Frequently Asked Questions


This is a comprehensive list of questions and answers that will help in maintaining all types of stones... if you have any questions that we have not answered, please email our team at:




Q:I spilt some vinegar and oil dressing on the polished travertine floor in my kitchen and cleaned it immediately, a dull area remains and i cant get the shine back on the floor.how can this be fixed?

A:The acid in the vinegar has reacted with the calcite of your travertine to create an acid etch mark on the floor.Acid etch marks are chemical changes in the stone, and no household cleaner can remove them.FER-MAX Quality Flooring System can either chemically polish the etch mark out, or mechanically sand and then chemically polish out the area etched by the acid.


Q:I installed a marble floor in most of my downstairs nearly two years ago, and the front entranceway and hallway doesn't reflect light as well as it did when it was new.I want to keep the polished finish longer and was wondering what i can do to return it to the original finish when it was new?

A:Highly polished marble floors dull down overtime,especially in high traffic areas of the home(like entrances and hallways). Marble floors can either chemically polished,or mechanically sanded and then polished to maintain their reflective surfaces(as new).


Q:My sister told me to use commercial ammonia cleaner on my granite counter tops to keep them clean and shiny.Can i use this cleaner without harming my beautiful granite counters?

A:Ammonia is a strong alkaline, and may have a harmful effect on your granite over the long term.Its best to use pH neutral stone soap on your granite(and any other natural stone,for that matter)for regular cleaning.A good rule of thumb is never use anything to clean your granite that you wouldn't use to clean your hands.


Q:Everyone keeps telling me to use a"neutral pH cleaner"for my natural stone.What exactly is a pH cleaner and why is it important?

A:Most professionals in the business who are taught to recommend pH neutral cleaners don't even know.


pH is the unit of measure of length.The gram is a unit measure of weight.So, pH is the unit measure we use to say how much acid is in a substance.The pH scale goes from 0 to 14.A pH of 0 identifies a very high acid activity level.Substances such as lemon juice and vinegar are acidic with pH values of 2-3.Nitric acid and hydrochloric acid are very strong with pH values of 0; stomach acid has a pH of 1.Addition of strong acid such as sulfuric acid(H2S04) to water makes the resulting solution very high in active acid concentration.This is called an acidic solution.


On the other end of the scale are the alkaline substances, which range from 8 to 14.Common alkalis are seawater(pH 8), household ammonia(pH11), oven cleaners(pH 13) and the very strong alkali.sodium hydroxide(NaOH) to water makes the resulting solution very low in active acid concentration.This is called a very basic or alkali solution.


In between these two extremes is a pH of 7.This is the pH of pure water.Water,which is neither very acidic nor very alkali, is said to be neutral.


Technically, the scale actually refers to the concentration of positively- changed hydrogen (H+) ions and negatively changed hydroxyl(OH-)ions in solution.More hydrogen ions than hydroxyl ions make an acidic solution.while alkaline solution contains more hydroxyl ions than hydrogen ions.The pH scale is a logarithmic one, meaning that each pH unit has 10times as many hydrogen ions as the unit above it.So ,at pH 4 ,there are 10 times more hydrogen ions than at pH 5 and 100 times more hydrogen ions than at pH 6.


Acidic cleaners can etch calcite stone(marble,limestone,and travertine),creating dull spots that remain even after careful cleaning.Harsh alkaline cleaners can prematurely strip sealants out of sealed stone,making them susceptible to staining and discoloration.They can also dull down the polished finish of stone installation overtime.pH neutral stone soaps are effective for routine cleaning and contain no ingredients that will etch, or dull stone overtime.

The following table will give you an idea of pH values of common substances:


Stomach acid 1.0

Lemon juice 2.4

Vinegar 2.8

Orange juice 3.0

Tomato juice 4.0

Black coffee 5.0

Detergent 6.5

Milk 6.8

Blood 7.2

Baking soda 9.0

Domestic bleach 11.0

Household ammonia 11.0


(From General Chemistry by Brady and Humiston.1986).







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