Cleaning is the set of treatments aimed at removing impurities, incrustations and deposits of various kinds from the surface of stone materials. Marbles, granites and natural stones are not all the same and therefore the treatments to be performed are also different:


To be avoided as they would have a corrosive effect and make the surface rough and dull:
  • Detergents or acid products of any kind
  • Alcohol (also denatured and not even diluted)
  • Vinegar or lemon juice (not even diluted)
  • Anti-scale products
To be used for stain removal:
  • Marseille soap
  • Ammonia (3% concentration for domestic use)
  • Specific neutral detergents (PH 7)
To be used for the removal of scale incrustations:
  • Marseille soap
  • Ammonia (3% concentration for domestic use) diluted in water
  • Bleach (low concentration hypochlorite for domestic use) diluted in water> for tenacious incrustations. Contraindication: possible bleaching effect on polished surfaces, coloured marble, stainless steel taps


To avoid:
  • Anti-scale products
To be used for stain removal:
  • Marseille soap
  • Ammonia (3% concentration for domestic use)
  • Specific neutral detergents (PH 7)
  • Specific detergents or products based on muriatic and sulfuric acid> for tenacious stains
To be used for the removal of scale incrustations:
  • Marseille soap
  • Ammonia (3% concentration for domestic use)
  • Lemon juice> for tenacious incrustations
  • Denatured alcohol diluted in water > for to particularly tenacious incrustations

For the application, soak and rub more or less vigorously a Scotch-Brite pad (strong abrasive sponge usually green) or, if necessary, a metal scourer, always doing a preventive test on a small and hidden portion of material. Always rinse thoroughly with water after each treatment and when using aggressive detergents, it is recommended to apply a neutral detergent that inhibits its action. In the case of a polished finish, a subsequent treatment with wax or polishing powder paste may be necessary to restore the original shine.


Never use detergent products that contain hydrofluoric acid (HF) or phosphoric acid ( H3PO4) on any natural stone, including granite, as they have the power to completely dissolve the quartz of silicates.

Generic commercial anti-scale products should be avoided as they are strong acids (they may also contain phosphoric or hydrofluoric acid) which, especially on marble, travertine, slate and onyx or materials consisting almost entirely of limestone, produce surface cavitations due to calcite dissolving.

Hydrochloric acid (HCL) can lead to alterations of the colour or swellings on the silicates, it is however used to recover very degraded granite floors but it is a treatment for rehabilitating the original colour through corrosion and removal of the surface part of the material evidently intended to be used by professional applicators.


Gres and granite are chemically similar as they both contain silicates, they can be stained and can be damaged if a specific chemical product for cleaning is not used. Therefore it is absolutely not true that for cleaning stones it is necessary to use exclusively water and soap or neutral detergents: basic detergents and domestic ammonia can always be used and are recommended by any marble worker!
But above all: there is a wide range of specific products for cleaning and treating marbles, granites and stones, specially developed by renowned companies in the sector including: FILA / FEDERCHIMICALS / BELLINZONI / CIBER / GEAL in these lines there are often multi-purpose products that can be used both for stone and porcelain stoneware.


The stain due to the penetration of foreign material into the pores of the stone is removable using commercial products specifically designed for the various stones and for the most common and overt problems. Even the most tenacious and obvious stains such as oil, industrial grease, edible fats and coffee are removed by specific concentrated abrasive paste products.

Commercial detergents are chemical products used in cleaning and belong to different categories according to the composition and type of material on which they can be used.
Generally, acid-based products are distinguished from those with alkaline reaction, together with compounds that belong to the groups of surfactants, of soluble salts (in whole or in part) or of extractive solvents to be used for particular purposes.
Acid-based compounds (e.g. muriatic acid) are not suitable for treatment on carbonate stones such as marble, ornamental calcareous stone, calcareous tuff, calcareous travertine and sandstone, but they can be used on silica-based stones such as granite, porphyry, serizzo stone, beola and quartzite.
Alkaline-based compounds, for example ammonia, are used above all for marbles, ornamental calcareous stones, calcareous tuff, travertine, calcareous sandstones, slate that do not support acid products, but which of course they can also be used for granite.
For smooth or polished surfaces, only low concentration products with a degree of acidity of the solutions slightly above neutrality should be used (ph 7), while on compact and not very sensitive materials it is possible to use concentrated solutions to exert a more drastic dilution action.

Before the application of detergent products it is advisable to carry out tests that determine their effectiveness because the action on very altered surfaces and in the presence of surfaces with high porosity there is the risk of penetration of the detergent without the possibility of removing it with the final wash.

After the treatment with basic or acid solutions, the action of the detergent must always be inhibited by rinsing thoroughly with running water and, if necessary, using specific neutralizing products capable of neutralizing the corrosive action and eliminating any salts that form for reaction.

There are many detergent, protective, stain-resistant and anti-graffiti products on the market, specific for the elimination of rust stains, verdigris, cement stains and other, all specifically designed for stone materials. Therefore it is advised to rely on professionals in the sector to identify the right product and if necessary to be able to count on a professional intervention directly carried out on site.



Generally all natural stones with prevalent composition of calcium carbonates (limestone) such as marble, travertine, onyx and alabaster, slate, breccia are sensitive to weakly acidic liquids like lemon juice or drinks like Coca Cola which can have a noticeable staining effect especially on light and homogeneous colours. Natural materials based on silicates (quartz, feldspar, mica) such as granite, quartzite, porphyry, serpentine and beola are more resistant and less sensitive to chemical attacks but can also be corroded by strong acids.
Furthermore, since marble and granite cannot be completely impermeable to water due to their porosity, they can show saline efflorescence due to the transport of diluted salts or yellow/reddish stains due to iron oxidation, a typical problem of some marbles, including the White Carrara.

All these disadvantages are solved by an adequate water-oil repellent treatment with matt or polished effect that closes the microscopic surface porosity.

Limestone depositions also occur in bathrooms due to the hardness of drinking water. A surface water-oil repellent treatment, performed after installation, that prevents the limestone to penetrate into the stone material in these environments, is always recommended and indispensable for marble and soft stones.
Also resins and waxes have a slightly protective function, as they create a surface layer that offers a certain resistance to the action of water and, to a lesser extent, oils.


Polishing consist in treatments that through the deposition of a wax increase the polish (degree of light diffraction), enhance the natural colours and finally protect the surface from the natural degradation caused by time. Polishing with wax is typically restricted to marble floors with a polished surface finish installed indoors.

If an opacification occurs (loss of reflectance) it means that the stone material for some reason is losing its surface finish, therefore it is necessary to provide a protective treatment that supports surface crystallization but if this is not sufficient it is necessary to operate by polishing.

A degraded paving even in the most extreme cases in which the material surface would seem irrecoverable can be re-discovered by re-honing and re-polishing with specific machines in the honing-polishing process carried out with possible resealing of cracks with resins of compatible colour.
The cost is however lower than the construction of a new paving and it is avoided to waste unique and perhaps historical materials.
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