It's essential to only use cleaners which are appropriate for natural stone surfaces. This means avoiding using vinegar. Stones like limestone, marble, or travertine will react to vinegar because it's an acidic cleaner with harsh effects.
Clean stone surfaces with warm water and a mild soap such as a clear Dawn Liquid Soap. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on marble or limestone. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth. Change the rinse water frequently.
On lighter stone, white stones use hydrogen peroxide. On darker, black stones use acetone or lacquer thinner. Use small amounts and remove immediately with a cloth and rinse with a damp cloth, particularly on marble, limestone, onyx, and travertine.
Vinegar spells trouble for granite countertops (and any other natural stone countertop). The acid in vinegar wears away at the protective sealant that prevents spills from penetrating the stone and causing permanent stains. In addition, over time vinegar can cause etching in the granite itself.
If you are cleaning your natural stone floor or counter top like Marble, Limestone, Granite, Slate, Quartz or Travertine ect. if you use white vinegar on the natural stone it will react with the lime in the stone and etch or take off a layer of the stone and make it look dull and take away the beauty of the stone.
Rocks that contain calcium carbonate can erode when they encounter acids, and limestone contains calcium carbonate. Vinegar is acetic acid, and limestone is a base. An acid plus a base causes a chemical reaction. So, vinegar combined with limestone creates a chemical reaction.
And in this case, this mixture does not work well with the natural stone countertops. Due to the fact that vinegar is acidic substance and baking soda is caustic, the result of mixing the two can have an unstable effect on stones that are porous.
Rinsing is not necessary! If you're simply using a vinegar and water solution to wipe and disinfect, you won't need to rinse. However, if there's also plenty of dirt and grime you're wiping away, you may also want to rinse with some extra water.
What you should Not Do: Don't use vinegar, lemon juice, or other cleaners containing acids on marble, limestone, travertine, or onyx surfaces. Don't use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners, or tub & tile cleaners. Don't use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
Diluted hydrogen peroxide works well on Sandstone, Marble, Bluestone, and Travertine. In the case of Granite floor, simply brush the area in dry condition. No solution is required to cleanse moulds or algae from Granite floor.
Simple Green Granite & Stone Polish is safe for use on granite, marble, travertine, limestone, porcelain, ceramic, quartz, Corian®*, Silestone®*, and other natural and engineered stone surfaces.
Cleaning large stones, boulders & feature stones
Cover the stones in a combination of water and washing up liquid or vinegar and use a scrubbing brush to clean the surface, removing any dirt and algae. Once done, you can rinse with a hosepipe to reveal the natural stone colour below.
DON'T: Use harsh or abrasive cleaners and sponges.
Windex; acidic cleaners, like vinegar, lemon, lime; or anything with ammonia or bleach should be avoided. Frequent use of these chemicals will dull and weaken the sealant over time.
Many collectors choose to remove calcite from rock and mineral specimens. Calcite often forms over quartz and other more desirable crystals and is more difficult to remove. Use household vinegar to help dissolve calcite from your finds before displaying.
Maintenance and Cleaning of Natural Stone Surfaces
Never use abrasive cleansers, “soft scrub” products, or harsh/acidic chemicals on any stone as these can scratch or dull the polished finish. This includes substances like ammonia or many common liquid cleaners, such as Windex.
“Vinegar is a good cleaner because it's acidic, but when you add dishwashing liquid/dish soap to it (which is a base or neutral) - you neutralise the vinegar. You take away the very thing that makes it work well. “The dishwashing liquid works that well on its own. Adding the vinegar is a pointless step.”
The set time for vinegar can be up to 30 minutes. For example, to clean the insides of food-stained pots and pans, soak them in a mixture of one-half cup of white vinegar diluted with one gallon of water for 30 minutes. Then rinse in hot, soapy water.
Pour equal parts of vinegar and Dawn into a spray bottle. Gently shake, then spray liberally onto the surface to be cleaned.
Add undiluted vinegar to a bucket and apply it to your stone with the plastic brush. See if it removes the white residue. If it does then you don't need to use muriatic acid. If you need the muriatic acid you'll have to dilute it according to the directions on the bottle.
Maybe vinegar is acidic enough to act as a sanitizer, but hydrogen peroxide is better at killing bacteria, fungus, and viruses. To disinfect a surface, you can use a 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water solution. Spray it on a clean surface and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
Now, don't confuse distilled with basic white vinegar, which is stronger and has up to 25% acetic acid. That vinegar is sold exclusively for cleaning purposes and is not a good idea to ingest. However, beyond cooking, distilled white vinegar can be used for many of the same household chores.
Dawn & vinegar works better than store-bought cleaners.
I've tried myriad cleaners specifically for bathrooms~from Rain-X to scrubbing bubbles and beyond. I've never had any store-bought cleaner work better than this easy, inexpensive, DIY Dawn vinegar solution.