There is a lot to know when it comes to properly maintaining the hard surfaces in your home. Whether it’s the marble countertops in your kitchen or the tile in your bathroom, choosing the right type of cleaner is absolutely vital if you want to properly protect your surfaces. Choose the right type of cleaner and you can greatly cut down on cleaning time and prolong the life of your floors and counters. But if you choose the wrong type of cleaner, it can cause damages that are costly to repair. Learning about the best cleaners for each type of surface can save you a lot of time and money down the line.

What is pH level?

Contrary to popular belief, pH level is NOT a measure of the effectiveness of a cleaner. This statistic is simply is a measure of the levels of hydrogen or hydroxide ions in the cleaner. The pH scale is measured from 0-14 and helps give an idea of what the cleaner can be best used for. A seven on the scale is considered neutral with below seven being considered acidic and above being considered alkaline. Alkaline cleaners are best used to remove grease, dirt, oils and organic particles. Acidic cleaners are best used to remove rust, calcium and other non-organic minerals.

Where to use each cleaner (and how often)?

  • Neutral Cleaners – This is the best day-to-day cleaner for almost any type of surface.  Some neutral cleaners that are made specifically for a surface (natural stone, wood, etc…) have additional benefits like a built-in sealer. Ideally try to find a cleaner specifically made for your type of surface.
  • Degreaser (High alkaline cleaner) – Good at removing dirt and contaminants in heavily soiled areas.  This type of cleaner should be used on a more infrequent basis (monthly).
  • Mold and mildew cleaner (NON-ACIDIC) – Good as a shower cleaner once or twice a month. Perfect for keeping your grout clean.

What Not to Use on your Surfaces

Natural Stone (Marble, Granite, Limestone, etc…)

  • Any cleaner that has an acidic pH or something acidic in the ingredients. Since acidic cleaners are best for removing rust and other minerals, cleaners with a high pH level can damage natural stone surfaces.
  • Vinegar & Ammonia are highly acidic and can damage stone.
  • Do not use Pine Sol, Murphy Oil Soap or other cheap cleaners. These will degrade the sealant on the stone, will leave a film on the surface and can damage the stone.

Ceramic Tile and Grout

  • DO NOT use vinegar on grout lines.  Vinegar is very acidic.  It may do well at cleaning grout lines, but it also will slowly erode away the grout lines.  Use a cleaner that is more alkaline to break down the dirt and wipe it away.

At GK’s Custom Polishing, we are certified by Stonetech Professional, the Marble Institute of America and the National Training Center for Stone Masonry Trades (NTC). Needless to say, we know our hard surfaces so why not let us do your cleaning for you? Give us a call at (440) 937-4457 to get a free estimate. For more information, visit our website.