FAQ’s Cleaning Stone & Tile Can Be a Challenge

Cleaning Stone & Tile Can Be a Challenge a Few

FAQ’S May Help 

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1)We have tried several different strippers to try to remove a coating/wax that is on a floor. What makes you think your product would do a better job at remove the coating?  

Answer: Even tho StoneClean & Strip’s pH is around 10 it may excel in removing coatings that caustic strippers can’t remove because it does a better job in breaking down the resins in various coatings! High pH is not always the answer. It is true that another couple of removers may be needed before the right key is found but I am confident that it can be done! 

2)We have tried all kinds of different waxes and found that most will quickly either lose its luster or accept dirt into the finish making it look dirty. What makes your wax so different and worth the higher cost? 

Answer: SuperTop XL is a special trade secret synthetic wax that is EXTREMELY hard. It differs in that its structure will not accept dirt into the finish. It also excels in its water repellency to help it not to soften when wet to allow dirt to get into the floor. It is worth the small additional cost in how it can potentially greatly reduce the need for stripping and re-wax jobs. It can also save labor in the daily care by simple cleaning and buffing to renew the look and shine. Where badly scratched you will then have the option of cleaning and recoating instead of stripping and re-coating – a potential great savings in labor and product. 

3) We sealed our honed limestone floor with a penetrating sealer to protect from staining and now we can’t seem to get the floor clean again. Why? 

Answer: Typically, the “penetrating sealers” used on honed limestones are silicone-based impregnators. When applied, these become only partially bound in the stone. Whatever is not bound “looks for” something to bond with- and usually that is grease and dirt. When this happens, the contamination becomes welded in and very very difficult to remove. Sometimes, when multiple coats of silicone impregnators have been applied, the dirt is bound in forever. HOWEVER StoneClean & Strip when applied at full strength and allowed to soak for 10 minutes and then scrubbed can many times loosen the bond and free the stone of the previous sealers. Also the addition of Acetone to the SCS can help as well. 

4)We sealed out grout and now it is dirtier looking than ever. Why?

Answer: Sealed grout still needs to be cleaned properly. The sealer may be working but not your daily cleanser. However some sealers are acrylic & silicone based and can and do trap dirt into the sealer itself. Please check out the grout cleaning instructions and kit to solve that problem. 

5)Is it necessary to seal my grout? 

Answer: Depends- if you maintain the cleaned grout with StoneClean “104” or “60” and do periodic deep cleans with StoneClean & Strip  you may not need to take the extra effort and time to paint a sealer in the grout joints. However remember that colored pops and juice drinks can and do stain grout! Also remember that grout is a cementitious product and as such, gets stained very easily. It is important to protect it properly. SRI Treatment is such a impregnator. It is not silicone based so won’t grab and weld in dirt or discolor.  If your careful you may not need to worry but why worry when you can protect the porous grout with a sealer that will protect against soiling & staining?

 6)We have tried to get our honed travertine clean and can’t seem to do the job – we have tried all kinds of stone & tile cleansers – Help! 

Answer: The problem could be two fold – a penetrating sealer trapping the dirt- if so if may be necessary to add some acetone to the StoneClean & Strip mix (1 to 3  dilution) to help breakdown the sealer or the problem could be that the cleansers you have tried can’t provide enough “lift” to float the dirt out of the pores of the stone.  You should notice a night & day difference when using this product! Again SRI is the recommendation after cleaning! 

7)We cleaned our floor tile using an acid and now we notice a whitish haze on the surface- can anything be done to remove this haze? 

Answer: Hopefully yes but sadly maybe no. It is sad but true that thousands of sq. feet of tile are damaged each year  this way. The damage is permanent and the best way to solve it is to remove the tile and start over again and never use acids to clean with again! Sometimes tho the whitish haze is just the salts from the acids which are trapped under the sealer (if the floor has been sealed). You can either try to remove the sealer with StoneClean & Strip or try to sand off the top layer of the sealer on the tile. 

8)  We clean hundred of sq. feet of tile every night and when it is dirty we normally need to rinse two or three times or buff the floor to remove the residues- how can we eliminate these extra steps? 

Answer: By using cleansers that contain no detergents to leave residues! By using cleansers that not only float the dirt up but capture it in a way that prevents re-settling and this is the trick- so that it gets transferred into the mop. If it takes your crew of 2 an extra 1/2 a night to do a rinse that is costing you 5 extra man hours a week- how much better to spend a little more to get the right chemistry to clean with nightly. One costing $20 more per gallon than what you are currently using will still save you money!! Remember – QUALITY PAYS!

 9)  We clean a lot of bathroom floors and the client wants the grout cleaner – we are afraid to use acids because of the small space & fumes and also there is carpet in the hall way- what can we do? 

Answer: Like a lot of hotels and other facilities the danger of using acids is getting some on the carpet or damaging some fixture in the bathroom. The answer lies in using a cleanser that can bite the oils, plus a broad range of contaminates and get deep into the surface & then float it to the surface. Don’t be surprised if in the men’s room the water changes color around the urinals when the contamination floats to the surface- Enough said. (odors also reside in the grout joints as you will notice a cleaner smell to the bathroom because of what was removed from the grout joints-true story) Next daily use a neutral pH cleanser (StoneClean “104) that will effectively remove oils and dirt quite effectively to keep the floor clean. A lot of contracts are lost based on the appearance of the bathroom floors! SRI Treatment application on the bathroom tile will help to make it easier to clean with StoneClean “104”. It will dry invisible and will not trap dirt. 

10)  We clean polished granite floors in a commercial building and everyone complains on how slick the floor is- can we do anything about that problem?  Answer: Yes and No. Yes by using a cleanser that leaves no detergent residues to react with wet shoes. Yes by putting in place an aggressive DRY dust mopping program since dust on highly polished surfaces also provides lubrication for slippage. Yes by using a cleanser that can effectively remove surface oils from rubber cart wheels and shoe soles and from asphalt parking surfaces being tracked in to the flooring. Yes by using a lot of walk off mats when it rains or snows NO because any highly polished surface will be slicker than a duller less shinier one! No way to get around that one fact! 

11)  We wanted to seal our honed limestone to keep the natural look but our friends said they did that and the stone darkened and some areas even turned yellow- How can we protect the stone without worrying about this problem? 

Answer: This is a common problem with “penetrating ” sealers since many are silicone/silane based & some even have acrylics in the mix as well . They have a tendency to yellow over years and can visually darken upon application. What is needed also is one that is totally invisible and that is water based and is UV stable. It should also resist oil contamination as well as being water resistant. It should also breathe. SRI TREATMENT is also very low in odor and V.O.C. so makes this homeowner friendly and public friendly if doing work in a public place and enclosed places such as a shower stall! 

12)  We live in a very humid environment and have a problem with mold/mildew that quickly grows back after we clean it. It is outside on a brick walkway. How can we do this and make it more friendly to plants around the walkway? 

Answer: If bleach or a hypochlorite solution was used to clean with the problem is two-fold: a) bleach etches the stain away from the mildew/mold but does little to remove the spores of the mildew/mold it quickly vaporizes as chlorine gas so has little surface stability for longer term control b)acid mold/mildew cleaners also tend to make the surface more porous for more pore space for the spores to settle into. What is needed is a near neutral solution to penetrate the surface and gently lift the mold/mildew (plus spores) off the surface. Once cleaned of the contamination spraying the surface and letting it dry into the brick will provide several weeks of control and once mildew starts to grow again it will be easy to quickly remove it. StoneClean Hard Surface Cleaner is environmentally safe and runoff will not affect any municipal water treatment plant or harm most plants.

Environmental concerns for outside control is important plus having longer control will mean using even less of the caustic cleansers used today

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