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Slippery rock Gazette
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While the acids were sitting on the concrete, a bubbling chem- ical reaction was clearly visible with the hydrochloric acid, and a slight bubbling reaction could be seen in the vinegar when using a magnifying glass. These reac- tions indicate that the acids were dissolving the carbonate minerals in the concrete. Once the acids were wiped off, the hydrochloric acid left a pitted area where the surface had been etched. No etch- ing was visible from the vinegar, perhaps because the surface was somewhat rough and non-glossy to begin with.
Staining and Cleaning
The ability for countertops to repel stains is a high priority for commercial property owners and homeowners, and it’s hard to pre- dict what types of substances peo- ple will put on their countertops. I tested the stain-resistance of the samples with three common sub- stances known to cause stubborn stains: turmeric, food coloring, and permanent marker.
For the test, approximately 1⁄4 tablespoon of turmeric paste (a mixture of powdered turmeric and
February 2020|15
 Caesarstone Eggshell engineered quartz was stained by blue food dye, pink food dye, and turmeric paste.
water), and two droplets of food dye were placed on each sample. These were left to sit on the sam- ples for two hours, then cleaned off with mild soap and an ordinary kitchen sponge.
The dark colored materials – Absolute Black granite, Sequel Pure Black engineered quartz, and Dekton Trillium sintered surface material – did not endure any visible stains from turmeric or food dye, which speaks well to the ability of a material’s color and pattern to mask blemishes. Throughout all the testing I have done, darker materials and busier patterns are generally more effec- tive at hiding stains.
The Thunder White granite showed very faint stains from food coloring, and these were eas- ily removed with further cleaning with a kitchen sponge and mild dish soap. Thunder White also showed a moderate stain from turmeric, which faded overnight and was only visible because I knew exactly where to look. An observer did not see any stains on the white stone. Over the next 24 hours, the stain faded away completely.
Caesarstone’s Eggshell engi- neered quartz had moderate stains from both the turmeric paste and food coloring. As I continued to scrub and clean the quartz, the stains lightened, but did not
disappear completely. The next day, the stains had faded some- what, and the only plainly visible stain was from the food coloring.
Concrete was severely stained by both the dye and the turmeric, and further cleaning was only minimally effective at reducing the stains.
Removing Permanent Marker (Sharpie)
A SharpieTM brand permanent marker left an obvious mark on all of the samples tested. The marker stain was most easily re- moved from Thunder White gran- ite, requiring only mild soap and a kitchen sponge. On all other sam- ples except concrete, non-acetone nail polish remover was required to successfully clean the marker stain.
On the concrete, nail polish remover was able to remove SharpieTM marker that had just been applied, but did not remove dried on marker stains. Soft ScrubTM brand cleanser appeared to be the most effective at remov- ing the marker from concrete, but it only lightened the stain; it did not remove it.
Scrubbing with Abrasives
Abrasive cleaning products offer a challenge for some coun- tertop surfaces. Several quartz manufacturers advise their cus- tomers to steer clear of abrasives, and for good reason. Abrasives have the potential to dull the finish of manufactured quartz because the resin that binds the quartz particles together is considerably
softer than the particles of mineral quartz aggregate that are used in engineered stone.
In this test, two brand name cleaning products were used, Soft ScrubTM with Oxi, and Bar Keepers FriendTM. These were applied with an ordinary kitchen sponge with a nylon scrubbing surface, and 30 seconds of vigor- ous scrubbing.
Soft ScrubTM uses the mineral calcite as its abrasive agent, and calcite is a mild abrasive with a Mohs hardness of 3. The Soft ScrubTM left a very subtle hazing on the Sequel Pure Black engi- neered quartz. The black color and glossy finish is an unforgiving surface when it comes to hiding imperfections.
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       The same stains after further cleaning with mild soap and scrubber side of kitchen sponge.

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