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Home improvement answers from The Money Pit 3-19-13

PALESTINE, March 19, 2013— The Money Pit team provides time and money saving tips and ideas, helps listeners manage projects, and answers home improvement questions from callers. YourEastTexas.com is pleased to bring you a weekly update from the Money Pit to assist you in your Home Improvement endeavors.


This week’s Home Improvement answer:

Care for Natural Stone Floors and Countertops:

Certain chemicals and tools can discolor or dull stone, or shorten its lifespan.  Steer clear of acidic fluids like lemon juice and vinegar, and any cleaning products containing acid or ammonia.  When cleaning natural stone surfaces like floors and countertops, it’s also a good rule of thumb to avoid products intended for tub and tile, as well as anything powdered or abrasive.  Certain types of stone can scratch easily, such as marble and travertine.  Granite is stronger, but it’s certainly not scratch resistant, so use caution.

To play it safe, clean stone surfaces with a mild liquid dish detergent and warm water.  For floors, use a soft rag mop; for countertops, a soft cloth.  Be conservative with the soap solution, because too much can leave behind film or streaks.  Another way to avoid streaking is to change that dirty, soapy water frequently while cleaning.  You don’t want to be reapplying the same dirt you just removed.  Rinse the surface well after cleaning and dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Here are some quick tips to avoid stains and other small disasters on natural stone countertops:

Use Coasters.  Glasses with hard edges can mar the surface of stone.  Also, beverages containing alcohol or citrus juice can dull or deface stone.  If you do have a spill, clean it up quickly, and blot at the liquid instead of wiping.

Use Trivets & Placemats.  Keep hot dishes off your stone countertop whenever possible.  Use mats and trivets to create a buffer.  Be mindful of kitchenware that can scratch a stone surface, like porcelain and ceramic dishware, and silverware.

Use Cutting Boards.  Need I say more?

With the right cleaning tools and a few good habits, you can protect your natural stone surfaces, including floors and countertops, an keep them looking beautiful for years.


The Money Pit is a weekly radio show which can be heard on KNET 95.7FM/1450AM, on Saturdays, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

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