Big Box Cleaners – The Good, Bad & Ugly

Now we’ve touched on this topic a little in @drimarbleandstone‘s Cleaning Marble & Granite Counters blog; however, I thought it was time to dig a little deeper.

One of the first questions I ask homeowners who are frustrated by their dull floors, oily counters, and/or streaks is what kind of cleaner are they using. There are specific cleaners, most purchased from big box stores, that seem to be the common answer I receive from these homeowners.

Bona Stone, Tile & Laminate floor cleaner – This seems to be a popular choice with homeowners and maid services these days. Bona makes a great cleaner for wood floors (from what I’ve heard, no personal experience with it though) so I can understand why people would assume their stone and tile cleaner would be great too. Sadly, it is anything but great. I have been called out to numerous homes lately to meet with homeowners who are frustrated that their floors are dull and hazy.

Fabuloso – Who doesn’t love the flowery smell of Fabuloso?! When you’re cleaning or have a maid clean, you want it to smell clean, right? That’s great on most surfaces but not on any natural stone surface. Over time, Fabuloso will leave a film on your natural stone surface that will dull the shine and leave it oily. On Marble surfaces, Fabuloso can etch the surface, leaving white or cloudy spots.

Seventh Generation Granite & Stone Cleaner & Method Bathroom Cleaner – Many people are leaning towards the more “green” products, including products made by Seventh Generation and Method. If you look at the ingredients on their cleaners (and you should ALWAYS look at the ingredients before using a product on natural stone), Seventh Generation Granite & Stone Cleaner contains Organic Cocos Nusifera Oil, Citric Acid, Essential oil and Botanical Extract. Method Bathroom Cleaner contains Benzyl Salicylate (an acid) and a Fragrance. Both contain other ingredients but these are ALL harmful to almost all natural stones. If a product lists any type of oil, acid or fragrance in it’s ingredients, STAY AWAY! Most fragances are some type of oil and oils will leave stone surfaces looking, well, oily. Acidic products will eat away any sealer on your stone and can break apart your stone.

So what cleaner do you use? – Again, you have to read the labels. If a product contains any type of acid, oil or silicone, DO NOT USE IT! Unfortunately, almost all cleaning products you can purchase at the Big Box stores contain these ingredients. To find a good, safe cleaner, ask your installer, your restoration company or a person at your local tile store. Of course, we recommend Stone Pro’s cleaning products. I personally use Stone Pro’s Crystal Clean daily cleaner and Stone Pro’s Stone and Glass Scrub on my travertine, marble and any areas near my stone. Crystal Clean works great on not only natural stone but on windows and laminant too. Stone and Glass Scrub works not only on hard water deposit on your stone and grout but is safe on faucets, shower heads and stainless steel appliances.

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