Cleaning Sensitive Surfaces in Your Home

Hard surfaces like pianos, natural stone and glass surfaces add beauty to our homes. Avoid mistakenly scratching or dulling these surfaces by cleaning too rigorously. Here are some tips so to help protect common surfaces.

Use a soft cloth to clean pianos, natural stone and glass.

A piano finish as well as other instruments and home decor are often made up of lacquer or polyester. Water or a small amount of Murphy’s oil soap is recommended for cleaning and polishing pianos. Always go with the grain, to prevent circular scrapes later on.

Natural stone doesn’t do well with all-purpose or acidic cleaners. The calcium carbonate deposits found in marble and stone react to acids, such as, vinegar and citrus. All-purpose cleaners are usually too alkaline. Especially for marble floors, dust with a microfiber mop often to prevent the sandpaper effect. Use a pH-balanced or pH neutral cleaner for special stone.

For glass shower doors use a bio cloth or sponge to scrub hard water stains. If using the rough end of the sponge, make certain it is clean or the doors may scratch.

The Science of Scratches

As a general rule for all three surfaces, use a clean cloth that has not been washed with dirty clothes. This ensures particles of dirt, ash or plant matter do not make their way into fibers. Particles lodged in the cloth from previous use may be made up of a harder stone than the surface being cleaned, damaging the softer surface.

With the help of a German mineralogist by the name of Moh, the “scratch test” serves as a frame of reference.The Moh Scale measures softness and hardness of surfaces.

1 –  Ice
2 – Calcium
2.5 –  Silver and Gold
3 – Limestone, Marble
4 – Iron, Nickel
5 – Obsidian (volcanic glass), Tooth Enamel
5.5 – Glass
6 – Titanium
6.5 – Granite
7 – Quartz
8 – Cubic Zirconia
10 – Diamond


To read more about caring for countertops explore this resource.
To read more about caring for pianos explore this resource.