Essential Checklist for Caring for Outdoor Natural Stone
Natural stone is the ideal addition to any outdoor bar or kitchen, as it often complements the natural beauty of landscaping. It also offers a durable solution that stands up well to weather conditions and can last a lifetime with routine care. Incorporating stone into your outdoor living space can even increase your home's value. The key to using natural stone outdoors is careful maintenance to prevent stains, etching, and hazing that detract from the appearance of the stone. Here's an easy checklist to help you keep your stone beautiful for years to come.
Shade the Stone If Possible
Depending on where you live, it may be a good idea to give your stone some shade to prevent direct sun exposure that can affect the color and finish of the stone. You can likely accomplish this with a patio roof or a simple umbrella. Protecting the stone from the sun may also make it easier to clean by reducing the amount of debris that falls on the countertop.
Guard Against Stains
Many things can stain outdoor stone if you aren't careful. Don't allow wet leaves to accumulate on your outdoor countertops, as they can leave unsightly stains. Use a tray under candles to prevent wax residue and oil stains. If garden tools are left on the countertop and leave rust, spray 3 or 4 percent hydrogen peroxide on the stain and agitate it with a soft nylon brush or a safe-on-stone granite cleaning pad. Allow it to sit for 24 hours, then rinse with water.
Cover the Countertops When Not in Use
Cover your countertops if they will not be used for an extended time to protect against water and debris that can cause stains. While this isn't essential, it's a practical and easy way to extend the life of the surface polish and prevent stains from animal droppings and liquid. When you remove the cover, rinse off any loose debris from the countertops and clean with a granite-safe cleaner.
Use a Granite-Safe Cleaner
If you’re not sure how to clean outdoor stone, it doesn't need to be sanitized beyond regular cleaning with a stone-safe cleaner. Never use standard household cleaning products to clean natural stone, as many contain acids that break down the protective seal and damage the stone, cause visible etching, and make it more vulnerable to unsightly stains.
Seal the Stone Regularly
Sealing natural stone is important regardless of the setting, but it's especially important to help outdoor granite, travertine, marble, or other types of stone stand up to the elements without stains. Regular sealing prevents liquids from penetrating into the stone. You can seal stone yourself with a stone-safe granite sealer applied in 3-foot sections. Right after spraying the sealer, wipe it into the stone with a lint-free cloth and buff until the surface is completely dry to prevent hazing.
To learn more about caring for granite, marble, travertine and other types of stone, both outdoors and indoors, reach out to the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold®. We offer a wide array of high-quality, specially formulated products that are safe to use on natural stone. Give us a call today at 1-800-475-STONE.