Myths About Alcohol
Alcohol much like water does not itself clean very well. Alcohol helps to wet and loosen some materials, releasing it. However, due to the fact the alchohol quickly evaporates if it is allowed to dry it re-deposits this dissolved material on the surface. In fact, alcohol has the useful property that it can help accelerate the drying of a surface. When it comes to removing oils from the pores of natural stone or grout, alcohol is of no real benefit. While alcohol may kill the germs one leaves the carcus behind as the alcohol dries. Conversely, when formulated with water and the appropriate additives we can capture much of the positives and enhance the result. Properly formulated the alcohol will speed the evaporation and drying of a waterbased cleaner, making it faster drying. Additives break the water tension enabling the cleaner to better penetrate and flush pores. On its own it can kill bacteria, but makes for a losey cleaner, redepositing anything it has picked up as it quickly evaporates. As with anything balance is the key to optimizing performance.
Of course many of us are also thinking about the drinking kind of alcohol. If that is your poison, consider this, those juice mixers and lemon wedges introduce acids to the drink and often to the surface. Acids will dissolve CaCO3 (calcium carbonate), the same material in chalk, which under pressure gets transformed to marble and travertine. Those pesky white spots and drink rings are the result of these acids collecting under your glass and etching the stone surface.
So while alcohol can play a useful part in a cleaner, on its own it offers little benefit.
Rather, employing a product designed, refined, engineered and proven daily to collect and suspend oils for ease of removal, capable of breaking water tension to allow cleaner to enter and flush pores, and neutralize acids can do more with less effort.
Consider these images taken during a MARBLELIFE charity event cleaning headstones and memorials of some of our fallen warriors last Memorial Day. This memorial bench had collected dirt, debris, mold and mildew for years. Yet in 15 minutes with the right cleaner it looked beautiful again. It does take much, just the right tools to get make an enormous difference. Now your counters will never look this bad (we would hope) but if they should you’re ready with Marblelife cleaners.