleaners do clean granite, but can quickly break down the sealer in the granite due to the high alcohol content. Windex may contain ammonia, and can damage (etch) marble and other calcium based stone. A pH neutral cleaner like HMK® P324 Liquid Stone Soap supports our sealers and is good for daily cleaning and regular maintenance. See Granite Care page for more information.
Does HMK® make a convenient daily cleaner?
Yes, HMK® P301 is a 3 in 1 Spray Cleaner that Cleans-Polishes-Protects natural stone.
Are HMK® Stone Care Products safe for use around food?
Yes, HMK® Products are Food Hygiene Compliant. Penetrating sealers like HMK® S234, S242, and S244 are absorbed deep into the pores of the stone and do not come into contact with food. We suggest that you allow 24 hours for Impregnator to fully cure before washing countertops. We suggest cleaning with pH neutral cleaners like HMK® P324 Stone Soap diluted in a 12oz. spray bottle. Mix 1-capful and fill remaining bottle with water.
Does granite harbor bacteria?
No. There have been numerous scientific studies that show that granite performs nearly as well as stainless steel for preventing bacteria growth on countertops. Using a quality penetrating sealer like HMK® S234 assists in preventing bacteria growth by sealing the microscopic pores of natural stone. Please see link for more details.
I have rust stains on my Bluestone patio, what products are recommended?
Rust stains usually require using acid based cleaners. The following HMK®Products are recommended. R77*and R59*. *Do not use on polished marble, travertine or limestone surfaces. Acid will damage polished surfaces on calcium based stone. The most popular product for cleaning Rust on Bluestone is R77 Rust Remover. Please see Stain Removal Chart for more information, or see our BLOG for more information.
My polished marble floor looks dull and has scratches. What products can you suggest to restore the finish?
Over time, marble floors can appear dull from normal wear and tear. While deep scratches cannot be removed unless professionally refinished (grinding & polishing), certain HMK® products can help bring back some sheen. HMK® P319 Marble and Granite Polish applied with a mop and buffed with a floor polishing pad can help restore a near new finish. See BLOG post for more information. For deeply worn stone floors, HMK®S235 Matte Finish or HMK®S237 Satin Finish sealers can help restore your floor finish. Please see product descriptions for more detailed information.
How do I maintain my new stone floor?
For best results use quality entry door mats to prevent dust and dirt from being tracked in by foot traffic. Next, dust mop frequently to remove standing dust and dirt. Wet mop weekly using HMK® P324 Liquid Stone Soap. Please see the following LINK from the Marble Institute of America. If you see that standing water on your stone leaves the floor darker, this means it is time to seal your floor. Use HMK® S234 Silicone Impregnating Sealer for the best protection.
My shower was installed several years ago and it needs to have a makeover. What do you suggest?
Deep clean using HMK® R155 Intensive Cleaner and rinse with clean water. Let dry for 2 days if possible. Apply HMK® S234 Silicone Sealer to protect stone and make regular cleaning easier. For maintenance, use HMK® P324 Liquid Stone Soap to keep stone looking clean and fresh. See this LINK for more information from our BLOG.
How do I clean a granite or marble headstone? See link on Cleaning Exerior Stone
Deep clean using HMK® R155 Intensive Cleaner half or full strength. Apply with scrubbing sponge and allow to soak in for 10 minutes. Do not allow to dry on surface, if needed add more product. Use a stiff nylon scrub brush and vigorously scrub area. Rinse with clean fresh water. Reapply if needed and rinse with clean water. Let dry for 2 days if possible. Apply HMK® S234 Silicone Sealer to protect stone and make regular cleaning easier. For maintenance, use HMK® P324 Liquid Stone Soap to keep stone looking clean and fresh.