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STONE CARE: THE DO'S AND DONT'S ABOUT NATURAL STONE
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STONE CARE KNOWLEDGE AND QUESTIONS:
NATURAL STONE: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Knowledge is key
The three most appealing features of stone are natural beauty, life-long durability, and comparatively low maintenance. To fully appreciate the benefits of stone, it is helpful to understand the characteristics of stone and what makes it superior to man-made products.

Installed stone may not be exactly like the showroom sample. Each product has unique natural patterns, markings, veining, and darker or lighter spots. Most people view these characteristics as part of the stone's natural essence.

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World sources
Thousands of stone types have been quarried through the centuries from quarries located around the world. The majority of natural stone comes from Italy, Spain, Turkey, the United States, Mexico, India, Greece, Canada, France, and Brazil. Yarrabee only imports 'select' grade products for its customers.

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Geology 101
Stone is a natural solid formation that may be comprised of one or many minerals. The stone's composite minerals come from the same liquid and gas minerals that formed the Earth.

As the Earth developed with massive bodies of gas and liquid, minerals slowly cooled and condensed to a solid core. Extreme pressure then formed the Earth's crust.

Heavy minerals were trapped when they were forced down into the earth's core. As the crust thickened, it shifted the inner core creating intense pressure and heat from deep within the earth.

Over a one hundred million year period, the expansion and shift of the earth's crust produced extreme heat and pressure that pushed the solid minerals to the Earth's surface. Many of the colossal rock beds that were formed at the beginning of time are today's stone quarries.

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Stone - care knowledge
Stone-care knowledge begins by recognizing the natural product is formed within the earth and is made from various minerals. The wrong cleaner may have chemicals that may react negatively and compromise the surface or colour. Improper cleaning agents may damage counter tops and other surfaces.

Always use coasters under glasses or cups, particularly those containing alcohol, citrus juices, or caffeine. Many foods and drinks contain acids that damage stone surfaces.

While granite and stone is resilient and durable, the surfaces may be scratched and damaged by sharp objects or abrasives if care is not taken.

Due to the softness of most stone, it is imperative that grit (sand and dirt) be removed from all surfaces. Grit is the primary cause of scratches, especially on stone floors.

Do not place hot items directly on the stone surface. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and placemats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that may scratch the surface.

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Stone sealant
Yarrabee applies sealant to all tops after they have been installed. Sealant helps stone to reject liquids that can leave a stain, and allows you more time to clean up any spills. Sealing is a must for all kitchen and bathroom areas, including natural stone floors and backsplashes.

For home use, the sealant should be good for up to a year. Heavy-use or commercial applications (restaurants, high traffic offices) may require more frequent sealing.

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Cleaning products
Yarrabee carries it's own unique line of stonecare products which are non-toxic and designed for all stone surfaces including those in food preparation areas.

Standard household cleaners are not formulated to clean your natural stone. Do not use acidic tub and tile cleaners, acidic toilet bowl cleaners, ammonia, powered abrasive cleaners, soft paste cleaners, vinegar, alcohol, window cleaners or abrasive cleaning pads. Even water alone can cause damage.

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Cleaning
Granite and stone surfaces can be cleaned with a few drops of PH balanced cleaner or stone soap available at most home supply stores or from Yarrabee. A mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water can also be used.

Use a soft cloth for best results, but be careful not to use too much cleaner or soap because it leaves a film and causes streaks. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on marble or limestone. Do not use ammonia cleaners as they may dull the surface.

After washing, thoroughly rinse the surface with a soft cloth. Do not use powders or creams as they contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.

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Bath and other wet areas
Remove soap scum from bathrooms and other wet areas with a squeegee. Built-up soap scum can be removed with a non-acidic soap scum remover. Wipe down all water-exposed areas. Do not leave standing water on granite tops or other areas.

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Vanity top surfaces
Vanity tops require a penetrating sealant application. Yarrabee carries it's own unique line of stonecare products which are non-toxic and designed for all stone surfaces including those in food preparation areas.

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Food preparation areas
Use a penetrating sealer application for granite surfaces in food preparation areas. Use only a food grade approved product that is safe for use on food prep surfaces. If uncertain, contact Yarrabee and ask for advice.

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Outdoor pool & Patio areas
In outdoor pool, patio or hot tub areas, flush with clear water and use a mild bleach solution to remove algae or moss.

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Floor Surfaces
Dust interior floors frequently using a clean, non-treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness.

Mats or area rugs placed inside and outside an entrance minimize sand, dirt and grit that may scratch the stone floor. The underside of the mat or rug should be a non-slip surface. Normally, it takes about eight steps on a floor surface to remove sand or dirt from the bottom of shoes.

Of special note, never use vacuum cleaners that are worn, or use metal or plastic attachments, or damaged wheels because they can scratch the surface.

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How do you clean natural stone?
DON’T let any spill sit too long on natural stone. Clean spills up (preferably by blotting) as soon as you can.
  • Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent using a clean rag and warm water.  Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks.
  • Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth.
  • Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on the granite.  The high acid content may etch the surface.  Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.
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Does granite stain?
In general, no. All stone, however, is porous to some extent, but granite has very little porosity. Most colours will never show any moisture. A few colours may show some moisture if exposed for a period of time. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter for 30 minutes for some colours, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. This spot will then dry up and no evidence will show, however, only a few colours demonstrate this trait. This may be an indication that sealing is required.

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Can you scratch granite?
Granite is one of the hardest stones available. It cannot be scratched with everyday ordinary use, however, a knife blade may scratch it, so be sure to use a cutting board.

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Can granite chip?
In cases of a hard impact, granite can be chipped. A chip can be filled by a Yarrabee trained professional.

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Will seams show on the granite countertop?
Because granite is a natural material and is mined from the quarry in blocks, usually no more than 10' long, you will ultimately end up with seams. Also, because granite is sold in rectangular pieces, you may want to use seams to reduce your costs, such as in a 'L' shaped corner. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, colour and pattern. A small, uniform grain will not be as apparent as a larger varied grain. A dark colour will be less apparent than a light colour. A dramatic pattern with swaths of colour will show more seams than a uniform pattern. Most customers have found that the beauty of natural granite outweighs the concern of seams.

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