Cleaning a Dull Slate Floor and applying a Color Enhancing Impregnator

We took a Dull and Drab Slate Floor
and Gave it a Makeover!!

We were asked to Clean and Enhance a Dull Slate Floor

Cleaning Stone Floor with Intensive Cleaner

We started by applying R155 Intensive Cleaner from HMK Stone Care Products. Mixing a solution of 1-Part R155 to 6-Parts warm water, we applied the solution to the floor using a scrub brush. You can use a Scrubbing Sponge as well, but using a deck brush saves the knees! Allow to dwell or activate for 15-minutes. This is the key to getting a clean floor.

After allowing the solution to do it’s magic, it is time to rinse….VERY WELL!

Rinse Floor Very Well with Clean Water

Over the years I have found that using a cotton string mop works very well at sopping up the dirty soap solution. When using a sponge-mop, it tends to foam up and takes much longer to rinse. For large floors, making an investment in a rolling mop bucket with a wringer is well worth it. For large commercial projects, you can use a wet-vacuum but you MUST use a commercial defoamer (available at janitorial supply companies) or else you will have soap bubbles everywhere!

Allow to Dry for at least 4-6 Hours

I use a fan to help the water to evaporate. If applying a solvent based Impregnator like HMK S242 Color Enhancer, or HMK 234 Silicone Impregnator (Natural-Invisible Look) you can apply these impregnators after 4-hours. If using a Topical Acrylic Sealer like HMK S235 Matte Finish Sealer, or HMK S237 Satin Finish Sealer, I recommend allowing the floor to dry for 12-hours. Remember, topical acrylics can NOT be used in wet areas or on exteriors. Only Impregnating Sealer may be used in wet areas (showers).

Applying a Color-Enhancing Stone Impregnator

Using the HMK S242 Color Enhancing Impregnator is easy. Just pour directly on to the surface, and brush out using a natural bristle brush. We offer an economical Disposable Sealer brush on our website, and for large floors 500 square feet or more, we highly suggest investing in our Professional Sealer Application Brushes, particularly if you chose to use a Topical Acrylic Sealer.

Apply a thin even coat, brushing in opposing directions to spread impregnator evenly. Then allow to dry for 4-6 hours before walking on floor. For topical acrylic sealers, we suggest waiting for 12-hours before use.

For extra ‘Pop” and protection, a second application way be needed.

For dense polished stone, it is best to wipe off excess product after 5-10 minutes, but this requires only working with small sections of the floor at a time so you can reach the area to remove excess product.

Maintain your Stone Floor by using a pH Neutral Cleaner

Once you are satisfied with the results of applying the sealer, to protect and support the sealer, it is best to use a pH Neutral Maintenance Soap. We offer the HMK P324 Liquid Stone Soap Concentrate. This is a highly concentrated daily/weekly cleaner that supports our Sealer s and Impregnators, and can cover up to 8000 square feet diluted.

For regular mopping/cleaning, we suggest using 1-ounce of P324 mixed with 2-1/2 gallons of warm water. Simply mop the floor and allow to dry. This is a No-Rinse Maintenance Cleaner.

 

For further assistance, please contact our Stone Experts

800-380-6881 Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm Mountain Time

 

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Attention Stone Masons – DONT USE MURIATIC ACID ON BLUESTONE

Muriatic Acid will Ruin Bluestone

One-Day after Cleaning Bluestone with Muriatic Acid

Problem with Rust on Bluestone

We receive calls each week from panicked homeowners shortly after installing their expensive Bluestone Pavers when their Stone Mason mistakenly uses Muriatic Acid to clean the grout residue, and within hours their beautiful bluestone turns yellow (see image above, lower area) due to the acid oxidizing the metals in the composition of the stone. The acid has created Rust on the stone.

Is this Problem Fixable?

Fortunately, the answer is YES, this issue can be corrected, and it doesn’t require hiring expensive professionals, but will require a bit of DIY ‘Elbow Grease’, but it isn’t as hard as you may think. We offer a professional grade Rust Removing Combo to reverse the rust tinting or staining.

Steps:

  • Order the HMK R777 Rust Removing Combo. This combo includes the Rust Remover and the HMK R155 Intensive Cleaner which neutralizes the acid and cleans any rust residues. It also prepares the stone to receive Impregnating Sealers to prevent or slow down any re-formation of rust oxidation. Stopping moisture infiltration is the key.
  • Make sure the ambient temperature is between 50-75 degrees. Very lightly mist the stone so that the first “drink” the stone takes is a little moisture, so the R777 doesn’t just get absorbed into the stone. This will help the R777 Rust Remover be more effective.
  • Protect all adjacent surfaces. Apply undiluted HMK® R777 generously and evenly and work into the surface using a scrubbing brush, stiff brush or a suitable pad. Always apply to the whole surface, but if you have isolated stones that have severe rust spots, you can spot clean these first by placing saturated rags (soaked in HMK R777) then cover these spots with plastic and allow to activate for 12 hours. For these rust spots, jump down to next step to neutralize.  Place towels soaked with R777 onto the surface to keep the surface wet and to ensure that the treatment does not dry out. For large areas, I have used a cloth painters drop cloth to cover the area. It is VERY IMPORTANT that the area is completely covered and saturated . This will help to insure that the Rust will be completely dissolved.
  • Immediately after application, cover the surface with plastic and let sit for 12 hours. Remove any remaining product on the surface after 12 hours and clean the area thoroughly using HMK® R155 Intensive Cleaner -acid free- diluted with clean water about 1:10 and remove the dirty liquid.
  • Afterwards, rinse the area thoroughly with clean water, and allow to dry or drain. If water is standing, squeegee off any standing water. Note: If you do not have good drainage, it is even more essential that you protect the stone from moisture by using a quality Impregnating Sealer.
  • Allow stone to dry for 24 hours. Placing box fans to circulate air can help dry the stone.
  • Once you are happy that all the rust has been removed, you are ready to Protect the stone. For severe rust stains on isolated stones, as second application of the R777 Rust Remover may be needed.
  • We suggest HMK S234 Silicone Impregnator which also has stain protectants to prevent food stains and stains from leaf and yard debris. Another option is using a Silane Impregnator like HMK S731, but this product requires keeping the stone dry (no rain) for 48 hours after applying the sealer.

By using these professional grade products, you can remove rust stains caused by moisture, or accelerated by the use of Muriatic Acid.

If you need further assistance, please contact us at 800-380-6881

Posted in Restoring Stone, Rust Removal, Stain Removal, Stone Maintenance | Tagged | 2 Comments

Deep Cleaning Severely Neglected Stone

Cleaning Sandstone

by Torin Dixon

Several Years Ago I wrote about this project in Missoula Montana, how the metal roof flashing was installed wrong, causing rain water to drain over the face of these beautiful Sandstone walls. See link HERE

Recently, I was asked to perform a “test cleaning” to determine how difficult it would be to clean the sandstone, as there has been extensive staining and deterioration. See recent image below:

Dirty Sandstone Wall Before Cleaning

cleaning sandstone with HMK R155 Intensive Cleaner

Interestingly, the light areas surrounding each panel were areas that the original impregnating sealer had been applied, and was still protecting the stone. The original stone sealer was the HMK S231 Silane Impregnator.

As you can see, the sandstone has extensive staining from 15 years of rainwater draining over the surface. We pretreated the area with HMK R155 Intensive Cleaner and allowed the cleaner to activate for 15 minutes. After the dwell/activation time, I scrubbed the area with a nylon scrub brush, then lightly pressure washed the area. The results were remarkable after only one application. Please see after image and following video:

cleaned sandstone wall panels

Video showing Before & After Cleaning Sandstone

If you have a stone cleaning question, please call our Stone Care Experts  at 800-380-6881, or email us: info@stonecareonline.org

 

The Dixons StoneCareOnline is owned and by Torin & Diane Dixon. Torin is a dimensional stone fabricator and installation contractor, and has extensive knowledge of Stone Quarrying, Fabrication, Installation, and Maintenance. Diane is in the office to assist clients with selecting the proper products to Clean, Protect, and Maintain all types if Natural Stone.

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Remove Rust Stains on Bluestone Pavers

The Beauty of Properly Maintained Bluestone

I have been writing about Rust Stains on Bluestone for some time because we regularly have clients who either have naturally occurring rust from the inherent mineral composition of the stone, or accelerated rust stains due to someone cleaning Bluestone with Muriatic Cleaner. SPOILER ALERT – DO NOT USE MURIATIC CLEANER ON BLUESTONE!!

Fortunately, we have had great success solving most of the ‘Bluestone Emergencies’ by using our Two-Step Cleaning process using our Professional Grade Rust Remover from HMK Stone Care, followed by protecting the stone using our Impregnating Sealers.

Rust can occur naturally in Bluestone

Rust or iron minerals do occur naturally in many stones, and quite often in Bluestone, but normally do not become as bad as the image above. This bluestone was cleaned by a stone mason using Muriatic Acid, not knowing that it would accelerate the formation of rust by oxidizing the minerals. This image was taken just two days after cleaning, so naturally the homeowner was quite concerned. She contacted us for a solution, and we recommended the HMK R777 Rust Remover, followed by neutralizing with the HMK R155 Intensive Cleaner. We offer this convenient Combo Pack.

Rust Removing Combo Pack for Natural Stone

Once the Bluestone rust stains are removed, it is essential to protect the stone from further oxidation by sealing the stone with a professional grade impregnating sealer like HMK S234. This quality Impregnating Sealer also has stain protection for areas where food or other stains may occur.

Impregnating Sealer with Extra Stain Protection

For areas that only need to protect agains water and natural elements, we offer a superior Silane based Impregnating Sealer, that is also very economical, HMK S231

Silane Stone Impregnator – HMK S731

If you are experiencing rust stains on you Bluestone pavers, please contact us for assistance. We have helped hundreds of clients solve their rust problems on Bluestone and Granite using R777 Rust Remover. Call for expert advice at 800-380-6881 or email us your images and we will be happy to assist you.

 

 

 

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How do you Care for Marble?

How do you Care for Marble? Just A little Soap & Water….

 

clean marbleSoap and Water is not your friend when it comes to cleaning Marble Surfaces

You may have seen this dandy floating around the internet, suggesting that “Just a little Soap and Water” is all you need to clean your precious Marble countertops….but this is not great advice. This is why:

  • Dish soap is highly Alkaline. This is why it cuts grease so well. Some dish soaps are pH 12-14. If you remember from high school chemistry, that pH Neutral is 7.0. High alkaline cleaners will degrade any sealers that you may have on your stone.
  • Soap and Water over time can actually build-up on your marble surface and also darken stone. As your sealer (if you have one) begins to degrade over time, the stone will become more absorbent and the marble (especially light colored marble) will get darker.
  • Dish soap and water will not ‘Condition’ your stone, rather, it will ‘De-Condition’ your stone making it easier to absorb stains, particularly oils.
  • Many stone sealers are Water-Based, and will degrade quickly when using a harsh cleaner like dish soap and water.

What’s a Better Option?

Using a professional grade pH Neutral maintenance cleaner is the best thing to clean your delicate Marble, Travertine, and Onyx surfaces. I have used and recommend the HMK Stone Care P324 concentrated Stone Soap. This highly concentrated maintenance cleaner will not only do your Daily Cleaning, but over time Condition your stone with their proprietary formulation. Developed in Europe where they have installed natural stone for millennia, the Professional Grade products from HMK Stone Care are known throughout the world as the product for stone professionals.

For more information from the US Importer, please see HERE
When mixed in a spray bottle, one liter of HMK P324 Stone Soap will cover 8000 square feet of stone. Simply spray your countertop and wipe dry to clean and condition your stone. This daily cleaner also supports the sealers, even if you chose to use a water based sealer. We recommend the HMK S232 for marble and travertine surfaces. For dark dense stone like granite countertops, we believe the solvent class of sealers do a better job of penetrating the stone and protecting against stains, particularly oil and grease stains. We recommend the HMK S234 Impregnator.

Bottom Line…

Dish soap and water is made for cleaning dishes and greasy pots and pans. It is NOT a good choice for delicate marble surfaces. Protect your investment by using professional grade Stone Care products from HMK Stone Care.

StoneCareOnline is the largest distributor of HMK Stone Care Products. For professional Fabricators, Contractors, and Homeowners. Call us for Technical Assistance at 800-380-6881

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What is Better…Granite or Quartz Countertops?

Don't worry about sealing natural stone like OnyxThe Great Debate – Natural Stone or Quartz?

Natural Stone including this beautiful Honey Onyx are very hard to mimic with Quartz or Porcelain surfaces, and yet many are afraid to use Natural Stone because of the myth that, “It’s Hard to Take Care Of”…. Lets examine this further (see Four Reasons to Chose Natural Stone)

Boiling it down to the essentials, in spite of the fact that there are many amazing man-made products available, NOTHING truly can replace Authentic Natural Stone. The natural coloration, veining, crystal structure, and natural image depth is difficult to reproduce even with modern technology like Reveal Imaging.

Concerned About Caring for Natural Stone?

Protecting natural stone surfaces is the primary concern for most consumers. In fact, it is quite easy to protect most natural stone surfaces by using a Professional Grade stone Impregnating Sealer. We promote the German brand Moeller-HMK Stone Care, as they were one of the first companies in the world to develop not only a Stone Sealer, but a complete Stone Care System. HMK products are distributed to more than 40 countries.

When applied correctly, a quality impregnating sealer will provide years of stain protection and allow you to enjoy the beauty that only nature can create. Please see our VIDEO on the correct way to apply Impregnating Sealers.

Daily Stone Maintenance

One of the easiest ways of caring for natural stone is to maintain it daily. This is not a difficult task, rather quite easy. Simply add 1-capful of HMK P324 Liquid Stone Soap to a 16 oz. spray bottle and fill with water (filtered is best). Then spray your counter area after use, and wipe dry with a paper towel, cloth towel, or Premium Microfiber towel. Your Granite, Marble, or other Natural Stone counter surface will be sparkling clean. PLUS, with regular use of HMK P324, it preserves the sealer, prolonging the need to re-seal.

That’s All There’s To It!

If your stone has been installed for some time, and the shine is dull or you have stains and smudges, you should likely perform a Deep Cleaning to remove the buildup of old cleaning  products, and prepare the stone for a fresh application of penetrating (Impregnating) sealer. We suggest using HMK R155 Intensive Cleaner. This is a highly concentrated cleaning product designed to remove grease, grime, polishes, waxes, and light stains. For more info from the HMK website click HERE

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Removing Oil Stains from Granite Countertops

Do You Have Oils Stains on your Granite?

Actual Customer Issue Resolved

Wendy writes:
“Our granite countertops are almost 2 years old. Our kitchen counter has an extended area that we use for eating. This area has darkened around the edges where our arms and hands rest on it during meals. What is the best way to lighten that area (remove oil stains) Thank you for your help”

Answer:

Granite and other natural stone surfaces are absorbent. Some granite, particularly lighter colors, are more absorbent than darker colors, and over time they will get darker where we often touch it with our skin. The oils in our skin as well as lotions used may come in contact with the stone and darken it. This condition needs a Deep Cleaning.

We always recommend the least aggressive solution first, then graduate to more aggressive options as needed. Please see the following steps:

clean granite

Perform the Deep Cleaning using our HMK R155 Intensive Cleaner. Despite the name, it is a very safe cleaning product for all stone, but it does wonders. Mix a solution of 1-part R155 to 5-parts warm water. Soak a cloth in the solution and cover affected or stained area with the saturated cloth and allow to soak in for 15 minutes, re-soaking the  cloth every 5 minutes. After 15 minutes, scrub area with a scrub-pad, then rinse very well. Allow to dry, then observe effectiveness of the process. Repeat as needed.

For stubborn stains, or deeply imbedded stains, you may need to use a poultice to draw-out the stain. We suggest using our HMK R152 Stain Removing Poultice.

granite poulticeThis poultice uses a chemical reaction in the paste to draw out the stains as it dries. I have found for best results perform the Deep Cleaning process first, then immediately apply a layer of the R152 paste, 1/4″ thick over stained area and cover with plastic wrap, taping down the edges. This process allows the poultice to dry much more slowly, to draw out the stains. It may take 2 days for the poultice to completely harden. Scrape off the poultice with a plastic spatula or puddy knife then immediately wash area with the R155 solution. Rinse very well (the R155 is very concentrated) and allow to completely dry. Observe results. Repeat if necessary.

These two products have been VERY effective at removing deeply imbedded stains in granite, marble, travertine, limestone and other natural stone surfaces.

remove ink from graniteFor non-organic stains like Ink, Dyes, Fingernail Polish, Mineral Oil, and other non-food oils, we suggest using the HMK R154 Stain Remover prior to using the Poultice.

 

We offer a Kit that has both R152 + R155 HERE

If you have questions about your particular stone cleaning (or protection) issues, please Contact Us

 

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Which is Better…Granite or Quartz Countertops?

I came across an interesting article comparing Quartz and Granite Countertops that I thought I would share. See LINK

Whether you chose Quartz or Granite, you still need to clean them regularly to keep the polish sparkling. We suggest using our HMK P 324 Stone Soap Concentrate. This professional grade daily maintenance cleaner will not build up on the surface like many ‘Clean & Polish’ products. Simply pour one capful of P324 into a 16 ounce spray bottle, and fill with water. When you need to spruce up your countertops (P324 is great for marble and travertine also) simply spray your stone counters and wipe dry with either a paper towel, or a microfiber cloth. We offer several kits on our website HERE

Daily_Stone_Cleaning_Special_sm

If you have questions regarding cleaning or sealing any type of natural stone, please email us HERE

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We have All Natural Antimicrobial Cleaning Towels

 We Antimicrobial Natural Cloths

New to our Cleaning Tools products…All Natural Antimicrobial Cleaning Cloths

About Fresche®-Tex:

  • Coconut Oil Based, Non-Toxic – The Fresche®-Tex active is derived from natural coconut oil. Applied to our microfiber towels, it is safe for people, pets, plants and the planet. Unlike other antimicrobial treatments, it contains no heavy metals, poison, toxic chemicals, carcinogens or endocrine disruptive compounds.
  • Lock & Bond Microbial Protection – Tested to be effective at over 100 launderings, Fresche®-Tex locks and bonds to our microfiber cleaning cloths where it delivers continuous protection. It’s not effected by conventional laundering
  • Non Leaching and Non Depleting – Fresche®-Tex will not leach from the treated textiles unlike other antimicrobials. Its mechanical mode of protection ensures protection from microbial attack.
  • Efficient Mechanical Mode of Action – Textiles treated with Fresche®-Tex are protected from bacteria and mould by a mechanical mode of action and not chemical interaction. This ensures terminal control of harmful micro organisms and will not promote the building of microbial resistance.
  • Clean, Fresh and Odor Free – Fresche®-Tex keeps our microfiber towels clean, fresh and odor free extending their life and reducing the need to launder our towels.
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Correcting Myths and Mistruths about Sealing Granite & Marble Countertops

 I had a few moments the other day to sit down with a cup of coffee and search the internet about “sealing granite countertops”, and I came across a website that had some good information, some confusing information, and some really bad information. I have decided not to publish a link to this particular website, but suffice it to say, there are numerous such sites on the web.

Of particular interest was a section that talked about ‘How A Granite Countertop Sealer Works’. A true fact is that most (impregnating) sealers do “slow down the process of absorption”, giving you time to clean up spills that have the potential to leave permanent stains. This is certainly true for high quality impregnators that are either solvent based or water based. What was not indicated in the website is that for some materials, there are topical acrylic sealers that do prevent ALL liquids and spills from penetrating the stone because the acrylic acts as a barrier. Tumbled Travertine, Tumbled Marble and Slate are prime candidates for topical acrylics, but NOT in wet areas, or on exteriors.

Some types and finishes of stone look better using a topical acrylic rather than an impregnator. See the following LINK for slate with a satin finish sealer.

For more information on our professional Protection products, please see LINK.

 

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