Marble polishing is one aspect that has been plagued with several misconceptions in Singapore. These myths have never been rectified by marble merchants or persons running marble cleaning services because they either neglect them or they themselves are ignorant about such misconceptions. There is no dearth of marble dealers in Singapore who have been following these myths in their marble polishing and cleaning processes. It is no surprise that professionals who install this stone in people’s houses do not know any better about its maintenance.
It is primarily because of these myths that many house owners come across unexpected problems with their already polished stones and find them dirty. When they come across such a problem, they resort to more polishing to get rid of appearance related issues resulting in greater harm to the stone. Any house wife you come across who has marble laid in her house will tell you her experience with some household item or an over the counter chemical that she used to polish off the stone in her house. These advices are what you need to guard against the most.
Here are 7 common marble polishing myths that have been found prevalent in Singapore:
1. Cleaning with a tough cleaner prior to polishing.
A lot of people believe that older the stain harder the chemical required to remove it. In the bargain they use Ammonia, Vinegar, bleach and even steel wool to clean the marble. Another popular but damaging choice of cleaners is all purpose spray cleaners that contain harsh alkalis or petroleum based products. While these chemicals may remove the stain from the marble, they also take away the sheen of the stone.
2. Using polishing products that hide dullness
There are several polishing solutions such as urethanes, waxes, polymer containing sealers etc. that do nothing but hide the blemishes and dullness of the stone. They also give marble a very artificial look that defeats the entire purpose of the house owner getting natural stone installed in the house. Such coatings being weak and soft, scratch off, flake, peel or crack with time and demand even more maintenance.
3. Using tile and grout cleaner
Another wrong cleaner that most marble owners apply on their stone is a tile and grout cleaner. Such cleaners are meant for cleaning porcelain or ceramic tiles and the grout between them and certainly not marble. While they are made to be alkaline in nature, you will come across several of them in Singapore that are very acidic also and are corrosive on marble in either case.
4. Polishing is ineffective because marble is not sealed
Another common misconception is that unless the marble is sealed, polishing it would not yield much result. While it is true that sealing avoids staining on the stone, sealing is not always required. Sealing is required only on porous marble surfaces which can be tested by letting a handful of water stand on it and wiping it after 10 minutes. If you see a stain left behind then your stone is porous and needs sealing to augment polishing otherwise not.
5. Polishing is not needed as the stone was installed only 2 years ago and it’s new.
Natural stones such as limestone and marble are very quick to react to acids, alcohol or ammonia. Therefore should it so happen that you spill juice over your marble only an hour after its installation, you need to get it re-honed or re-polished. More maintenance is required for softer stones and marbles used in buildings need monthly, quarterly and annual maintenance. Households may resort to refinishing after two to four years depending upon the way marble is treated in the house.
6. All types of marbles require polishing at equal intervals
This is absolutely not true. Different types of marbles have different resistance to wear and maintenance schedules vary accordingly. Cultured marble is stronger than natural marble and requires polishing at a greater interval than natural marble. Also, the products that can bring about the desired results from polishing vary with each type of marble.
7. Polishing marble will keep it looking new forever.
To be honest, this is one myth that several dishonest cleaning services in Singapore have propagated. While there is no denial that polishing is an important activity to make your marble appear new and attractive, there is no polishing agent ever made that can restore the youth of marble forever.