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Cleaning Stone Countertops and Wall Surfaces :: Stone Floor Areas ::
Polished Marble, Onyx and Granite :: Spills and Stains ::
Ceramic Tile Surfaces

Cleaning Stone Countertops and Wall Surfaces

  1. Clean surface daily.
  2. Gently remove any loose debris from the surface.
  3. Simply spray Westwood Stone Spray Cleaner or other Neutral Cleaner on to the surface and allow to sit for a few minutes.
  4. Wipe dry and buff to a shine with a dry cloth.

Care and Precautions

  • Do not leave food or oil/grease on countertops.
  • Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the surface of some stones.
  • Do not place hot items directly on the stone surface, as they will not damage the stone, but will cause the factory applied sealer to lose some effectiveness.
  • Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and placemats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that can scratch the surface.
  • Consider having your stone resealed if it appears to darken after cleaning or is absorbing water. (Back to top)

Stone Floor Areas

Cleaning Stone Floors
  1. Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean non-treated dry dust mop.
  2. Mix Supershine-All or other neutral cleaner with recommended dilution of water.
  3. Using a clean mop, apply Supershine-All to the surface and let it dry. Rinsing is not required. (Back to top)

Polished Marble, Onyx and Granite (special note)

Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness. Mats or area rugs inside and outside entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt and grit that will scratch the stone floor. Be sure that the underside of the mat or rug is a non-slip surface. Normally, it will take a person about eight steps on a floor surface to remove sand or dirt from the bottom of their shoes.

Do not use vacuum cleaners that are worn. The metal or plastic attachments or the wheels may scratch the surface. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. In the bath or other wet areas, soap scum can be minimized by using a squeegee after each use. To remove soap scum, use a non acidic soap scum remover or a solution of ammonia and water (about 1/2 cup ammonia to a gallon of water). Frequent or over-use of an ammonia solution may eventually dull the surface of the stone. (Back to top)

Spills and Stains

Blot the spill with a paper towel immediately. Don't wipe the area, it will spread the spill. Flush the area with plain water and mild soap and rinse several times. Dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth. Repeat as necessary.

Stain Removal

Identifying the type of stain on the stone surface is the key to removing it. If you don't know what caused the stain, play detective. Where is the stain located? Is it near a plant, a food service area, an area where cosmetics are used? What color is it? What is the shape or pattern? What goes on in the area around the stain?

Surface stains can often be removed by cleaning with an appropriate cleaning product or household chemical. Deep-seated or stubborn stains may require using a poultice or calling in a professional. The following sections describe the types of stains that you may have to deal with and appropriate household chemicals to use.

Types of Stains and First Step Cleaning Actions

Oil-based (grease, tar, cooking oil, milk, cosmetics)
An oil-based stain will darken the stone and normally must be chemically dissolved so the source of the stain can be flushed or rinsed away. Clean gently with a soft, liquid cleanser with bleach OR household detergent OR ammonia OR mineral spirits OR acetone.

Organic (coffee, tea, fruit, tobacco, paper, food, urine, leaves, bark, bird droppings)
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 (hair bleaching solution) and a few drops of ammonia.

Metal (iron, rust, copper, bronze)
Iron or rust stains are orange to brown in color and follow the shape of the staining object such as nails, bolts, screws, cans, flower pots, 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.

Biological (algae, mildew, lichens, moss, fungi)
Clean with dilute (1/2 cup in a gallon of water) ammonia OR bleach OR hydrogen peroxide. DO NOT MIX BLEACH AND AMMONIA! THIS COMBINATION CREATES A LETHAL GAS!

Stains – Oil-Based, Organic, Iron, Copper, Biological

Various poultices can be used for these stains and are best determined and handled by a professional.

Ink (magic marker, pen, ink)
Clean with bleach or hydrogen peroxide (light colored stone only!) or lacquer thinner or acetone (dark stones only!)

Small amounts can be removed with lacquer thinner or scraped off carefully with a razor blade. Heavy paint coverage should be removed only with a commercial "heavy liquid" paint stripper available from hardware stores and paint centers. These strippers normally contain caustic soda or lye. Do not use acids or flame tools to strip paint from stone. Paint strippers can etch the surface of the stone; repolishing may be necessary. Follow the manufacturer's directions for use of these products, taking care to flush the area thoroughly with clean water. Protect yourself with rubber gloves and eye protection, and work in a well ventilated area. Use only wood or plastic scrapers for removing sludge and curdled paint. Normally, latex and acrylic paints will not cause staining. Oil-based paints, linseed oil, putty, caulks and sealants may cause oily stains.

Water Spots and Rings (surface accumulation of hard water)
Buff with dry 0000 steel wool. Fire and Smoke Damage Older stones and smoke or fire-stained fireplaces may require a through cleaning to restore their original appearance. Commercially available "smoke removers" may save time and effort.

Etch Marks
Etch marks are caused by acids left on the surface of the stone. Some materials will etch the finish but not leave a stain. Others will both etch and stain. Once the stain has been removed, wet the surface with clear water and sprinkle on marble polishing powder, available from a hardware or lapidary store, or your local stone dealer. Rub the powder onto the stone with a damp cloth or by using a buffing pad with a low speed power drill. Continue buffing until the etch mark disappears and the marble surface shines. Contact your stone dealer or call a professional stone restorer for refinishing or repolishing etched areas that you cannot remove.

This is a white powder that may appear on the surface of the stone. It is caused by water carrying mineral salts from below the surface of the stone rising through the stone and evaporating. When the water evaporates, it leaves the powdery substance. If the installation is new, dust mop or vacuum the powder. You may have to do this several times as the stone dries out. Do not use water to remove the powder; it will only temporarily disappear. If the problem persists, contact your installer to help identify and remove the cause of moisture.

Scratches and Nicks
Slight surface scratches may be buffed with dry 0000 steel wool. Deeper scratches and nicks in the surface of the stone should be repaired and repolished by a professional. (Back to top)

Ceramic Tile Surfaces

Cleaning Ceramic Tile Floors

  1. Simply mix Supershine-All or other neutral cleaner with recommended dilution of water.
  2. Using a clean mop, apply the Supershine-All to the surface and let it dry.
  3. Rinsing is not required.
  4. Most carpet cleaning companies now offer ceramic tile floor cleaning that will leave the tile and grout like new. Call us for a recommendation.

Cleaning Ceramic Tile Countertops and Wall Surfaces

  1. Simply spray Westwood Stone Spray Cleaner or other neutral cleaner on to the surface and wipe clean.
  2. For soap scum or mildew, any non abrasive tile cleaner can be used.
  3. For heavier cleaning, products such as Soft Scrub can be used, but only on matte finish (not shiny) tile. (Back to top)




















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