There are a wide variety of beverage coasters on the market, made from a plethora of materials. Each of these substances has its own peculiarities, and properties, with many of them requiring special care to maintain. You should be aware of the different materials, and how they react to the world, as well as exactly what it will take to keep them looking their best.
First of all you have disposable coasters. These can be made from paper, cork, or cardboard. Generally you find these in bars and restaurants, where coasters are turned over on a regular basis, but some people prefer to use them in their homes as well.
With disposable coasters you have to understand that over time the piece will degrade. As it does you could end up with little flecks of paper, or specks of cork lining your surfaces, creating an annoying mess. However, as long as you catch this early on, and replace it with a fresh piece, you should be able to avoid most of the problems associated with these pieces.
More solid coasters can consist of a variety of materials. Glass is quite popular. However you have to be aware that glass can chip, and even shatter, and so those coasters are not as impervious as many other types would be.
Natural stone coasters come in two varieties. Sandstone, slate, and other absorbent stones soak the moisture up from a glass, containing it within pores until it has a chance to evaporate. Meanwhile marble and agate coasters are non absorbent, and they will merely hold the moisture on the surface of the piece.
With natural stone you have to be careful about dripping staining liquids on the stone. Acidic liquids, such as most juices, are especially troublesome, and can cause a chemical reaction in the stone itself. If these substances spill, be certain to wipe them up as quickly as possible, and then flush the stone out with warm water.
Stainless steal or metallic coasters are relatively immune to damage. However they can be scratched or bent, so you have to use a little caution. Also, since they don’t absorb, liquids can build up in the cup of the coaster and cause a mess.
Beverage coasters are wonderful accessories that can not only protect your home, but also enhance the look and feel of the space. However you have to understand the material that was used in the coasters construction, and the various problems that can arise from it. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way towards ensuring the beauty and elegance of your coasters for years to come.