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I apply impregnating sealer to all my tile and stone surfaces annually.

I had been cleaning it with just soap and water, then letting the surface dry for a few minutes before applying the sealer. It occurred to me that perhaps introducing water to the stone prior to sealing was a bad idea and that perhaps I should use a more volatile liquid to clean it?

How should I clean my natural stone surfaces before applying an impregnating sealer?

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Just checked my container of Miracle 511 impregnating sealer...no mention of cleaning prior to application whatsoever, oh well. IIRC last time I did as you describe: I cleaned with soap and water and gave it 15 minutes or so. I've been happy with the results –  mac Feb 8 '13 at 19:54
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How do I clean my Natural Stone tiles and slabs?

Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral PH stone cleaner available at retail stores or at your local tile and stone dealer, or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Use a clean rag mop on floors and a soft cloth for other surfaces for best results. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. 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. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.

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How long should I allow to dry before I apply sealer? –  Matthew Feb 10 '13 at 4:10
    
^^ "dry with a soft cloth" -- Even though you are drying it, I would still give it at least an extra hour. –  ShoeMaker Feb 10 '13 at 12:11
    
and soft-bristle brush (NOT metal) in place of rag for tougher spots. –  fungku Feb 13 '13 at 20:44
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