In some respects, high-quality gel coated and porcelain surfaces of sanitary ware are similar. A new high-quality gelcoat will have approximately the same cleanablity as porcelain when both products are new. After some period of time and usage, the gelcoat surface will have superior stain resistance due to the fact that as the initial sheen is washed or eroded away from porcelain, a very serious porosity problem begins and high abrasive cleaners are required along with bleaching agents to remove stains from porcelain.

There is no general purpose cleaner presently marketed which will adequately remove all stains and accumulations. The following identifies types of stains and accumulations and the chemicals safest and most efficient for removal:

Hard water scale & rust: Cleaners containing citric acid or ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid are effective. Those materials combined with Glycol Ethers and Kaolin clay or Bentonite Clay for light scrubbing effect work very well. Oxalic acid contained in some cleaners is nearly as effective as citric acid.

Grease stains & oil residue: Aliphatic solvents or glycol ethers combined with appropriate detergents readily remove these deposits.

Hair dye & shoe polish stains: Abrasive action is required with auto rubbing compound containing Kaolin Clay and a bit of "Elbow Grease". Glycol ethers in concentrated form are helpful but must be used discreetly and removed promptly.

Mascara, lipstick & cosmetics: The procedures described for hard water scale are normally sufficient. In extreme cases, use procedure for hair dye.

Drain cleaners: "Drano" contains sodium hydroxide which may attack certain gel coats after prolonged contact. Other drain cleaners, both liquid and powder, contain highly alkaline or high caustic chemicals such as sodium silicate and caustic potash. Prolonged contact with these chemicals can be harmful.

Mold & mildew: Chlorinated bleach or disinfectants such as quaternary ammonium compounds or phenolics are effective and also serve to arrest further growth.

Cigarette stains: Depending on severity, buffing, and in some cases sanding with 600 grit sandpaper before buffing, are necessary.

Miscellaneous: Paint strippers containing methylene chloride should never be allowed to come into contact with polyester gel coat. Often stubborn stains can be removed with a little dishwasher detergent when other methods have failed. While aged and porous porcelain surfaces can harbor germ growth and require germ killing cleaners, high-quality polyester gel coats retain their dense surfaces and the use for germ killers is likely unnecessary.

We have described ingredients which perform specific cleaning functions. These ingredients exist in certain cleaners today. It is obvious that a prepared cleaner which will handle all cleaning problems simply does not exist. Until a total cleaning kit is marketed, our only recourse is to look at the labels of present-day cleaners and determine their usability based on ingredients.


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