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Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures

Spectitle:

Removing Greasy Smudges From Marble Using The Cotton Swab Method

Procedure code:

0445510R

Source:

Outdoor Sculpture Manual - Center For Public Buildings

Division:

Masonry

Section:

Marble

Last Modified:

07/02/2012

Details:

Removing Greasy Smudges From Marble Using The Cotton Swab Method



REMOVING GREASY SMUDGES FROM MARBLE USING THE COTTON SWAB
METHOD


THE CLEANING OR REMOVAL OF STAINS FROM STONE MAY INVOLVE THE USE
OF LIQUIDS, DETERGENTS OR SOLVENTS WHICH MAY RUN OFF ON ADJACENT
MATERIAL, DISCOLOR THE STONE OR DRIVE THE STAINS DEEPER INTO POROUS
STONES.  USE THE PRODUCTS AND TECHNIQUES DESCRIBED HERE ONLY FOR
THE COMBINATIONS OF DIRT/STAIN AND STONE SPECIFIED.


PART 1---GENERAL

1.01 SUMMARY

    A.   This procedure includes guidance on cleaning greasy
         smudges from marble by absorbing the stain with cotton
         swabs.  This method is typically used for small localized
         greasy smudges.

    B.   Grease stains are usually light brown or yellow in color.

    C.   See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
         reviewed along with this procedure.  These guidelines
         cover the following sections:

         1.   Safety Precautions

         2.   Historic Structures Precautions

         3.   Submittals

         4.   Quality Assurance

         5.   Delivery, Storage and Handling

         6.   Project/Site Conditions

         7.   Sequencing and Scheduling

         8.   General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)

         These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
         this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
         along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
         Preservation Officer (RHPO).

    D.   For additional information on poulticing, see 04455-02-R.

    E.   For general information on the characteristics, uses and
         problems associated with marble, see 04455-01-S.


PART 2---PRODUCTS

2.01 MATERIALS

    NOTE:  Chemical products are sometimes sold under a common
    name.  This usually means that the substance is not as pure as
    the same chemical sold under its chemical name.  The grade of
    purity of common name substances, however, is usually adequate
    for stain removal work, and these products should be purchased
    when available, as they tend to be less expensive.  Common
    names are indicated below by an asterisk (*).

    A.   Ethyl Alcohol:

         1.   Other chemical or common names include Ethanol;
              Ethyl hydroxide; Ethylic alcohol; Methyl carbinol;
              Cologne spirits*; Fermentation alcohol*; Grain
              alcohol*; proof spirit*; Rectified spirit*; Spirits
              of wine*.

         2.   Potential Hazards:  FLAMMABLE.

         3.   Available from chemical supply house, hardware
              store or liquor store.

         4.   Denatured alcohol, which carries no liquor tax,
              should be a satisfactory substitute for ethyl
              alcohol for stain removing purposes.

         -OR-

         Methyl Alcohol:

         1.   Other chemical or common names include Carbinol;
              Methanol; Methyl hydrate; Methyl hydroxide;
              Methyllic alcohol; Colonial spirits*; Columnian
              spirits*; Green wood spirits*; Manhattan spirits*;
              Pyroligneous spirit*; Pyroxylic spirit*; Standard
              wood spirits*; Wood alcohol*; Wood naphtha*; Wood
              spirit*.

         2.   Potential Hazards:  TOXIC AND FLAMMABLE.

         3.   Available from automotive supply distributor,
              chemical supply house, dry cleaning supply
              distributor, drugstore or pharmaceutical supply
              distributor, hardware store, paint store, or
              photographic supply distributor (not camera shop).

    B.   Mineral water

    C.   Cotton swabs

2.02 EQUIPMENT

    A.   Glass or ceramic container for mixing the solution

    B.   Wooded utensil for stirring the ingredients


PART 3---EXECUTION

3.01 EXAMINATION

    A.   Examine the marble surface CAREFULLY to determine the
         cause of staining before proceeding with any cleaning
         operation.

3.02 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION

    A.   Thoroughly rinse the area to be treated with mineral
         water.

    B.   Pour a small amount of mineral water into the container
         to be used for mixing.  Add an appropriate amount of
         ethyl or methyl alcohol to the mineral water and stir the
         solution with a wooden utensil.  NOTE:  The water/alcohol
         ratio should be small, as the primary function of the
         water is to slow down the evaporation of the alcohol.

    C.   Saturate a cotton swab in the solution and daub the
         stained area.

    D.   The oil from the stain should be absorbed into the cotton
         swab.  As the swab becomes soiled, substitute clean swabs
         and continue.

    E.   Repeat as necessary until the stain has dissipated.

         NOTE:  A polished marble surface may require repolishing
         after treatment.  See 04455-02-P "Repolishing Marble" for
         repolishing techniques.

                             END OF SECTION
 


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