Stone Care Guide
ATLAS' Natural Stone Care Guide
- Seal right the first time!
- Sealers help to make materials water, oil, soil, contaminant, and stain resistant.
- Sealers provide time to clean-up non-caustic spills thereby minimizing their negative effects.
- ATLAS formally tests the most prominent sealers to determine their quality and effectiveness.
SEALERS COME IN TWO FORMS:
Impregnating/Penetrating Sealers: These invisible sealers are absorbed into the surfaces' pores and permit vapor transmission. They do not “coat” the surface. ATLAS uses a combination of sealers depending upon the material and its location. These sealers help to repel, for a time, most liquids like water, oil, or dirt and other contaminants. They reduce the negative effects of contaminants, and prolong the health and beauty of the material. Sealers do not repel caustic liquids nor prevent eventual liquid absorption, scratches or etches. Enhancing sealers fall into this category; yet, they enrich the material's natural colors and nuances.
Topical Coatings (film-forming sealers): These products are best used for man-made materials. Coatings have film-forming properties that help to resist traffic, the elements and most pollutants. They are best for situations in which one wants to create a customized finish through adding color, sheen and texture. We discourage employing them on natural stone due a tendency for some to easily scratch, flake, and yellow. This also applies to the cheaper polishing products that utilize waxes and acids like crystallizers. Even though the stone is superficially protected, some coatings require regular stripping and reapplication.
COUNTER TOP AND SURFACE CARE:
- Avoid exposing stone and other materials to acidic liquids and oils.
- Wipe-up water rings left by glasses and liquid spills as soon as possible.
- Perfumes, lotions, juices, wines, and some cleaners can etch; protect the surface when using them.
- Clean soiling, dirt and debris from areas with ATLAS' neutral pH soap spray solution or other approved stone cleaning solution and buff with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel.
- For more heavily soiled or greasy surfaces, combine one cup of plain, white bleach with two cups of water into a 24 oz. spray bottle and buff with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel. Use a medium-bristled brush or soft white pad for scrubbing, as needed.
FLOOR CARE (DAILY, OR AS NEEDED)
- Vacuum, dust mop, or sweep floors. For best results, vacuum with a floor brush that has total contact with the surface. To keep edges cleaner, vacuum with a soft tip tool along baseboards.
- Clean spills with ATLAS' neutral pH soap spray solution and a clean, dry cloth and as they occur. For stubborn soils or greasy film, use a soft, white scrub pad. Refer to the Counter Cleaning for more information.
FLOOR CARE (WEEKLY)
- Vacuum flooring and edges with a floor brush that has total contact with the surface.
- Dilute one tablespoon of ATLAS' neutral pH soap in two gallons of warm water and damp mop the surface from side to side.
- Avoid reapplying dirt by keeping the solution clean (change every 250 sq. ft.). Do not rinse flooring, as it will remove the protectorants left by the solution.
- If light water spots are noticeable, buff with a soft, dry cloth.
- Periodically, for more soiled honed stones and light colored grout, dilute one cup of plain, white bleach with two gallons of warm water and mop as directed. Re-mop with the neutral pH soap.
- When using the bleach dilution, ensure to protect rugs and surrounding fabric surfaces. Keep rugs clean as dirt can scratch the the surface of softer materials. Do not put rugs down if backing or floor is damp.
- Squeegee walls after each use.
Avoid exposing stone and other materials to acidic lquids.
- Some shampoos, conditioners and other personal lotions can etch and leave a greasy film. Ensure to keep surfaces clean to minimize their effects.
- Clean weekly, or as needed, with ATLAS' neutral pH soap solution or other approved stone cleaner, a white scrub pad, and buff with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel.
- When soap, mildew or mineral build-up occurs, scrub the affected area with unscented, plain bleach and water (mix one cup of bleach in a 24 oz. spray bottle of water) and a white scrub pad or a medium-nylon bristle brush. Follow up with ATLAS' cleaning solution to help renew the sealer.
- Keep the floor free from dirt and sand.
- Lay down mats at exterior and rugs at interior entrances to protect surfaces.
- Keep heavy traffic off newly installed areas.
- Keep outdoor shoes off surface.
- After the first week, follow ATLAS’ Natural Stone Care Guide.