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Recommended Products for Limestone Floors

If you are struggling to get back to clean, it is possible what looks like dirt may be damage and may require some special attention.

So, lets check to determine whether you have an issue that will require special attention before ANY cleaner will be able to restore a “clean” appearance. Rest assured we have answers and can get you back to “cleanable.”

If you see any of these situations give MARBLELIFE® a call and
we will guide you back to a “cleanable” surface.



In order to restore a CLEAN appearance to your Limestone on must first ascertain whether there are any special situations requiring a specialty cleaner or service solution that is preventing you from achieving CLEAN. No cleaner can deliver clean if the surface is blocked or damaged.

Check to see if you are experiencing any of these situations. If so, good news there is a solution such that once addressed, you will once again have a CLEANABLE surface. We will look at SPECIAL SITUATIONS that can be addressed with a product first and then those that require a service visit.



SPECIAL PRODUCT NEEDED

Tile Floor
Before and After
Maxout

Stain Grout

Stained and dirty grout is a common problem. Virtually every grouted floor will eventually run into this problem, until they have been MARBLELIFE Colorsealed. This is characterized by a darkening of grout lines in high traffic areas, and can be observed as a difference between grout along walls, baseboards and walls versus high traffic floor areas. Good News - there is a specialty product solution that can take care of this for you.

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Stain Grout
Grout is naturally porous, unless it has been properly sealed. This assumes the installer can tell whether they have applied enough material to fill the open pore, or just to get the surface wet.

Once sealed, one must be careful not to introduce acidic cleaners which are capable or reversing the seal chemistry and allowing the seal to be washed away with each cleaning.

As a result, most grout seals have or will fail. Once can either re-seal or shift to a non-acid sensitive solution such as MARBLELIFE-Colorseal.
Once stained, grout needs to be cleaned to remove embedded dirt and oils. However, cleaning a stained grout line is like trying to clean the bottom of a test-tube with a sponge, it is very difficult to get into those tight spaces. As such, one needs to powerwash or introduce a surfactant based cleaner to reduce water tension to allow the cleaner to penetrate and float out dirt and oils.

Once removed the grout may be clean, but is still open. As such one must re-seal in some fashion to prevent a re-occurrence. Today, powerwashing grout is a good repeat maintenance business but does the customer a dis-service as it fails to remedy the root cause – unsealed grout.
MARBLELIFE COLORSEAL was developed to enable our craftsman to apply a solution that would halt this problem once and for all. Engineered to be impervious to acids, even if one were to continue to introduce an acid cleaner after sealing with MARBLELIFE COLORSEAL the product would remain intact preventing dirt from penetrating the grout surface.

MARBLELIFE then went a step further enabling the product to be colored to match the existing grout color OR to a preferred new color. (Yes, we can change white to black and black to white or any other color you may desire). This allows the installer to ensure that all grout surfaces have been fully sealed, as the color will shadow in areas of high porosity enabling our installers to ascertain which areas need additional material. When complete, a MARBLELIFE COLORSEAL floor will be better-than-new, with superior color uniformity, and an acid resistant seal that can stand-up to future cleaning – even it is with an acidic cleaner.
MARBLELIFE MAXOUT CLEANER – PRE-MARBLELIFE COLORSEAL SERVICE CLEANER

Is formulated reduce water’s natural water tension to enable it to more easily enter grout pores and float out the dirt and oils that have penetrated. So effective that one can see the cleaner turn dark as it pulls up oils and dirt. Once done one can actually see sand crystals in sanded grout glint back. This is an effective pre-treatment prior to applying MARBLELIFE COLORSEAL.


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MARBLELIFE TILE & GROUT CLEANER – EVERYDAY MAINTENANCE CLEANER

Once properly sealed any dirt or oil is forced to remain on the surface where it can easily be removed with MARBLELIFE TILE & GROUT CLEANER which is formulate to emulsify oils, greases, and fats that serve to help stick dirt to your floor and surfaces. This is a superior cleaner formulated to clean without acids and without depositing any oils or waxes which can result in grout damage and staining.

Once MARBLELIFE COLORSEALED your floor is not just CLEANABLE again, but easily cleaned with MARBLELIFE TILE & GROUT CLEANER.

For larger areas consider MARBLELIFE FLOOR CLEANER which comes in a concentrate gallon capable of making 32 gallons of cleaner.


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Shower
Before and After
Mold and Mildew Remover

Red or Black Mold & Mildew stains

Mold spores are ever present, however they need a damp and preferably dark area with access to organic material to settle and grow. The stain observed is not the fungi itself but its waste product, still can be difficult to remove. Good News - there is a specialty product solution that can take care of this for you.

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Red or Black Mold & Mildew stains
Mold spores are ever present, however they need a damp and preferably dark area with access to organic material to settle and grow. The stain observed is not the fungi itself but its waste product, still can be difficult to remove
Change the environment to improve drying or airflow can halt the re-appearance once cleaned and removed.
MARBLELIFE Mold & Mildew Cleaner is 6x stronger than the leading retail product. Designed to maximize speed and ease of removal. Formulated to be safe on marble as well as other building and boating materials.
Mold & Mildew Cleaner 2x (2x Retail Strength)

Power through mold and mildew stains to restore a blemish free surface without damaging tile, grout or grout seal.


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Mold & Mildew Cleaner 6x (Professional Strength)

Power up the effort with the strongest cleaner on the market. Dilute it back as a concentrate or use as is to power through mold and mildew. Excellent for use in showers, driveway and patios.


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Glass Shower Door
Before and After
Soap Scum Remover

White Soap Scum

The chemicals that hold your soap together also help it to stick to your shower and tub walls and floor. White and soft in color. VERY difficult to remove by hand. Good News - there is a specialty product solution that can take care of this for you.

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White Soap Scum
The chemicals that hold your soap together also help it to stick to your shower and tub walls and floor. White and soft in color. VERY difficult to remove by hand.
The easiest way to remove is with a mild abrasive, however this can result in damage to the underlying surface. As such, MARBLELIFE developed an abrasive designed to be harder than soap but softer than the surface we are cleaning so it crumbles on contact.
MARBLELIFE Soap Scum Remover is both the solution and the cleaner. Once free-of-soap maintain using the appropriate surface MARBLELIFE cleaner.
Soap & Scum Remover

If you have a soap dish, you likely have soap scum. Soap Scum Remover is engineered to cut through soap without damaging tile to rapidly remove soap scum problems and restore a soap free surface. Actually fun to use. You can feel and hear when you are once again soap-free.


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SPECIAL SERVICE REQUIRED TO RESTORE A “CLEANABLE” SURFACE


Floor
Before and After
Professional MARBLELIFE Service

White Dirt = Etches - White spots, rings spill marks

Generally when you see a white smudge, ring, spill mark, spot or dirt on marble, limestone, travertine, concrete or terrazzo it is either hard water or an etch. If it is smooth it is an etch. If it is crusty and above the surface it is hard water, but if it is crusty and below the surface it is a bad etch. These are very different issues, neither of which can be addressed with a cleaner, and both require professional service. No cleaner is going to restore a smooth, appropriate colored, mark-free surface – the GOOD NEWS is MARBLELIFE can restore your surface to like new

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White Dirt = Etches - White spots, rings spill marks
An acid has come in contact with your acid-sensitive hard surface and dissolved a mark into your surface. No cleaner can remove this mark. It must be professional corrected.

Marble, limestone, travertine, the marble chips in terrazzo are all made of Calcium Carbonate. Calcium Carbonate is acid sensitive. Acids will react with CaCO3 to form a salt and CO2, and that salt is water soluble, meaning that this by-product to acid attack is washed away by water or a cleaner.

Generally, acid is introduced in one of the following manners:
  1. Cleaning with vinegar
  2. Spritzing lemon or lime making a drink
  3. Cutting lemon, lime or tomatoes directly on this surface
  4. Spilling salad dressing or spaghetti sauce on this surface
  5. Spilling pickle juice on this surface
  6. Or CLEANING WITH A CLEANER THAT CONTAINS ACID/
  7. Mistaking an etch for a hard water deposit and using a hard water deposit remover (strong acidic) to remove it, making it substantially whiter (worse).
Etches can be corrected. This requires the damaged area to be re-honed smooth and then re-polished and re-sealed.

This is NOT something you want to do yourself, as additional damage can be done during the honing and during the polishing stage if not done correctly, if one does not understand that processes and the reason they are being used.

If you have ever cleaned this surface, only to see the marks come back later, this is another symptom of an etch. This is the result of the fact that etch is no a low spot in your surface that collects and pools cleaner. When the surface begins to evaporate the shallower depth of cleaner on the unmarred surface evaporates away before the deeper portion filling in your etch. Light can bounce true off the surface of the liquid in the etch giving it the appearance of having disappeared, but once the evaporation process is complete the etch returns as the light can no long bounce true.
The good news is that etch damage can be 100% repaired. The surface needs to be re-leveled and then re-polished to restore a surface that is so smooth that light can bounce off it true (to restore your gloss appearance), and the white salts and crushed stone has been removed.

You will need a professional craftsman to restore this damage. CALL MARBLELIFE, to discuss your situation, secure an estimate, restore your finish, and learn how to avoid and care for this surface without creating additional damage/

Products
No cleaner will resolve this problem, BUT once restored you will want to be sure to utilize a product that contains no waxes, oils or acids, else you will risk re-creating the problem.

MARBLELIFE’s cleaners are formulated with our restoration root cause knowledge in mind. MARBLELIFE MARBLE & TRAVERTINE cleaner will provide an exceptional acid-free cleaner capable of quickly providing a clean, streak-free, oil-grease and fat-free surface.

Tile Floor
Before and After
Professional MARBLELIFE Service

Dull spots (vinegar)

Do you clean with Vinegar? This this one is for you. Vinegar has many benefits – but cleaning is really not one of them. The downsides created with cleaning with an acid accumulate with time to generate an expensive restoration bill. Its recommendation, is based on inappropriate wives tales.

Marble, limestone, Travertine, Terrazzo and concrete are all acid sensitive. Vinegar is acidic. If you are cleaning your floor with vinegar, you WILL see a loss in shine that accumulates over time as you slowly move from a gloss finish to a matte finish, You will also see a generally lightening of the tile color, while grout lines begin to darken particularly in high traffic areas. The grout color change can be offset if you original color was dark gray or black which will begin to soften and lose their color depth.

GOOD NEWS! We can restore your surface to its original appearance, and provide you an appropriate non-damaging replacement for your vinegar cleaner.

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Dull spots (vinegar)
TILE – Marble, limestone, terrazzo and concrete will all react to vinegar poorly. Ceramic and Porcelain are acid-resistance and will not be damaged in this way BUT their grout is not so fortunate (See the section on grout staining below)

Vinegar will react with CaCO3 in these products to form a water dissolve-able salt, which is then washed away by the water in your cleaner. This creates micro-pits in your smooth tile surface, in effect roughening the surface and reducing its ability to bounce life true. These micro-pits appear lighter as a result of residual salt dust which is generally white in color providing the appearance of a lighter floor that is often confused with “cleaning” effect.

GROUT – Grout includes dyes that can be removed with acid. Grout is also generally sealed with a penetrating sealer. These sealers are acid sensitive, such that they can be forced back to their unreacted raw materials and then washed away over time by the water in the cleaner. When this happens your grout’s pores are once again opened and capable of absorbing dirt and oils resulting in grout appearing stained as dirt enters and resides in these pores. The rate of damage is slow – and as such – it is often only after many applications does not realize there is a problem, but that problem will require a profession service to fix.
First – Stop cleaning with vinegar – it is creating the need for a restoration the cost of which will vary based on length of use and degree of accumulated damage.

Second – Shift to a surface-safe cleaner (see Products below) Third – Contact a professional stone or tile restoration company such as MARBLELIFE to discuss what may need to be done to reverse the damage and restore your beautiful cleanable surface.
GROUT – Grout will generally need to be colored, have the remnants of any seal removed, have a new acid-resistance colored seal installed to restore an unstained, color uniform, cleanable grout surface resistant to future damage (even if one cleans with vinegar again).

TILE – Marble, Limestone, Travertine, Concrete and Terrazzo tile surfaces will need to be re-polished to restore color and desired finish. This will require the assistance of a professional craftsman. DO NOT WAX – as this will provide a short-term solution, but long-term will create its own problems and increase the cost associated with resolving the damage.

MARBLELIFE can restore a CLEANABLE surface to you, and provide you guidance on the appropriate cleaners and cleaning strategies to avoid a repeat problem later.

Products
Once restored, clean with MARBLELIFE MARBLE & TRAVERTINE cleaner for marble, limestone and travertine.

Use ENDURA-CLEAN for Concrete and Terrazzo surfaces.

MARBLELIFE FLOOR CLEANER CONCENTRATE – Can be used for marble, limestone, travertine, concrete and terrazzo floors. This product is also suitable for ceramic and porcelain surfaces.

Formulated to be free of Wax, oils and acids to provide a exceptional cleaning, without damaging the cleanability of your surface.

IMAGES – Need image of a uniformly dull marble floor to gloss polish.

Granite Floor
Before and After
Professional MARBLELIFE Service

Dull spots (wear)

Lack of gloss or shine in the traffic areas where people normally walk. GOOD NEWS! We can restore a consistent new appearance to your tile.

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Dull spots (wear)
Overtime all hard surfaces wear with foot traffic. This generally takes the form of dull areas in the walk paths with micro-scratches and scratches. As this is damage to the surface, it can be cleaned but cannot be corrected with a cleaner. When sand, dirt or hair are trapped underfoot down pressure can be multiplied as it concentrates at this single point, versus being spread out across the full surface of your shoe enabling a person to scratch the surface of even the hardest floor surface material. Over time, with each foot step the entire surface can dull.
Wax may hide them, but in doing so this band-aid solution creates its own downstream problems. Being softer than the original surface it is easer to damage and tends to capture dirt.

What is needed is to grind the surface to remove the micro scratches and restore a smooth finish free of scratches and damage. A professional stone craftsman will be required to perform this operation. Once done the surface will once again be cleanable having been restored to like-new.
Contact MARBLELIFE to schedule a service to have your stone restored.
MARBLELIFE will hone the surface to remove damage, and then re-polish to restore color and desired gloss.

Floor
Before and After
Professional MARBLELIFE Service

Small white circular marks

White circular marks generally no larger than ½ an inch in diameter and more normally ¼ “ across.

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Small white circular marks
Localized crushing of stone crystals through the application of force by something of weight with a sharp focusing edge being dropped on the surface, or stiletto heels. This is different from wear marks where one has removed a part of the surface through abrasion with a material trapped underfoot creating a small scratch where material is missing. In this case, the stone has been locally crushed or pulverized through the application of blunt force.
Stun marks go down well below the surface and tend to broaden in width and lighten in color the deeper one grinds into the stone.

(for more understanding click here) - This makes stiletto heels more damaging than sneakers by the ratio of heel to heel. A 150 lb person with a small 8 in long shoe with an average cross-section of 4” would generate 150 lb / ((8/12) x (4/12)) = 150 / (32/12) = 56 psi, but if the stiletto heel has a cross section of 3/8” x 3/8” that pressure jumps to 1066 psi with each clicking step. That’s enough pressure to drive a piece of sand to create a small scratch in the surface, and on some softer marble stones to micro-crush the surface leaving an area of crushed stone in the surface.
As such these are neither CLEANABLE nor SERVICEABLE without replacing the tile. These are associated with the brittleness of the stone crystal in combination with the presence of someone wearing stiletto heals making this material a poor selection for the walk ways within the building.

Install a runner in the walkways to help absorb the impact or replace the stones in the walkway area with stones with a greater strength, such as granite.

Products
No cleaner will remove or resolve this problem, however poor cleaner selection in an effort to find a cleaner than solve this problem can result in the addition of waxes to the floor or the introduction of acids which would had insult to injury. As such, recognizing what is causing this problem, will enable you and your staff to establish a suitable management policy while refraining from adding to the problem through inappropriate cleaner use.

MARBLELIFE MARBLE & TRAVERTINE CLEANER or MARBLELIFE FLOOR CLEANER will both maintain your stone surface without contributing any additional problems.

Tile Floor
Before and After
Professional MARBLELIFE Service

Dull Spots Wax Build-Up

Dulling of countertop finish. This is generally uniform across the entire surface. Good News - This is addressable with a professional cleaning and a change in daily cleaner.

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Dull Spots Wax Build-Up
Countertop dull spots
Are generally caused by repeated use of wax containing or gloss enhancing cleaner. Over time wax build-up traps dirt, defracts light as it thickens to block the natural light reflection under the polished surface beneath it.
A professional will need to remove the wax and address any polishing needs your particular surface may need to restore a cleanable surface at which point a wax-free cleaner is recommended based on surface type MARBLELIFE offers cleaners for MARBLE & TRAVERTINE, GRANITE & QUARTZ, TILE & GROUT, WOOD and CONCRETE & TERRAZZO
Dirty Grout Stains

Dulling of countertop finish. This is generally uniform across the entire surface. Good News - This is addressable with a professional cleaning and a change in daily cleaner.

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Dirty Grout Stains
Stained dirty grout that may lighten but never seems to return to that consistent uniform clean appearance
Grout seals can be damaged by acidic cleaner or spills. Once removed the grout is very porous and will absorb dirt even as it is being cleaned.
This will require a professional as the surface will require a deep powerwash or steam cleaning to remove embedded dirt, followed by a fresh seal being applied to keep dirt on top where you can clean it. MARBLELIFE COLORSEAL can also restore a uniform clean grout appearance, while eliminating future acid sensitivity.

Water Fountain
Before and After
Professional MARBLELIFE Service

White Hard Water

White in color these are often shaped like water droplets on glass, however if allowed to go unaddressed will expand to form a crusty mass on the surface as seen in this example where the calcium has formed a blanket of white chalky build-up. Good news, this can be addressed.

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White Hard Water
White in color these are often shaped like water droplets on glass.
Created when “hard” calcium rich water is allowed to evaporate. These hard deposits require different treatments depending on the surface. Acids will dissolve them but will also dissolve marble, limestone and travertine making this an in appropriate removal process.
On Calcium based surfaces such as Marble, Limestone or Travertine – you will want a professional to remove without damaging the surface. On granite, metal or glass use lemon juice.

Shower Floor
Before and After
Professional MARBLELIFE Service

Red Rust

Red in color, deposited from iron rich water as it evaporates

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Red Rust
Red in color, deposited from iron rich water as it evaporates
Removed with acid, however acid will damage many underlying surfaces and grout, as such best addressed by a professional
If rust stains appear on marble, travertine or limestone call a professional as most solutions will do damage during the removal process which then need to be repolished or otherwise reversed to return a clean red-free surface.


MARBLELIFE Products are designed to accomplish a single mission for the simple reason that chemistry is not smart. You cannot combine a sealer and cleaner and expect the product to seal first and then clean, or clean first and then seal. As a result products that claim to clean-and-shine or clean-and-seal by definition will trap dirts and deposit build-up overtime, which means eventually you are going to need a service such as MARBLELIFE to professionally restore your surface. OR you can utilize mission based products designed to do one thing very well.


MARBLELIFE products therefore use no acids, no waxes or oil deposits.




Protect against staining stone

Once restored back to new we now have to take steps to prevent any new damage or staining with the following recommendations for your surface.

These elements need to be applied to protect surface from future damage



MARBLELIFE® Stone Sealer 16oz

Easy-to-Use Stone Sealer – Protect Against Staining


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Non-Damaging Cleaners

These products have been formulated to avoid damaging ingredients that can destroy or hide your CLEANABLE surface.



MARBLELIFE® Marble & Travertine InterCare Cleaner

Marble & Stone Safe Streak-free Ready -To-Use Cleaner


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MARBLELIFE® Tile & Grout Floor Cleaner

Marblelife Tile & Grout Cleaner – Countertop & Floor Cleaners
Cleans Beautifully While Saving You 80% Over Ready-To-Use


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