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Stone Sink and Bathtub Cleaning, Maintenance and Repair

 

How to take care of stone sinks and bathtubs is one of  the most frequently asked questions in the stone industry. The answer to this broad question is not simple, as different stone materials in different finishes will have different porous features thus require different care and maintenance techniques. For example, as limestone is much more porous than granite, maintaining limestone and granite would be different.  A deeply polished surface is less porous than a honed surface so cleaning and maintaining the honed surface is more difficult.

Due to the porous nature of stone, many foreign substances can stain the sinks and tubs if they are not properly protected. Apparently, the longer a stain remains on a stone, the deeper it penetrates and becomes more permanent. Therefore, it is imperative to remove stains as soon as they occur. It is recommended to wipe up spills immediately and do not allow surface deposits of water bi-products such as calcium, salt, lime or detergents to build up on your stone sink.

To clean your sink or tub, use a soft cloth, sponge or soapy nylon brush. Be sure to rinse the sink or tub well after cleaning and dry. Cleaning on a regular basis will help prevent the development of hard water deposits. If you develop persistent stains, try a non-abrasive cleaner such as dishwasher soap, Soft Scrub or a professional stone cleaner which can be purchased from a local hardware or tile store. Keep in mind, NEVER use any acidic tub and tile cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, ammonia, abrasive or soft paste cleaners, vinegar, alcohol, window cleaners or lemon juice. In addition, DO NOT use abrasive cleaning pads such as steel wool, metal brushes or scouring powders.

 
 

Marble sinks and tubs typically have shining and elegant finish. Most marble sinks and tubs are not sealed when they are produced. If you wish to make your maintenance job easier, we recommend sealing your sink or tub to protect it against staining or water absorption. There are two ways to seal a marble sink, simply wax or apply professional stone sealer. Both wax and stone sealer are available in home improvement stores. You may consult with sales representatives in the stores to get the best one for your sink or tub. If you do decide to seal your sink or tub, we would suggest applying the sealer at least once a year. Wax sealing is relatively weak, you may want to wax the sink or tub once every month if you choose to use wax instead of sealers.

If what you have is a soapstone sink or tub, you will need to treat this non-porous stone somehow differently. Soapstone is very dense and repels stains really well. To clean a soapstone stone, simply use a damp cloth or sponge with a mild cleanser. Beyond that, you may want to clean your sink occasionally with mineral oil. Soapstone fresh from the quarry is actually a cloudy blue-gray in color. The charcoal color that soapstone is known for comes when the stone is exposed to water, grease and oils. These liquids cause the stone to oxidize, which darkens the stone color and really brings out its natural beauty. The mineral oil actually expedites oxidation of the stone and a monthly treatment will keep oxidation uniform across the entire surface.

 
 

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