Frequently Asked Questions
Why is water NOT a good cleaner?
Dust and dirt cannot attach to your stone tile or counter without some form of wax or oil being present. Water does not mix well with oil or wax and as such is poor at removing it…until an proprietary blend of surfactants and emulsifiers are added designed to compatibilize, emulsify and lift away the oils. Water is a poor cleaner, whereas MARBLELIFE Cleaners are formulated to be exceptional cleaners.
Why is vinegar NOT a good cleaner, despite people claiming it to be a great green cleaner?
Marble and travertines are acid sensitive. You can literally place a lemon wedge on these stones and burn a perfect image of the wedge into the surface in a few minutes. Vinegar is also acidic, and so while it may have been used for centuries as a natural cleaner, it will damage your marble. This is first seen as the dulling or removal of shine, but what is happening is that you are dissolving micropits into the marble surface disrupting the reflection of light due to the new rougher surface. The application of vinegar to your marble and travertine, will result in the need for a marble polishing expert to visit to repolish the surface. In effect we have to lower the surface to the bottom of the micropits created. This can be an expensive process. This is a case, where being green or inexpensive can be very expensive and frustrating. Avoid the myths and keep vingar off your marble and travertine.
(Oh, and by the way, acidic cleaners also destroy the protective seals on your grout and your counters making them more susceptible to staining and difficult to clean).
Why shouldn’t I use a CLEAN-&-SHINE cleaner?
To create “shine” we have to create a smooth surface. The quality longterm way is to hone and polish a surface so flat that light can reflect off of it true – gloss. However the cheat, is to fill in the rough areas or low spots with oils or wax in order to form a smooth but soft surface to reflect light. This can work, but is not sustainable. Meaning oil evaporates, and waxes can be pushed around like bubble gum and need to be repolished frequently. The biggest issue is that these oils and waxes attract dirt, and trap dirt between themselves and the true surface making the surface dingy. It is not a question of “if” just how long it takes to build-up on the surface. Once done, you will need a MARBLELIFE professional to strip the surface clean, restore to a hard mirror quality and then introduce non-damaging cleaners to maintain that surface.
MARBLELIFE cleaners incorporate no waxes or oils so to maintain the natural beauty of your surface. If your surface isn’t looking its best call MARBLELIFE for a consultation on how we can restore your surfaces innate ability to “shine.”
Why shouldn’t I use a CLEAN-&-SEAL cleaner?
To seal a surface one needs to place a reactive product into the pores of the stone or surface and allow it to cure to create a solid barrier preventing dirt and oil from entering the pore. This makes cleaning easier as all dirt and oil remains on TOP of the surface where it is easier to clean, versus inside a pore where it is problematic to reach. An appropriate process for sealing requires the surface to be covered in sealer and for the sealer to be allowed to seep into the pores, after which the excess sealer on the surface is wiped away leaving only the materials plugging the open pores remaining.
However, when a clean-and-seal product is applied, it will indiscriminately seek to bond to the surface before cleaning. The cleaner is designed NOT to remove the sealer so it is allowed to settle across the surface. The hope is that in the act of cleaning one removed the excess sealer material, but how many people really wipe dry versus allow to airdry? The airdried area become caked in sealer making them dull and sticky. Better to separate the two functions into a Cleaner and then a Sealer.
We formulated MARBLELIFE MARBLE & TRAVERTINE CLEANER and MARBLELIFE STONE & GROUT SEALER for just these purposes. Clean the surface with our Cleaner. Then apply Sealer, allow to set for a few minutes, and the wipe away the excess. Simple but effective.
Why shouldn’t I use an ALL-PURPOSE-CLEANER or a GLASS-CLEANER on stone?
All purpose cleaners are formulated to clean glass. Glass cleaners generally include a microwax designed to settle into any microscrathes in the glass to restore or maintain a scratch free glass appearance. On stone however this wax settles out and builds up dulling your surface over time. If your stone surface is dull, it is more likely you have a wax buildup issue than it is that someone wore the surface by dancing on your counters for days on end.
Glass cleaners will dull your granite, marble and other counter surfaces.
Why do the spots on my marble keep coming back?
The disruption of clean, is assumed to be created by dirt. A white spot is assumed to be a deposit ON the counter surface, but if this was an acidic drip or spill it is more likely where the acid burned into the surface creating a pit that looks like a white mark.
No amount of cleaning will wipe away a hole in the surface BUT it will fill that divet with water-and-cleaner. That water-and-cleaner combination will have a flat light reflecting surface initially hiding the divet and the white color. When the water evaporates, however you can see the divet and color once again.
This will require a repair or repolish before you can clean without seeing them again.
Why cant I get this white ring, spot or spill mark clean?
It may look like a mark ON your surface, but in effect it is IN the surface. Said a better way you have suffered the spill or drip of an acidic material which has dissolved away your surface in the shape in which it came in contact.
Cleaning this will require a professional marble craftsman to repolish the surface to resmooth the surface, or said another way lower the surface to the bottom of the damage and restore a smooth light reflecting cleanable surface.
No amount of cleaning can remove a hole. Only a MARBLELIFE craftsman can remove a hole