Value in Being “Green Spirited” Rather Than Being “Rules Green” in the Field of Coatings, Sealers, and Cleansers

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When “Natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “Green”.When being “Rules Green” (Certified) may not be as good as being “Green Spirited”- caring about the quality of what you use in your life and Hotel. Just because a material is natural doesn’t mean it is good for the environment. Consider that every spring millions of pounds of peat is used as potting soil and garden ground cover. Did you know that 1) harvesting peat releases carbon dioxide, a known greenhouse gas? 2) Peat bogs have amazing ability to remove harmful impurities from water? 3) Peat bogs hold 10% of the worlds fresh water? Using peat may make you feel good using a natural material but does it mean it is good for the environment?

Do you get the idea of being ruled by “rules” or governed by the “spirit” of being environmentally friendly.

Also consider the trend to grow corn and soybeans for fuel. Growing more requires more tonnage of petro-chemical derived chemical fertilizer/pesticides. Fuel efficiency is less than the old alternative and oil is still consumed to produce the “natural” byproduct used in fuel. I lived in Iowa and still did not use this fuel for my car! It has a lower BTU value so you get less miles per gallon. Am I belaboring the point? Probably but please read on.

It matters also the company you keep and support when considering being “green”. This is why I have chosen to represent the Richard James Specialty Chemicals Corp. and the products they produce for stone, tile, concrete, and a host of other substrates. I hope you will agree with me that they have some of the finest products anywhere in the world. Let me explain why I say so in regards to environmental issues.

The term environmentally friendly is a widely used and poorly defined cliché’. RJSC cleansers & sealers and finishes have all three elements to qualify as “environmentally friendly”…..absence of toxic compounds: short bio degredation time: and “rinse-ability free”

All these advantages come with when you choose their StoneClean™ Concentrate line of cleansers for all your regular cleaning.

First is the absence of toxic compounds in RJSC products.  Surprisingly many cleansers make you believe they are eco-safe by using the grapefruit extracted concentrate d-limonene [orange or lemon smell] that is actually quite toxic. It is first cousin to kerosene and is not biologically friendly at all. Its bio-half life is very long and it is amazingly toxic compared to many other cleaning agents. It gets good press value since it is extracted from grapefruit rinds. Look at some of the labels and warning about “orange” type cleansers- “If skin contact rinse with water for 15 minutes” sounds like a dangerous product to me!

Secondly, RJSC cleansers have short bio degradation time AND [very important] none of the degradation products are themselves toxic. RJSC’s StoneClean“104”, for instance, may have the shortest degradation time of any heavy duty degreaser. The chemistries of industrial cleansers are typically VERY high impact. StoneClean “104” is not only fast in environmental breakdown, it is also truly neutral pH and low toxicity, while at the same time unusually effective in capturing oils/grime and transferring it to the  mop head to be rinse away in a bucket. One client asked me if “104” had polishing agents for their polished granite floor. He said the shine “popped up right away after the first use of  the product”. I then told him that now he was seeing the granite without the soap scum haze that has been left behind by inexpensive cleansers that use either sodium or potassium phosphates!

Another earth friendly spirited way it is crafted is the fact that is a salt free cleanser! Excess salts in our waterways are creating havoc with water treatment centers. ( typical water softeners that use salt should be outlawed!- for a whole house water filtration that does not use salt please ask me!!) This means that being green “spirited” also means to consider whether a product is “drain friendly”! Look at the label of ingredients and if sodium or potassium are in the names of the cleaning agents then are you really green in spirit or intent?

Third, and importantly, is the “free rinse-ability” of RJSC products.  If a product leaves a scum on the floor it will also leave a scum on the environment it contacts.  Many cleaners require multiple rinses whereas RJSC cleansers float free with the first rinse. (this also saves in labor time as well)

Soy derived cleansers leave behind residues that by definition provide food for fungal growth. This starts another important point to cover: the control of mold and mildew environmentally! Lawsuits and litigation experts agree that this is a “cash cow” of legal proportions. Problematic,is that often solutions to cleaning mold are also toxic in themselves, and that by definition add to the overall “problem” of mold concerns. A mouthful of words to say, “let us look at a different way to control mold.” – Chlorine bleach has a VERY short lived anti-mold activity. The dirty environmental fact is that chlorides and chlorine derivatives react “downstream” with organics in the water to produce carcinogens. This is why straight bleach is no longer used in many drinking water systems. –

Safely removing mold without resorting to using any type of chloride chemical is key to protecting the environment of the drain and waterways. StoneClean™ Plus is an excellent product for the specific purpose of making surfaces resistant to discoloration, odor and degradation by microbial and fungal contamination. Itbreaks down the chitin shell of the fungal growth makes it a much safer way to remove mold/fungal growths. It also contains Vantocil IB for an FDA approved antimicrobial for food service use. Many are fooled into believing that for such a nasty job you need nasty strong chemistry. Looking at the labels of such strong chemicals proves they are not good for the environment and also the end user. One such label says to avoid any skin contact and to flush your skin for 30 minutes if it comes in contact with your skin! A friend of mine uses such a cleanser in his cleaning and mold remediation service. Look at the kinds of bathroom cleaners used for the hotel guest room floors and showers.


RJSC designs their sealers and cleansers with the specific thought of bio-half life and toxicology of all inclusions. Biodegradability of surfactants and de-foaming additives is a concern as these are usually not regulated except in the case of fluorocarbons and heavy metals. A farmer friend of mine thinks that some agricultural chemical surfactants never really break down environmentally.

I think you will actually be shocked to find out how the combination of right chemistry and environmental safety can outperform ones that claim “Rules Green” / certified! Safely cleaning floor grouting without resorting to acids or strong pH cleansers is another way to test how well they clean! They are all safe for delicate substrates like polished marble as well.

The next area of concern being dealt with in the article is the chemistry of sealers/ finishes. Solvent borne coatings have been around for over a hundred years. Only recently did science come up with acrylic and polyurethane resins that were solvated in various hydrocarbon solvents to produce widely used coatings that are still applied today (albeit illegally in many states).

As air quality concerns elevated to new awareness in the 70’and 80’s, there was an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the vapors, inherent toxicity and flammability of solvent coatings. The letters “VOC” became a more recognizable standard to judge whether a coating was toxic and to which degree. VOC then became the newest regulatory datum.

RJSC was the FIRST manufacturer (1992) in floor coatings/treatments to open its business exclusively with waterborne coating and sealers. Since that year they have developed a host of other products for virtually every kind of flooring/ substrate! They have a menu of at least 9 industry standards to measure their coatings. They consistently meet or beat solvent systems in virtually every performance dimension!! This is especially true for abrasion resistance, flexibility, tensile strength and of course flammability.

Among the first products introduced by RJSC in the early 90’s was StoneLok™ “MLT Plus”. The first big application was in 1993 at Penn Station in NYC (with traffic of 500,000 people a day). It was selected because it was the only product MTA management could find that met their stringent air quality tests. It saved them several hundred thousand dollars that would have been spent venting the fumes from this 24- hr/day facility.

The flamed granite is still easily cleanable to this day. StoneLok™ sealers are now specified for installations from museums, hotels, retail spaces, and finer homes.

The real spirit of “Green” is much more complex than the current idol of VOC, or volatile organic content. Most resin systems other than 100% epoxy need some solvents to gain required performance. Most state VOC requirements are generally in the low 200 g/liter level but there are several areas where 100 is the max and we can only see this trend being amplified lower.

Low Impact Green in Spirit (Low Environmental Impact) must therefore consider appropriate VOC for air quality, PLUS low bio-toxcity, low contact irritation and fast bio-degradation.

Small amounts of solvents are found in almost all sealers including waterborne products. Many pose no air quality threat and are low in toxicity. Some solvents are higher in impact. Ethyl-group glycol ethers (butoxy ethanol) are used in waterborne coating, and “EB” was the solvent in original Windex and 409. This chemistry is metabolized in the body with some by-product liver retention.

RJSC uses Glycol Ether Acetate that has a safety rating of “1” (safe) without DOT toxic shipping. Glycol Ether Acetate is generally metabolized and passed thru the body with no retention.

It is interesting to note that they supplied product for a job at The National Bureau of Technology and Standard (nuclear lab). They had to demonstrate the uniquely “safe” catalyst chemistry. The officer was totally unconcerned with the Glycol Ether Acetate. The product was also cleared for use by an equally stringent safety officer for a major airplane manufacturer.

RJSC has not undertaken the time and expense to gain “Green Rules” for their sealers since when the coating system is cured, it is chemically inert and therefore does not emit, exchange or degrade into biologically hostile chemistries. Also, unlike high- and petroleum- solvent sealers that emit “volatiles” for months, RJSC sealers emit the low-level biologically acceptable propisols only until full cure (usually four days).

As chemically inert system, they do not provide nutritional basis for microbial growth, and with its overall chemical resistance, it can be cleaned with a variety of microbial cleansers!

This sort evaluation of being “Green Spirited” as opposed to being “Green Rules” shows that it is what a company does, not what it says, and pays to have advertised that matters most!

RJSC rarely advertises and for that reason sometimes my site gets lost in the shuffle of big business contracts and deals. It is the hotel GM, building manager, janitorial supervisor/owner that truly wants to be “Green Spirited” that will sort thru all the hype, read the documentation and choose the best overall products for their facility. I hope you will contact me for further direction into how this special, low key company, can help you also to become not only green compliant, but go further and become green spirited in nature of your business or home!

Stan Zimmer

Preventing Floor Failures: Surface Maintenance- Surface Protection

Preventing Floor Failures: Surface Maintenance- Surface Protection

Many companies are making a living by diagnosing and making determinations as to why a floor is experiencing failure. Legal protection and burden of proof makes determining why a floor has failed big business!

With increasing sophisticated methods and tools now available for recognizing and addressing vapor emissions and moisture problems, there is and ever-growing awareness of these “down-up” problems in the construction and related industries. The result is that owners and contractors increasingly assume that these “must” be the cause of tile, stone, and VCT floor failures.

There are other widespread causes of hard surface failures that are little understood , therefore often overlooked. these are the “up-down” problems that are fortunately quite easy and relatively inexpensive to solve by proper protection of the surface at the time of installation, and proper maintenance on an on going basis.

Addressing the “up-down” problems at any time in the life of a floor can often also prevent premature floor failures.

Consider: Any seamed, grouted or damaged floor is subject to various types of contamination seeping seeping through junctures to the base substrate. Soap and detergent cleaning agents, oils, salts and acids can all create conditions for lifting and buckling of hard-surface floors.

Many common cleaners use a variety of inexpensive compounds that make the cleaners appear to be highly effective but these compounds can cause severe damage to the flooring adhesive or to the bse substrate when they seep into junctures. This is especially true for the new low-VOC trowel adhesives that all become brittle and easily broken down by these chemistries.

  • Popular citrus-based cleaners contain a product called  d-limonene, a petroleum related product chemically that over time will break down adhesives and concrete. (Just soak either in this solution and it will eventually turn to mush)
  • Acidic cleaners that flow down through junctures will slowly create an environment that when re-wetted can cause concrete and all cementitious products to powder. This powder layer will eventually “lift” as it becomes less and less homogenous to the substrate.
  • High pH strippers (especially those with high amounts of potassium or sodium phosphates) and / or dirty water that seeps in an remains trapped under the flooring (and especially spaces between the rubber backing of small bathroom tiles) are idea sites for mold growth from these contaminates. As mold takes hold and begins to grow, it takes up increasing amounts of space, and starts the process of delamination. While many anti-microbial products are helpful, all have a short effective life, and any interruption in treatment will allow mold growth to re-start.

Preventing penetration of adverse chemistries into junctures along with the use of non-damaging advanced technology cleaners and strippers can prevent failure of new installations and stop deterioration of existing installations.

The first task is to seal seamed, grouted and damaged floors such that future contamination will not occur and the floor is given a durable overlay that can be cleaned and refreshed over time.

The second task is to use cleaners and strippers that actually “float” contamination “up” and “out” rather than just break it down and ultimately make it easier to penetrate damaged junctures of the flooring. The cleaners must also not contain harmful chemistries that can damage the flooring  and that leave residues that can react out later when re-wetted. No soapy residues left behind will mean no dangerous slippery floor when cleaning or after cleaning. The added benefit would be that they are effective highly diluted and deliver a pristine floor.

Polished marble is a good example of a floor needing gentle chemistry so as not to dehydrate the stone and cause deterioration. One client of mine was concerned about that and I told him to use StoneClean & Strip™ in lukewarm water highly diluted. He said that the daily cleaner StoneClean™ 60 was slowly cleaning the grout every time he cleaned the floor! (please read more about StoneClean™ Concentrates on my site)

Please contact me if you have any questions. For complete information about the specialty sealers and grout sealer please visit

Please read this special report: Covid-19 Updates and Immune Health Notes

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StoneClean™ & Strip: Excellent Deep Cleaning Action that is Safe Even for Polished Marble!

StoneClean & Strip

Excellent Deep Cleaning Action that is Safe Even for Polished Marble!


Give  StoneClean™ & Strip a Try:


What makes tile and stone floors (and grout) so hard to clean? 


There are Several Reasons:


  • Using daily cleansers that can’t float the dirt/grime out of the more porous grout & tile and stone surfaces
  • using cleansers that contain detergents that resettle in lower grout joints and deposit some of the dirt with each cleaning the resulting “soap scum” created by cleansers containing Potassium or Sodium Salts. These environmentally unsound cleansers can create more problems than they solve.
  • Periodic waxing and build-up of wax residues in the grouting-typical waxes tend to trap and weld in dirt so the build-up only makes the problem worse
  • the past use of “grout sealers” that contain silicone – silicone based sealers can actually trap and weld in dirt/grease into silicone that are “free”(not bound to the grouting) Also some contain additives that over time whiten or create a haze that is difficult to remove
  • not using the proper equipment to clean with that can agitate into the joints
  • the past use of acidic grout cleaners that make the grouting more porous and easier to re-soil (acids don’t clean they etch).
  • What is needed then is proper / right cleaning chemistry to help both deep clean and to maintain the tile and stone & grouting.



Ideal for initial deep cleaning of stone, tile, grout, & concrete! WHY?


StoneClean™ & Strip contains a wide spectrum of surfactants that are geared for the widest range of contamination. How can it clean so well without harsh chemicals or without being acidic or high on the pH scale?

StoneClean™ & Strip uses a sophisticated formulation that is comprised of chemicals which create a three step cleaning process to “bite” the contamination and carry it off the surface

  • Two of the formulation chemicals, brought down to the surface of the stone/tile through the water solution by a “heavy” molecule ingredient, provides “bite” on oil based substances. (breaking surface tension with the heavy ingredient is key to letting the ingredients do their job)
  • The blend of surfactants takes the oils plus a total spectrum of contamination & brings them into solution with the water.
  • The surfactant-bound particles then tie in a packet or “micelle” with the ingredient added that then floats them away from the substrate. An additional chemical serves to keep the bound particles in solution so that they can be mopped away!

The exacting way in which these ingredients are blended together allows them to do the work in this three in one step cleaning action!!


The StoneClean™ & Strip Difference: No Residues

StoneClean Concentrates are crafted in an exacting way to avoid the common “pitfalls” of basic cleaning chemistry. They are able to accomplish a wide variety of cleaning tasks SAFELY without using caustic chemistry and without leaving cleaning RESIDUES.

StoneClean™ & Strip (pH of approx. 10) often removes coatings that high pH strippers can’t. Some strippers have a pH of 11 (1,000 times more alkaline) or higher.

The higher the alkalinity, the more care is needed to prevent damage to the surfaces! (Use of pH 11 or higher on polished marble is not recommended!)



Liquids have a property called surface tension. A thin razor blade floats in water because of high surface tension. Add a few drops of soap to the water and the razor blades instantly sinks to the bottom.

High surface tension inhibits the cleaning process. Reducing the surface tension increases the cleaning effectiveness. Surfactants (surface active agents) reduce surface tension. They make water “wetter.” Surfactants perform other tasks. They loosen and emulsify (dissolve into water) and suspend dirt and oils in solution to be rinsed away.

Surfactants are classified by their ionic (electrical charge) properties in water: anionic (negative charge), nonionic (no charge), cationic (positive charge) and amphoteric (either positive or negative charge). Most soaps are anionic.


StoneClean Concentrates are nonionic!. Proper / right cleaning chemistry will help to both deep clean and to maintain the tile and stone & grouting.

After Care with StoneClean™ “60” will prevent the floor from being heavily soiled again.

Please give StoneClean™ & Strip a try!


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Stone and Tile’s Best Friend StoneClean Concentrates!

 Stone & Tile Cleaning Best Friend – StoneClean Concentrates!

My web site is secure thru PayPal. Google wants money to remove that notice and my web designer assures me it is secure. If any questions please feel free to call me to place your order direct. I am not alway in the office but leave a message and I can call you back as soon as I can. 503-362-5651 thanks Stan Zimmer

Ordering is also  available by phone, as well as online thru this web site.  Call 503-362-5651 or email me at 

Please give me your name and phone number so I can either call or email you back to get your credit card numbers. I am the only one who will contact you and get your numbers over a land line and thru a private / secure internet connection to complete the transaction. I use PayPal on my online ordering and it also is secure! 


Marble Institute of America stresses using cleansers that are pH compatible for carbonate stones of marble, limestone, and travertine. Yet pH has nothing to do with ability to clean and does not mean it is still safe for those type of stone.  Cleaning safely does not mean it is best at preserving the integrity of the stone! I once used a daily stone soap from Germany that had no cleaning ability what so ever!

The same is true for ceramic and porcelain tiles. Unlike carbonate stones these tiles can withstand a wide range of cleaning pH’s even into acidic ranges. Therefore the range of cleaning product seems endless.

To have a set of cleansers from the same company that can not only safely clean both types of flooring but also deep clean effectively seems doubtful at best. Not so with stone Clean Concentrates from the Richard James Specialty Chemicals Company.
This little known company has what I strongly feel are the best all around cleaning chemistry on the market today. Add to this is that they are environmentally safe and sound with no environmental breakdown residues.

Consider two real life, real comments that have been told me about these cleansers.

StoneClean Concentrates

1. Tile Council of America past president Bob Daniels once told me one important statement. Their new offices were being built at Clemson University in South Carolina. They had a problem- the new tile flooring had a residue on it that made the tiles look hazy and not clean looking. I sent him a quart of StoneClean 104. A week later he called me in my home town of Sac City, Iowa. The first words that I heard were not clean words to be repeated! I thought  what went wrong? Nothing. ” I gave the night cleaning crew your cleanser and this morning I could not believe my eyes how clean the floors not look, no residues!” Wow I thought now my sales will skyrocket the president of the Tile Council of America gave me a huge endorsement! But to my naive business sense he never told anyone who would later call me. He was looking for advertising dollars from me that I did not have. My free sample had cleaned where other products had failed! Yet, gave me nothing in return. I felt defeated.

2. The original inventor of the first hard surface truck mount tile cleaning system used StoneClean products on a large bank building in Phoenix , Az. He had been using his tool to do sample cleaning to show off his new invention. He told me that he could not promote my products. Why? His comment rocked me – “If ones used your cleaners they would not need my machine” The StoneClean Conc. product had floated the dirty out of the tile and grouting by just using a light scrub and mop and bucket. It was StoneClean “104”!

These two examples show what obstacles even great product can have being marketed. Sad to say my lack of marketing skills has not helped either nor the lack of advertising from the company itself.

Please give these products a try. I have had loyal customers now for over 20 years now. Let me add your name to my satisfied list of users.


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