How to Restore Limestone

If you want to restore the beauty of limestone, proper cleaning is very important. The stone can be cleaned if you make use of the right materials. Flooring, counter tops, flooring, and a plethora of other things can be made from limestone. The stone is porous and is prone to stains and scratches. However, by using right products and proper cleaning methods, you can ensure Limestone restoration and make the best use of the stone.

Restoring polished or unpolished Limestone

The cleaning processes for both polished and unpolished limestone are quite similar. It is advisable to go for a limestone cleaner that has a solvent-based impregnator that can help to remove the deep routed debris from the stone. Make sure you use the right type of limestone cleaner. It is because, a wrong solution may contain any active ingredients that can spoil the finish of the stone. Before cleaning your marble floors, it is wise to use a soft bristled broom to clean all the scattered dirt and debris. Your can maintain the beauty of your limestone marble floors if you always use a soft cloth to clean limestone counter tops. It is also advisable never to use lemon juice, vinegar, or unknown acids for cleaning the limestone. These items can erode your beautiful stone and can also cause acid etching.

Provide daily cleaning and care to restore and retain the beauty of your limestone.

How to take care of your granite tiles?

Although granite tiles are tough and they do not get scratches easily, you have to take good care of your granite tiles if you want to maintain their sophisticated and edgy look.

Vinegar, toothpaste, hairspray, and perfumes cause the sealant on the granite tiles to erode. In case these substances spill over your granite flooring or countertop, immediately clean them off. Take a sponge and soak the liquid rather than wiping it off as it can cause the liquid to spread over a wider area and cause more damage.

To remove spills from tea or coffee, make use of hydrogen peroxide. Make a solution by adding hydrogen peroxide in water and apply that on the stains. Keep that for 2-3 days and the stains would be gone.

For removing tough stains, do not apply detergents and harsh chemicals on your granite tiles. Use a mild, pH neutral cleaner instead.

Regular cleaning of granite floor tiles and mopping is not enough to keep your granite tiles neat and clean. Over time, they get dull. If you want to keep their original shine intact, you will need to apply a good quality sealant. Sealing agent not only prevents granite flooring from fading out, but it also helps extend the life and durability of these tiles.

By applying a sealing agent on the granite tiles you can prevent dirt, dust, and oil and other liquids from penetrating inside the tiles and degrading their quality.

Polishing the granite tiles is yet another way to keep the natural shine and lustre of granite tiles intact. You may call over professionals for cleaning granite floor tiles to polish the floor and to keep the surface glowing for considerably long period of time.

With little care and maintenance you can keep your granite flooring beautiful and bright.

7 Tips To Clean Stains From Terrazzo Floors

Terrazzo is widely used for flooring & countertopping material due to its marble like finishing. Cement and marble are mixed together to make terrazzo. At its installation time, additional marble chips are sprinkled on the surface and hence, at least 70 percent of the exposed surface is marble. The cement part of terrazzo floor absorbs stains easily. This is why here we are sharing terrazzo cleaning tips with you.

1. Get rid of stains caused by alcoholic beverages by cleaning with hot soapy water. If the stain is persistent, consider dabbing it with denatured alcohol. If the stain still does not go away, place an absorbent cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide directly over the stain topped by an ammonia-saturated cloth.

2. Remove blood stains by cleaning with cold, clean water. If the stain does not go away add a few drops of ammonia to the water. For stubborn blood stains, drizzle some lukewarm water on the affected area and sprinkle powdered malt on it. Let stand an hour and rinse.

3. Soak a piece of absorbent cloth in a solution made of one part glycerin and three parts regular water. Put it on the area affected with coffee stains and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Alternatively, make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and calcium carbonate or abrasive powder and hot water and apply it on the stain.

4. Remove oil and grease stains by gently cleaning the surface with warm water mixed with liquid detergent. You can also use household de-greasing agent to provide spot treatment. Paint stains can also be removed in a similar manner.

5. Get rid of ink stains by cleaning with warm water mixed with liquid detergent. For older stains, mix two tablespoons sodium perborate and a pint of water and whip it to form a paste before applying it on the stain. For stubborn blue ink stains, try applying strong ammonia water solution, not directly on the terrazzo but on a layer of cotton.

6. Place an absorbent cloth saturated in hydrogen peroxide directly over soft drink stains, followed by a cloth soaked in ammonia.

7. Apply a paste of abrasive powder and hot water on terrazzo surface to remove urine stains. For unyielding urine stains, try laying a cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide directly over the stain, followed by an ammonia-saturated cloth.

Source: http://www.ehow.com/how_2002473_clean-terrazzo-stains.html

7 Tips to Clean Inside the Fireplaces

In the winter months, fireplaces are the inexpensive method to keep your house warm. It can also use for a romantic setting or for roasting marshmallows on a cold winter evening. One must take precautions while starting a fire, because fireplaces can also be a fire hazard. Sparks can fly into the room and cause serious fire in the room. By cleaning the fireplaces over small interval of time can protect your home from a costly fire. Clean the inside of a fireplace with tools you have around the home.

1. Open the fireplace doors or screen. Use the metal poker to push around the fireplace debris. This will ensure that all embers are extinguished in advance. The fireplace must be completely cold before starting the cleaning process.

2. Have the garbage can nearby. You could use a box or a garbage sack as well. Put on the gloves.

3. Remove the large debris from the fireplace. This could consist of unburned firewood or other material. Place anything that you can pick up by hand in the garbage container.

4. Use the hand broom to sweep the inside of the fireplace. Larger fireplaces may require a regular size broom. Sweep the sides and back of the fireplace. Then sweep the bottom, pulling the ashes toward the front. Pick up any large material you may have overlooked.

5. Sweep the ashes into the dustpan. Dump into the garbage pail. Continue this step to sweep all the ashes up and dispose of them. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the fireplace is clean.

6. Moisten the cloth with warm water. Wipe the inside of the fireplace. Wring out frequently.

7. Place the garbage can or container in a safe location away from heat or fire. In addition, do not put the pail near the home or shed. The wood is combustible material and can cause a fire.

Source: http://www.ehow.com/how_4927393_clean-inside-fireplace.html

6 Tips for Terrazzo Floors Polishing

Terrazzo floors can be cleaned easily by sweeping but regular traffic on these floors can make it dull. Polishing on terrazzo floors can bring back its shine. Due to its porous nature it can be damaged by acidic cleaners. Waxy cleaners can make it slippery. Read below the tips for terrazzo polishing.

1. Sweep the terrazzo floor with a broom. Dispose of any dirt and dust removed by sweeping.

2. Mix neutral cleaner and water in a mop bucket. Wet-mop the terrazzo floor, rinsing the mop as often as necessary. If you need to change the mop water because your floor is heavily soiled, do so, then continue mopping with fresh cleaning solution.
polish-terrazzo
3. Allow the neutral cleaner to remain on the floor for several minutes, but do not allow the cleaner to dry. According to the National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association, neutral cleaners will loosen foreign material from the floor’s surface, but they need a few minutes to work.

4. Rinse and dry the mop. Run the mop over the floor to remove any excess cleaner. Do not polish the terrazzo while it is wet or leave the cleaner on the floor.

5. Plug in the mechanical buffer, and turn it on. Run the buffer back and forth over the terrazzo, working in long, lateral strokes. Overlap your work slightly to avoid leaving any gaps. Work in this manner until the entire floor has been buffed.

6. Run a clean dust mop along the floor to remove any dust left by the buffing. The terrazzo should look brighter and glossier as a result of your polishing job with the mechanical buffer.

Source: http://www.ehow.com/how_6001624_polish-terrazzo.html

Tips to Clean Granite Tiles

Although granite tiles are tough and they do not get scratches easily, you have to take good care of your granite tiles if you want to maintain their sophisticated and edgy look.

Vinegar, toothpaste, hairspray, and perfumes cause the sealant on the granite tiles to erode. In case these substances spill over your granite flooring or countertop, immediately clean them off. Take a sponge and soak the liquid rather than wiping it off as it can cause the liquid to spread over a wider area and cause more damage.
images
To remove spills from tea or coffee, make use of hydrogen peroxide. Make a solution by adding hydrogen peroxide in water and apply that on the stains. Keep that for 2-3 days and the stains would be gone.

For removing tough stains, do not apply detergents and harsh chemicals on your granite tiles. Use a mild, pH neutral cleaner instead.

Regular cleaning of granite tiles is not enough to keep your granite tiles neat and clean. Over time, they get dull. If you want to keep their original shine intact, you will need to apply a good quality sealant. Sealing agent not only prevents granite flooring from fading out, but it also helps extend the life and durability of these tiles.

By applying a sealing agent on the granite tiles you can prevent dirt, dust, and oil and other liquids from penetrating inside the tiles and degrading their quality.

Polishing the granite tiles is yet another way to keep the natural shine and lustre of granite tiles intact. You may call over professionals to polish the granite flooring and to keep the surface glowing for considerably long period of time.

With little care and maintenance you can keep your granite flooring beautiful and bright.

Photo credit: Flicker.com

Discover the innumerable uses of limestone

Most of us know that limestone is used in flooring and in making kitchen countertops. But this amazing stone has innumerable uses.

The calcium carbonate is added to the land for nurturing agricultural farms and for improving the fertility of the soil. It balances acidity in the soil and helps improve crop yields.

Limestone helps in purifying sulphur emissions that are released from the power stations and plays an important role in conservation of the environment. Limestone has got many unique properties that accounts to its widespread usage.

Limestone is used as a source of calcium in food additives and supplements.

It is used as a paint additive and is used in the production of paper white.

Limestone is used for removing impurities from molten iron, as well as for purifying sugar.

Calcium carbonate is bought to use in the production of wools, dyes, medicinal antacids, brake pads, cement, plastic, rubber, adhesives, sealants, and various household products.

Limestone is used extensively in the construction of counter tops and in flooring due to its beautiful appearance and durability. If you have limestone tiles or flooring in your home, hire professionals to retain its original shine and beauty.

Tips to Clean a Fireplace

We love our fireplace — a native Texas limestone with a big mantel — but we don’t get to use it as much as we’d like. Still, it needs a good sprucing up now and then.

First order of business: I move everything in and around the base out of the way and put down several old sheets or plastic shower curtains to protect the surrounding carpet. Once that’s covered, I remove the fireplace grate to clean it separately by wiping it with a damp towel and letting it dry.

Then, using a shop vacuum (not a regular vacuum, because the fine ashes can clog the filter), I suck up as much debris and ash as possible — inside, on the bottom and walls, and around the outside base. For the fine layer of soot that remains, I use several damp paper towels to wipe it away.

Next, with a handled scrub brush and a bucket of warm water with detergent (a squirt or two per gallon of water), I scrub the inside floor, followed by the sides — doing one small spot at a time and rinsing before moving on.

Last, I rinse it all with water on a sponge or a terry cloth and wipe dry with an old towel.

A final safety hint for folks who may use their fireplaces frequently: Have your chimney inspected by a pro each year.

Source: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/heloise/cleaning-the-fireplace

Mistakes To Avoid While Cleaning Terrazzo Floors

Terrazzo floors are made out of a combination of marble chips mixed with concrete. This style of floor became popular during the Venetian and Roman times as marble was often used for floors, furniture and sculptures. The stone masons would transport the scrap marble away and then use it, mixed with concrete, to create a different kind of marble floor that was polished with goat’s milk. Terrazzo floors, like marble, are not inexpensive and are relatively delicate and high maintenance. You will read below about the mistakes which you should avoid while cleaning the terrazzo floors.

Terrazzo Floors are Not Granite

Marble and granite are often confused as they look a lot alike. This same confusion is also often applied to terrazzo floors and granite. This is a huge mistake when you want to clean your terrazzo floors because, though similar or often lumped together, they are quite different. Terrazzo floors are much softer than granite. This means that terrazzo floors stain and wear more often than granite and cannot be cleaned in the same way.

Never Use Vinegar

Many people turn to using vinegar as a cleaner because it is an all-natural cleaner which is not toxic. Vinegar is great on most floors but should never be used on terrazzo floors. Vinegar is a very acidic product (which makes vinegar a great universal cleaner). The use of vinegar on terrazzo floors can cause dulling or etching of the surface which will be hard to bounce back from and would normally require a buffing and refinishing of the floor.

The KISS Method

In school they teach a method known as “keep it simple, student” which can easily be applied to cleaning terrazzo floors. There is a thin layer of wax on the floor which helps maintain the shine and with abrasive cleaning techniques you can remove this wax. The best way to clean a terrazzo floor is to use a dry and soft cloth that is lint-free. Wipe away the spill as there is no need to scrub, use water or other chemicals.

No Hard Scrubbing Materials Allowed

When there is a tough stain we are often found using harsh scrubbing pads like steel wool or hard pads to remove stains or scuff marks. Terrazzo floors are delicate in nature and will become much worse if you use any hard or rigid scrubbing materials. You will remove the wax sealer and most likely seriously scratch the surface of the terrazzo floor. The stiffest material you should ever use on your terrazzo floors is a sponge or a cloth. A great material to use is a chamois (shammy towel) as it not only dries your floor quickly but also polishes it at the same time.

Clean Quickly

A spill can happen nearly every day and you should not panic when it happens on your terrazzo floors. When a spill does occur you should clean the spill quickly to avoid staining or added surface wear.

Source: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/cleaning-terrazzo-floors-mistakes-to-avoid

Tips for Terracotta Floor Restoration

Terracotta floors is reddish brown in color and in use from centuries. Terracotta literally means “baked earth”, and the tiles are made from natural clay. Terracotta stone is very porous in nature. Water can damage it and dirt and grime is picked up and stored easily. If you have damaged terracotta floors, then read these tips to find out terracotta restoration process.

Strip and Clean

The first step in restoring terracotta floors is stripping the old wax and sealants off of the floor and then cleaning the floor. It is best to buy tile stripper made specifically to work on terracotta floors. When you use the stripper, make sure you test on a small area of flooring first. Put the liquid on one or two tiles and let stand according to the directions on the stripper you are using. Spread the liquid with a foam brush. Use a nylon brush to scrub your terracotta tile. If your tile is really dirty, use a green scrub pad. Make sure you scrub in a circular motion. Always wash the tiles when finished stripping. Let sit until completely dry, which usually takes a day or two.

Seal

Your terracotta floor must be sealed with a sealant to protect it. Make sure the tile is stripped and clean of all dust and dirt. Just like with the tile stripper, you want to use a foam brush to spread the sealant and to soak up any extra sealant that may pool. Use a fresh clean foam brush. Your terracotta floor will soak up the sealant, because of its absorbent nature. You must put a coat of sealant; let it completely dry according to the directions on the sealer, and then recoat several times until fully sealed. After your terracotta floor is sealed and dried, you may want to consider finishing the floor with a buffer. It really brings the glossiness of your floor out.

If All Else Fails, Replace

Make sure you find replacement terracotta tiles that match as closely to the original ones as possible. Be very careful when removing the grout around the tile not to damage neighboring tiles. That also goes for hammering the tile to break it up and loosen it. Don’t get carried away or you will be replacing a lot more. It is helpful to put painters tape on the edges of the surrounding tile to protect them. It is a lot easier to get the tile out by using a chisel or a flat head screw driver and a hammer. Once the tile pieces are out make sure you get the remaining glue and debris out of the space left behind. For the best adhesion, put tile glue in the empty cavity and on the back of the tile. Then make sure it completely dries before you re-grout.

Source:http://www.doityourself.com/stry/cleaning-terrazzo-floors-mistakes-to-avoid