Whether you are a stone fabricator, installer or supplier, it is critical to understand the products that are on the market today for cleaning and sealing natural stone. Manufacturers of these products are continually developing new formulas for cleaners and sealers -- often resulting in products that offer greater efficiency and less environmental impact. The following is a look at some of the latest product introductions in sealers and cleaners.
Stain Repellent W from Akemi is a water-based impregnator, and is formulated to be food safe. The company reports that it is well suited for all applications and provides excellent protection against oil and grease.
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Crystal Clean from Akemi is a daily cleaner that is formulated for all bathroom applications. The product has also been engineered to be fast drying and free of streaks.
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Designed to do what only strong acids could once do, Aqua Mix Ex-TremeTM has all the power needed to clean tough outdoor contaminants from stone, tile, masonry and concrete surfaces in a much safer formula. Ex-Treme is a non-flammable, heavy-viscosity, industrial-strength, acidic cleaner for problem areas that will remove years of accumulated discoloration from air pollution or carbon build-up. The list of grime Ex-Treme will remove includes:
· Soot stains
· Mineral deposits
· Rust stains
· Red dirt stains
Ex-Treme is a safer formula with no fumes, no hydrochloric acid and no odor, the company reports. It can be used on all unpolished natural stone, polished granite, concrete pavers, masonry surfaces, ceramic, porcelain, grout, quarry tile, saltillo and terra-cotta.
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Fortified with nano-sized particles, (one billionth of a meter), NanoScrubTM represents Aqua Mix’s interpretation of the latest in nano technology (widely used in other industries) and applies it to the tile, stone and grout industry. NanoScrub combines the versatility, convenience and safety of a water-based formula:
1. Deep cleaning -- Aqua Mix reports that NanoScrub particles are small enough to penetrate, dissolve and lift dirt from the toughest-to-clean stone, porcelain and grout. Even ground-in dirt and grout trapped in tiny porcelain micropores are not out of reach from NanoScrub.
2. Removal of cementitious and epoxy grout haze -- NanoScrub particles grind away grout haze while doing no damage to the tile or stone.
3. Removal of coatings and waxes -- Imagine stripping coatings and waxes without a long dwell time, odor or difficult-to-remove residue. Whether a tough factory-applied wax on a porcelain tile or an existing thick coating over a polished stone surface, NanoScrub particles grind away coatings with no damage done to the tile or stone.
4. General cleaning booster -- The nano-sized particles in NanoScrub add an extra “kick” to any Aqua Mix cleaner to boost cleaning effectiveness.
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Sealer’s Choice GoldTM from Aqua Mix is a premium, water-based sealer that provides maximum stain protection. It can be used on any natural stone surface, will not change the look of the stone and will preserve the beauty and prolong the life of the surface. Sealer’s Choice Gold also eases ongoing maintenance of the surface by making it easier to clean the surface.
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Stone Polish Aerosol Foam Spray from Bellinzoni is for everyday maintenance of stone countertops and vanities. Stone Polish cleans and polishes while creating an extra layer of protection to keep the surface looking brand new.
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The Natural Stone Care Kit from Bellinzoni offers everything needed for the care of countertops and vanities, the company reports. The kit includes a cleaner, sealer and polish in an economical package for easy maintenance.
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SuperSeal H20 from Bellinzoni is a water-based impregnator to repel oil and grease. It is completely food safe and easy to apply on any application, the company reports.
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Bonstone TouchstoneTM Sealer 10 is a no-sheen, natural-look and solvent-based penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection, especially in food preparation and serving areas. It can be used on all natural stone (such as granite, limestone, marble, slate and travertine), porcelain, saltillo, terra-cotta, cement pavers, masonry surfaces and other porous tile and grout where a natural look is desired. Sealer 10 is equally effective on interior and exterior applications, the company reports. Sealer 10 can be used as a pre-grouting sealer over clean stone surfaces a minimum of six hours prior to grouting. The product, which also works as an effective grout sealer, allows moisture vapor transmission and lasts up to 10 years.
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Bonstone TouchstoneTM Stone Enhancer is a no-sheen penetrating sealer formulated to darken, enrich and highlight the character and beauty of unsealed low porosity natural stone, such as unpolished marble, granite, slate, limestone, travertine, quartzite and sandstone. It is equally effective on interior or exterior applications. It rejuvenates the color, and improves the appearance of worn and weathered stone. It also effectively seals and darkens the color of grout joints.
Stone Enhancer can be used as a pre-grouting sealer over clean stone surfaces a minimum of six hours prior to grouting. The product allows moisture vapor transmission and lasts up to three years.
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Bonstone TouchstoneTM Penetrating is a low-viscosity, two-part penetrating epoxy. This product penetrates the structural fissures of granite and marble for added strength and integrity. Features include:
· 40% increase in strength of stone
· Alternative to rodding countertops
· Strengthen weakened joints in stone
· Can be used around bowl cut-outs for strength
Touchstone Penetrating can be used with the Touchstone Easy MixTM Dispenser.
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Stone Shield 611 from Braxton-Bragg is a clear, silicone-based sealer specifically designed to protect natural stones, such as granite, marble, travertine and terrazzo, as well as sanded grout, concrete and tile, without changing the color of the material. It provides exceptional coverage with both interior and exterior use.
Stone Shield 611 protects against water, oil, corrosive fluids and many other common stains, while allowing the stone to breathe properly. Stone Shield 611 provides exceptional protection for medium-density stone to very dense stone, and it is safe for food areas. Practically odorless, Stone Shield 611 is usable on countertops already installed.
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Stone Medic DCC Daily Cleaner/Conditioner from Braxton-Bragg is designed to keep stone looking like it has just been installed. The company reports that DCC is safe for daily use and adds luster to natural stone. DCC is formulated for use on most natural stone. Use this concentrated cleaner on all types of granite or marble to maintain the stone’s natural beauty. DCC’s conditioners will enhance the stone’s natural patina, and its daily use is recommended as an essential part of any stone care maintenance program.
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Stone Medic also offers a Heavy-Duty Stone & Ceramic Cleaner (HSC), available from Braxton-Bragg, in a practical, spray-application form. HSC is a versatile product for use on all types of natural stone, including granite, marble, terrazzo and travertine, and it also provides deep cleaning on concrete, ceramic tile, grout and man-made surfaces. The maximum-strength formula rapidly breaks up stubborn, embedded soils -- with no mixing or diluting required.
HSC is especially effective on vertical surfaces, the company reports. The foaming, clinging formula simplifies the cleaning of backsplashes or shower surrounds because the penetrating formula does not run from the stain.
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StoneSpecificTM, a line of premium stone care products from Custom® Building Products, is formulated for the most popular stone types and finishes, including granite, marble, travertine, limestone and slate with polished, tumbled or honed finishes. The result of rigorous laboratory research and testing, StoneSpecific’s high-performance products deliver optimal care and a 20-year guarantee.
StoneSpecific sealers are chemically formulated to penetrate the surface to repel stains, prevent etching and inhibit mold growth. StoneSpecific cleaners and resealers are 100% non-acidic formulas, which make them gentle and effective enough to use every day. All StoneSpecific cleaners also reseal with each application, which reinforces stain protection.
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Stain-ProofTM by Dry-Treat Inc. is a unique, invisible impregnating sealer using the latest in molecular engineering technology to provide unsurpassed protection and increased longevity.
Specially engineered molecules penetrate deeper into porous materials, forming a permanent chemical bond inside the pores without blocking them. In fact, treated surfaces retain more than 98% breathability. Its unique chemistry makes it suitable for a wide range of materials, including natural stone, tile, paving, brick and grout.
Stain-Proof’s unique chemistry provides optimal oil and water repellency, permanence and protection from freeze-thaw damage and salt efflorescence, Dry-Treat reports.
Stain-Proof even stands up to commercial cleaning techniques such as pressure hosing and machine scrubbing without the use of special and costly proprietary cleaning chemicals. Stain-Proof is easy and quick to apply; treated surfaces can be walked on within one hour of sealing and be wet after only eight hours of drying time. In addition, treated surfaces retain their slip resistance, making Stain-Proof ideal for commercial and other public areas, as well as homes.
Stain-Proof is also an effective graffiti repellant, fights mildew and moss growth, does not break down under UV light and is suitable for use indoors and out.
Stain-Proof has a successful track record in more than 30 countries, as well as thousands of homes, and it has been used on national monuments, stadiums and other important buildings, including the recent sealing of the new BBC Scotland Headquarters.
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Enhance-PlusTM from Dry-Treat Inc. is a breathable semi-impregnating treatment, which provides lasting enrichment of color as well as water-based stain protection for natural stone, tile, paving and grout. Treated indoors and outdoors, surfaces become easier to clean, maintain and keep looking good for longer, the company reports.
Enhance-Plus is suitable for a wide variety of applications, including floors, walls, patios, kitchens and entertaining areas. Enhance-Plus allows some control over the level of color enhancement. A single application will create a single shade of enhancement. Subsequent coats will provide darker shading.
Enhance-Plus provides deep enrichment of natural color, provides super water repellency, hides scratches and imperfections, repels stains and soiling for easier cleaning, is able to make surfaces more resistant to acid etching, and the slip resistance of the surface is retained. Enhance-Plus™ is backed by a five-year written performance warranty when is applied by an accredited applicator following Dry-Treat’s written instructions.
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Dry-Treat 40SK is an impregnating, invisible and breathable sealer that protects against damage caused by water and salts, plus helps to consolidate surfaces that are prone to crumbling. It is suitable for natural stone, tile, paving, brick and grout.
Dry-Treat 40SK is especially useful for protecting porous surfaces, such as sandstone and limestone in a saltwater environment, for example, the surrounds of saltwater swimming pools. The company reports that the product’s superior hydrophobic properties provide long-lasting, premium protection against water ingress, freeze-thaw damage and salt attack, including salt efflorescence.
The consolidating properties of Dry-Treat 40SK help to harden soft, porous surfaces such as sandstone, and it will help to lengthen the life of such surfaces when they are exposed to water and salts.
Dry-Treat 40SK keeps the original look of the surfaces, can be used indoors and out, minimizes moss growth and makes treated surfaces easier to clean.
A 15-year written performance warranty is available when Dry-Treat 40SK is applied by an accredited applicator following Dry-Treat’s written instructions.
The U.S. Master Distributor for Dry-Treat is QSS.
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DuPontTM StoneTechTM Professional BulletProof® Sealer and Heavy Duty Sealer are water-based, environmentally preferable sealers that have been reformulated to improve performance and make them easier to apply.
Features and benefits of DuPont StoneTech Professional BulletProof Sealer and Heavy Duty Sealer include:
· Advanced penetrating microbond protection
· Maximum protection against all stains
· Makes cleaning stone easier
· Preserves natural look
· Water-based low-solids coating
· Interior and exterior usage
DuPont StoneTech Professional BulletProof Sealer and Heavy Duty Sealer may be used on natural stone such as marble, granite, limestone, slate, terrazzo, travertine and sandstone.
DuPont StoneTech Professional BulletProof Sealer and Heavy Duty Sealer are available in quart, 1-gallon, 5-gallon, and 55-gallon sizes as well as pint containers.
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DuPontTM StoneTechTM Enhancer ProTM has been reformulated to provide improved ease of use on a variety of natural stone and tile. Enhancer Pro can be used on interior and exterior stone and masonry surfaces. It is formulated with advanced DuPont flourochemicals to protect against the toughest oil- and water-based stains. Enhancer Pro is easy to use, penetrates deep into stone and provides a highly effective water, stain and oil barrier.
Enhancer Pro provides heavy-duty, color-enhancing protection for stones such as granite, marble, limestone, travertine, slate, sandstone, saltillo, masonry, brick, flamed stone, tumbled stone and textured stone. Additionally, the Enhancer Pro formula leaves less residue and is easier to clean up, the company reports.
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DuPontTM StoneTechTM RevitalizerTM Cleaner & Protector is formulated to clean everyday messes while reinforcing protection. According to the company, a built-in sealer makes surfaces easier to clean, and the product has a neutral, gentle formula. The product can be used on natural stone such as marble, granite, limestone, slate, terrazzo, travertine and sandstone.
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DuPontTM StoneTechTM KlenzAllTMâ€¯Heavy-Duty Stone Cleaner has been formulated to power through stubborn grease and soils to make stone look new. The product is designed to be safe on stone and will not etch, the company reports. KlenzAll has a professional-strength, alkaline formula, and it can be used on marble, granite, limestone, travertine, slate, terrazzo and sandstone.
DuPontTM StoneTechTM products are available through Granite City Tool.
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Fila MarbleRestorer is a new restoration kit to restore small surfaces made of marble, travertine and polished limestone, which have been marked by acid-based stains or atmospheric agents. It is well suited for restoring kitchen and bathroom tops, tables, steps and windowsills. According to Fila, MarbleRestorer removes dullness caused by wear and tear, as well as small marks on polished stone floors.
Acid-based dirt causes dulling, which, in minor cases, appears like light patches against the light. If the staining is deep, the patches are white and rough to the touch.
Fila MarbleRestorer is easy to use and effectively repairs these types of damage, and helps customers restore their surfaces to former pristine condition without having to call in a professional expert.
Fila MarbleRestorer works on marble and all types of polished limestone and polished terrazzo surfaces.
The kit contains:
· Fila MarbleOne yellow
· Fila MarbleTwo white resin pad
· Fila MarbleThree blue resin pad
· Fila Marble Sponge (white polishing pad)
· Fila MarbleShine, marble polish -- 200 ml
· Fila Formula Marmo, marble finishing polish -- 250 ml
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GranQuartz Stone Care Systems’ 313P is a premium water-based impregnator that offers a high degree of protection from both oil-and water-borne stains while complying with even the most stringent VOC regulations, the company reports. 313P is easy and safe to use, has no smell and may be used for interior and exterior applications on both polished and unpolished surfaces. 313P is well suited for granite kitchen countertops, bathrooms, furniture and floors. Coverage is 100 to 200 square feet per liter, depending upon the porosity of the stone, and the product is available in packages of 0.5, 1, 5 and 10 liters.
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GranQuartz Stone Care Systems’ 113M 3-in-1 Spray Cleaner is for cleaning, polishing and protecting stone and ceramic countertops, tables, fireplaces surrounds and shower walls. 113M is NSF approved, making it safe for food service areas. 113M offers no buildup, resists fingerprints, smells clean and fresh and can be used on faucets and fixtures as well as stone ceramic surfaces, the company reports. 113M is not recommended for floors. 113M cleans grease and dirt without streaking, resists water spots and stains and provides an elegant gloss. Coverage is up to 200 square feet per can, and the product is available in 16-ounce cans.
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GranQuartz Stone Care Systems’ 515C is a neutral-pH, extra-strength degreaser, cleaner and grout film remover that is suitable for all natural stone surfaces, including polished marble, limestone, travertine, terrazzo, agglomerate and ceramic tiles. 515C can be used as a periodic deep cleaner where heavy soiling is present, for construction jobsite clean-up or for removal of grout residues and soap scum deposits. 515C smells clean and fresh, is safe and effective for any application and is environmentally friendly. Coverage is 100 to 600 square feet per liter, depending on porosity of stone, and the product is available in packages of 1, 5 and 10 liters.
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Miracle Sealants will begin shipping the 511 Impregnator with a new additive that features anti-microbial properties. This new additive allows 511 Impregnator to pass ASTM D 5990 (Fungal Resistance Test). Dosing the 511 Impregnator with a special anti-microbial agent imparts excellent dry film fungal resistance performance, achieving “0” growth rating in ASTM D 5990, the company reports.
The 511 Impregnator will be mildew resistant, algae resistant, and resist deterioration by mold fungus, and it will inhibit the growth of bacterial odors. The cured product guards against degradation from microorganisms, so exterior protection against these challenges in wet and humid climates is significantly increased.
Once 511 Impregnator is completely dry, due to the anti-microbial additive, it inhibits growth of mold and mildew on a dried sealer.
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Miracle Sealants Counter Kleen Spray and Wipes serve as a maintenance cleaner for marble, granite, travertine, limestone and ceramic tile.
Counter Kleen has a unique formula designed for daily use to remove dirt, dust and light stains from polished natural stone and ceramic tile counters, vanities and furniture.
· Easy to use
· Safe to use
Coverage will vary depending on surface materials. When used as directed, Counter Kleen will cover approximately 500 to 2,000 square feet per 32 ounces. Container sizes include a 32-ounce spray bottle or 35 pre-measured wipes.
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The new Contractor Pak from Miracle Sealants includes:
· 511 Impregnator
· 511 Porous Plus
· 511 Seal & Enhance
Convenient, innovative packaging allows the product to be opened as needed, maintaining the seal on the unused portion. Versatile packaging allows for multiple uses. It can be used for existing Miracle Sealants racks, end caps, wing stacks or other promotional events.
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Regent Silicone Impregnator is specially formulated for stone. This product is a one-step sealer, intended to protect against oil-and water-borne stains. It works by penetrating the surface and sealing from the inside out, leaving the surface of the stone with a beautiful, natural look. The benefits of properly sealed stone include much easier cleanup of spills, little or no penetration of dirt and the piece of mind knowing the stone is protected. When used on polished floors, the coefficient of slip resistance increases, making it a safer floor to walk on.
Regent Silicone Impregnator is almost odor free, and it is also water reactive, meaning that when damp mopped and cleaned with water, it actually improves the sealing ability of the product.
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Regent Stone Soap is specifically designed for stone surfaces. This is a neutral cleaner that contains special acid-free cleaners. Regent reports that daily use of this cleaner is safe for any stone or hard surface that would not be damaged by water. It is sold in three different-sized packages for all cleaning applications. There is an aerosol can, quart bottles in concentrated form to be economical and gallons in concentrated form used for mopping floors. This product is safe to use with all sealers.
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Regent Zeta Seal is the premium sealer for stone surfaces. The company incorporates the use of hydro-fluorocarbons for an optimal seal. This product is oil, water and acid resistant. It is a one-step application that will last for years. As the product has no color, it will not change the look of your beautiful stone surface. Conveniently packaged in aerosol cans, quart and gallon bottles, there is a size for every application.
This product is suitable for both interior and exterior applications, and is UV stable with no yellowing, the company reports.
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StonePro Ultimate Pro is a new solvent-based fluorocarbon technology. Ultimate Pro was formulated to deliver optimum protection of granite and other dense stone surfaces against oil-and water-borne stains. Ultimate Pro’s unique environmentally friendly chemistry offers quick and thorough penetration, while also being non-flammable, biodegradable, VOC-compliant and environmentally friendly, the company reports. StonePro’s advanced fluorocarbon technology offers years of protection against staining.
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StonePro Crystal Clean is a fast-drying, no-rinse, non-streaking multi-purpose, pH-neutral cleaner. Developed to clean granite, marble, travertine and other natural stone, Crystal Clean can also be used with confidence on metal and glass surfaces thanks to its advanced chemistry. When used on stone, Crystal Clean replenishes sealing properties and helps protect against staining.
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Finishing Touch from StonePro has been formulated to bring out the natural beauty and shine of granite countertops. Simply spray on and wipe off Finishing Touch to eliminate water spots, fingerprints and revitalize the depth of shine and reflection of polished stone. When used on shower walls, Finishing Touch protects against water spots and eliminates the need to squeegee after every use.
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Lustro Italiano (a trademark of Tenax USA) has developed a kit for cleaning and sealing kitchen countertops. The cleaner is a slightly alkaline daily cleaner suitable for all types of surfaces. It has been formulated to not leave any streaks, and it is very easy to use. The stone polish, if used regularly, will allow the homeowner to maintain the natural luster of the stone and seal it in the process.
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Ager Tiger from Tenax is a new color-enhancing sealer suitable to add color to exotic stones and porous surfaces. Its particular formula makes it suitable for all those materials that need the extra color but are, due to their particular geological composition, not receptive to regular color enhancers. Ager Tiger acts as a sealer, prevents stains and has anti-graffiti properties. Ager Tiger is manufactured in observance of the California Clean Air Act and is VOC compliant with the present rules.
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Texsol from Tenax is a completely new kind of water-based sealer. This sealer does not contain PFOA. It is 100% VOC free and has been approved in Europe for food contact. This new family of products is part of a family of “green” products developed to have the lowest possible carbon footprint without using any substances known to be hazardous against people and the environment.
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VMC 30® is an organic non-flammable detergent specially formulated for the deep cleaning of marble, granite and other natural and engineered stone surfaces. VMC 30 is composed of penetrating agents that literally lift the dirt from porous surfaces without harming polished finishes, while adding conditioning agents to keep the stone surface looking new.
Special features include:
• Contains penetrating agents
• Will not harm polished finishes
• Contains conditioning agents
• Increases reflectivity
• Increases stain resistance
VMC 30 can be used on marble, granite and other natural and engineered surfaces.
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VMC KleerSeal® is an environmentally safe, non-toxic and silicone-free stone impregnator. It will greatly reduce all types of deterioration to stone and porous cementious materials.
Special features include:
• Oil resistant
• Water resistant
· Mildew resistant
· Ultraviolet stabilized
· Prevents efflorescence
· Long-lasting protection
· Environmentally safe
KleerSeal® can be used for walls, floors, statues, parking lots and water fountains.
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VMC Mud® is a unique formulation that is abrasive enough to remove deposits, soil and soap build up from marble and granite without scratching the surface. This non-toxic neutral compound is extremely user friendly.
Special features include:
· Low odor
· Environmentally safe
· Abrasive material in mud easily breaks down to prevent scratching the stone
The product can be used on all types of marble, granite and glass, as well as plumbing fixtures. It is excellent for shower walls.