Conducting the Lemon and Water Test on Stone

There are a lot of natural stone products available today for use on floors, walls, and countertops. Not every stone is the same, however, and not every stone is suitable for its intended use. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell if a stone will work in a proposed area just by looking at it. It can also be difficult to tell how it will work, because lifestyles and tolerances for things like sealing or using special cleaners can also vary. One way that homeowners can find out more about a stone for themselves is with the lemon and water test.


The lemon and water test is frequently done after a stone is installed so that homeowners can determine the frequency that the stone needs to be sealed. It can also be done on a sample of stone, before the product is bought or installed, however. By conducting the test this early on, you can help figure out if the stone will work for you.

To conduct the test, find a 12-inch or larger sample tile of the stone in question. Divide the stone into four sections and apply a sealer to two of them.

Now put a small amount of water onto one sealed and on unsealed section and a small amount of lemon juice onto the two remaining sections. Allow all four areas to remain undisturbed for about an hour, then wipe them away.

Examine the stone where the liquid was sitting on it. If the stone is extremely porous or reactive, you may see it getting darker where the water sat and duller where the lemon juice was. You’ll also see that the sealing may have impeded these reactions, but in some cases may not have done so entirely.

Once you can see how the stone reacts to moisture and acids, you can get a better sense of how it will hold up in the area you intend for it, which can help you make a more informed decision for your home.


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