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Tips on Cleaning Different Materials in the Kitchen - 2

This page has been requested by customers, asking how to clean different materials. This is Dream Kitchens
guide to useful tips, some of which have been supplied by manufacturers and others by customers.

Although these tips have been tried and tested, we would like to point out that they should be carried out with
caution and used at your own risk, we are not liable for any claims, or damage, arising from using the remedies.

Please check with your kitchen supplier/manufacturer first, guarantees can be invalidated if the correct advice isn′t taken.
It is always safest to take any manufacturers advice foremost.

Before trying out any of the remedies, experiment on an area hidden away, not on direct view, first.

If you feel that you have a good tried and tested tip to offer others and would like to contribute to this page,
please send your tip to us via our  contact page and we will endeavor to include it at a later date.


 Cleaning Granite - continued:

Although one of the least absorbent stones, Granite can be stained by grease, wine, coffee, nicotine, fruit juices, even gin and champagne! Any spillage must be removed immediately from a granite worktop, delay could cause permanent damage.

Hot pans, should only be placed directly on a granite worktop for short periods (a trivet is safer).
Blot up spills immediately, before they penetrate the surface.
Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that could etch or dull the stone surface.

How to test the fluid absorbency of your granite: Lemon
The density and porosity of granite varies as to the colour chosen, some colours are tougher than others.
Take a piece of the scrap granite you want to test and spill a few drops of lemon juice onto it. If you see that under the drops of lemon it very quickly develops dark spots, it means that it′s a very absorbent stone. If it takes a minute or so to be absorbed, then you′re dealing with a degree of absorbency that′s easily manegeable with the application of a good-quality sealer (all our granite worktops are treated with "Lithofin" sealer from the factory). If it doesn′t absorb at all, then you have the least absorbant (toughest) of all granite worktops.

Removal of Marks and Stains:
If you are reading this because you are thinking of purchasing a granite worktop, please don′t be put off by the following tips on stain removal. If your worktop is looked after as advised above, there is no cause for alarm. It is rare for granite to be damaged and after the many hundreds of installations we have carried out the amount of problem stains reported can be counted on one hand. However if you were to mark it, removing stains can be difficult but not immpossible. Most granite owners show off their worktops with pride, looking as the day it was bought for many years after.

This next section is for anyone unlucky enough to have a rare accident involving a spillage,
the damage is normally due to fluids having been left for a long period unattended.

All stones are, more or less, absorbent. We know that diamonds, or any other gemstones are not absorbent, but a gemstone is not actually a stone: it′s in fact made of one crystal of one single mineral. All other stones are the composition of many crystals, either of the same mineral, or of different minerals bonded together. The "space" in between these molecules of minerals, determines the porosity of a stone. The stones porosity varies greatly, and so does, their absorbency. Some stones are extremely dense; therefore their porosity is low and can can be considered almost irrelevant. Some other stones present a medium porosity, and some others are extremely porous. Because of their inherent porosity, many a stone will absorb liquids, and if such liquids are staining agents, a true stain will occur.

StainA natural "stain" is something else that has nothing to do with the absorbency of the stone: It has instead to do with its natural chemical makeup. It is still a discoloration, but it′s actually a natural cosmetic damage to the stone, caused, when it was formed millions of years ago.

Sometimes it can be confusing to tell the difference between a natural "stain" and a man-made stain. All those stains that look like water spots, or water rings, are actually marks of corrosion created by some chemically active liquid which has been left on the worksurface but not cleaned up, mostly limited to acids, which have had a chance, to come in contact with a stone that is sensitive to chemicals. All Calcite-based stones such as marble, limestone, etc. are sensitive to acids; therefore they will stain easily. Slate, too, will stain, and so will a few granites that, aren′t 100% silicate rock, but are mixed with a small percentage of calcite.

Before you can choose any chemicals for stain removal, you need to identify as to what caused it, before trying to remove the discoloration.

There are five major classifications of stains:

Organic stains - includes wine, coffee, tea, nicotine, fruit juices, coloring agents of Cola and other drinks, gravy, mustard, etc.

Inorganic stains - includes ink, color dies, dirt - water spilling over from the plant pot, etc.

Oily stains - includes any type of vegetable oil, certain mineral oils - motor oil, butter, margarine, lard,etc.

Biological stains - includes mildew, mould, etc.

Metal stains - includes rust, copper, etc.

Please read this - before carrying out any of the following remedies.

It is always advisable to contact your stone supplier before undertaking any DIY work.
Guarantees can be invalidated if the correct advice isn′t taken as recommended.

Although these tips have been tried and tested, due to the many different factors that make the stain and the different absorbency rates of different stones, they may not work for everyone. Sometimes a blemish can be removed fairly easily, other times it has to be repeated several times. Any information given is as accurate as possible, but is to be taken only as one possible option for stain removal.

We would like to point out that these tips should be carried out with caution and used at your own risk, we are not liable for any claims, or damage, arising from using the remedies, it is your choice whether to use them.

If you still decide to go ahead, please use extra caution when handling all chemicals listed here, remember to
wear safety goggles and rubber gloves. Please thoroughly read Material Safety Data Sheets for each chemical before use.

For extremely stubborn stains, where conventional cleaners and all else has failed, you can try the following:

    Organic and Inorganic stains - the chemical of choice (for both) is Hydrogen Peroxide (30/40 volumes - which is available at your local beauty shop or hairdressers. Sometimes, in the case of ink, Denatured Alcohol (rubbing alcohol) may turn out to be more effective.

    Oily stains - use Acetone, although under Health & Safety this can be difficult to find, this can sometimes be found at the hardware or DIY paint store. Don′t use any nail polish remover: some of them contain other chemicals and can make stains worse.

    Biological stains - you can try using regular household bleach.

    Metal stains, Iron (rust) - Poultice with Oxalic Acid + Powder + Water.Hydrogen-Peroxide

    Ink - Poultice with Mineral Spirits or Methylene Chloride + Powder.

    Oil - Poultice with Ammonia+ Powder Methylene Chloride can also be used on tough oil stains.

    Coffee, Tea & Food - Poultice with 20 percent Hydrogen Peroxide + Powder.

    Copper - Poultice with Ammonium Chloride + Powder

    Paint (water-based) - poultice with a commercial paint remover + Powder

    Paint (oil) - Poultice with Mineral Spirits + Powder. Deep stains may require Methylene Chloride.

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