Maintaining Your Natural Stone


All natural stone is absorbent to some degree.  The best way to prevent stains is to treat the surface with a protective sealant which permeates the tiny pores in the stone to prevent stains from penetrating.  As a standard service provided with installation, AMC Stone always applies a sealer to our finished jobs.

A regular maintenance regimen will help your natural stone become more resistant to scratching and wear and help prolong the beauty of the stone.  While granite is heat resistant, we do not recommend placing hot items, such as pots and pans, on any stone.   Additionally, while granite is hard enough that you can cut on it, we do not recommend it.  The quartz in granite will dull your knives and cutting may compromise the sealer, leaving your stone susceptible to staining. As a safety precaution, use coasters on countertops. To prevent alkaline and soap-scum buildup, use squeegees in shower areas. Other large surfaces, such as flooring, are best cared for by a licensed maintenance company to protect the natural stone.

A quality impregnating sealer penetrates stone, allows the stone to breathe and permits more of the stone’s natural beauty to shine through.  Unsealed stone is more susceptible to absorbing moisture, dirt and cleaning chemicals.  We strongly recommend that a penetrating sealer be applied periodically--usually every year or so, depending on the level of usage.  A trick for determining when it is time to reapply sealer:  Drop a little water on the surface.  If it beads up (like on a waxed car), the seal is fine.

Natural stone, especially polished stone, is sensitive to harsh chemicals.  Never use vinegar or any cleaners containing acids or strong alkaline agents or abrasives.  Be particularly cautious with anti-bacterial cleaners, as they often contain ingredients that may compromise the sealer.  If an anti-bacterial cleaner is desired, be sure to look for products that are specifically made for natural stone.  We recommend wiping or mopping stone surfaces with warm water or a pH-balanced neutral cleaner, followed by dry-wiping with a soft cloth.  Stone cleaners are widely available from hardware stores or your stone dealer. If you spill acidic juices or alcohol on the stone, you should blot dry immediately.  Acid-based foods, such as citrus or tomatoes, can etch into the polish of more delicate stones, like marble and onyx.

Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing and dry with a soft cloth. Do not use scouring powders or creams—these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.


Maintenance Recap


  1. Blot spills immediately.
  2. Use coasters under all glasses.
  3. Use trivets under hot pans.
  4. Use a cutting board to prevent scratching the sealer and dulling knives.
  5. Clean surfaces with mild detergent or stone soap.
  6. Thoroughly rinse and dry stone surfaces after washing.
  7. Do not use vinegar, lemon juice or cleaners containing acids on any stone surface, especially marble, limestone, travertine or onyx surfaces.
  8. Do not use ammonia-based cleaners (i.e. Windex®) on sealed surfaces.
  9. Do not use abrasive cleaners.
  10. Periodically reapply an impregnating sealer to maintain a protective barrier.


Sources: Arizona Tile and the Marble Institute of America.