Is It Safe to Use Common Household Cleaners on Stone?
Marble, granite, slate, and other natural stone used for flooring and countertops requires maintenance that calls for the exclusive use of specially formulated cleaners. This means common household cleaners should never be used on natural stone under any circumstances. The problem with common household cleaners is that most of them have abrasive properties that break down the protective seal of the tiles and slabs, thereby leaving them at risk of staining, scratching, and permanent dullness. Since natural stone is a considerable investment for any household, special care should be taken in this regard. Here are a few things you should know about common household cleaners and their negative effects on stone surfaces.
The Dangers of Vinegar and Lemon Juice
In this day and age of organic household trends, vinegar and lemon juice are emerging as two of the most popular natural household cleaners. Although lemon juice and vinegar can work wonders in quite a few cleaning applications, they can be extremely dangerous for natural-stone surfaces. Just because your floors and kitchen counters have a natural origin does not mean they will work well with these types of natural cleaners. The problem with lemon and vinegar is that they have extremely high acidic content, which means they can penetrate porous surfaces and destroy some of their properties.
Understanding pH Levels
The pH factor of a substance indicates its potential of hydrogen. Technically, pH is a logarithmic calculation that results in the measurement of the hydrogen-ion concentration, which translates into alkalinity or acidity. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with seven being the neutral value. Low acidity means a higher value on the pH scale, while high acidity is indicated by values lower than seven. The pH value of lemon juice and vinegar is usually around three, which means you should not use these substances on natural-stone surfaces.
The Problem with Common Household Cleaners
Most household cleaners have low pH values, which means they have high acidic levels. Some products used for heavy duty cleaning of grout applied between ceramic tiles, bathtubs, and toilets have pH values similar to battery acid, which means you should keep them as far away from your natural-stone surfaces as possible. Furthermore, abrasive cleaners such as scouring powder are known to scratch aluminum steel from time to time. You can just imagine what they would do to natural stone.