Be gen­tle when clean­ing mar­ble floors

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - REENA NERBAS

QI have a prob­lem with stains on mar­ble floor­ing. Most stains are wa­ter and the tiles are also dulling with no shine. Is there a cure? Many thanks in ad­vance. Glenda (Niverville) AN­SWER — Re­gard­less of any­thing else you may have heard, don’t ever al­low your­self to be tempted into us­ing nor­mal house­hold cleansers on your mar­ble floor. Not even in a pinch. If vis­i­tors are com­ing just when you hap­pen to be out of mar­ble-and-stone cleaner, mop with warm, clean wa­ter only. Mar­ble is a soft ma­te­rial made from cal­cium car­bon­ate that is very sen­si­tive to any acid or high alkaline chem­i­cals. Do not use any tile clean­ers, vine­gar, am­mo­nia, al­co­hol (Win­dex), Ajax, etc. on your mar­ble floor. Use only liq­uid stone soap or neu­tral clean­ers that have pH 7.00 and were made specif­i­cally for clean­ing stone. In this way, you pro­long the stone life. Skilled nat­u­ral stone-floor ex­perts can turn your dull and stained mar­ble floor into a new one. Their work is very spe­cial­ized, and with the ex­plo­sion in stone-floor in­stal­la­tions that are be­ing done in new con­struc­tion, the num­ber of restora­tion con­trac­tors to choose from is grow­ing fast. You should be able to get sev­eral quotes and eval­u­a­tions. Keep a spray bot­tle of mar­ble­and-stone cleaner handy to clean spills and marks as they hap­pen. If you make a prac­tice of do­ing this, stains will be kept to a min­i­mum, and all you’ll need to do on floor­wash­ing days is pass a cot­ton mop damp­ened with warm wa­ter over the floor. With the stains and dull­ness you are en­coun­ter­ing, pour some of your mar­ble-and-stone cleaner from your spray bot­tle into the warm wash wa­ter and mop as usual. If you do not want to con­sult a pro­fes­sional, and you do not want to use com­mer­cial clean­ers, you can wipe the mar­ble with three per cent hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide and buff with a soft cloth. Some peo­ple ad­vise us­ing ace­tone on mar­ble, but this sounds too risky to me. An­other op­tion to give mar­ble a quick shine is to crush a child’s stick of com­mon white chalk (made of lime­stone) into a fine pow­der. Dampen a clean white wash rag and dip it into the chalk pow­der. Rub it on the mar­ble with smooth, over­lap­ping back and forth strokes. Al­low to dry for a mo­ment, then rinse with fresh wa­ter on a damp rag, and dry thor­oughly.

Lastly, af­ter your floor is pro­fes­sion­ally cleaned, you may want to con­sider seal­ing the floor so its beauty lasts for a long time. QUES­TION — Do you have sug­ges­tions to re­move stains of black shoe pol­ish off cloth­ing? Ni­cho (Win­nipeg) AN­SWER – Ap­ply glyc­erin to the area and leave for one hour. Wash cloth­ing with heavy-duty laun­dry de­ter­gent. Do not toss cloth­ing into the wash­ing ma­chine un­til the stain is gone. Or blot the stain with one cup warm wa­ter, one tea­spoon dish soap and one ta­ble­spoon. house­hold am­mo­nia. Next, blot the stain with wa­ter and a clean cloth. Ex­tra Tip: White shoe pol­ish will not smear if hair­spray is ap­plied to the shoe af­ter it has dried. Also, white shoe pol­ish will have a more even ap­pear­ance if shoes are wiped with rub­bing al­co­hol be­fore pol­ish­ing. QUES­TION — Do you have any so­lu­tions to re­duce the pain of eye­brow tweez­ing? Mia (Selkirk) AN­SWER — Ap­ply Vi­ta­min E onto the eye­brows be­fore tweez­ing and pull your eye­brow up with your fin­gers while tweez­ing to re­duce pain. Ex­tra Tip: When match­ing makeup foun­da­tion to skin, don’t test it on the back of your hand. Test the colour on your jaw­line, and stand near a win­dow. If you can’t tell you are wear­ing foun­da­tion, you have found the per­fect match.

FRANCES LIT­MAN / POST­MEDIA NET­WORK INC.

When clean­ing mar­ble floors, use only prod­ucts ap­proved for stone sur­faces.

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